One of our most common and most troublesome meals are leftovers. Uncooked edible remains such as bones are usually considered waste, never leftovers. However, there are some instances where leftovers can be beneficial to our health. Below are some reasons why it can be good to eat leftover food.
- Leftovers are good for you in the sense that it contains essential nutrients that can be used immediately. This can include vitamins A, B, and C as well as iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Since they are generally made of unprocessed ingredients, these nutrients are easily absorbed by the body. Examples of these nutrients that can be derived from leftover food are proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. The minerals such as potassium and calcium can be acquired from vegetables or other uncooked fruits.
- Using leftovers in our daily diet allows us to have more energy. Some examples of such food are chicken bones, mushrooms, eggshells, carrots, potatoes, and tomatoes. These can be prepared as salads, side dishes, soups, or even used as ingredients for baking. For example, if you are looking for a delicious chicken salad recipe, all you need to do is chop up some chicken bones and add them to a bowl of water along with some onion, green peppers, mushrooms, and some white wine. Set aside for about 6 months and you will surely get the delicious results you are looking for.
- Raw leftovers can be eaten daily. This is especially good because there are no preservatives or chemicals in these meals. These are good sources of protein, which we are lacking nowadays. There are also some vitamins and minerals in cooked leftovers such as iron, zinc, and vitamin B12. The bad part is that raw and uncooked leftovers can carry bacteria that can trigger food poisoning.
- Using anaerobic digesters for heating purposes can increase the metabolic rate. This is because enzymes are using up oxygen molecules to break down proteins. The good news is that these enzymes can also create energy using the growing media, making it even better for your metabolism. Raw foods are also easier to digest compared to cooked foods, making it less necessary for you to take supplements or use supplements.
- Microwaves can make your cooking efforts easier. This can be applied if the leftover food is already frozen. Microwave cooking does not release any hazardous materials during the cooking process. However, microwaves cannot destroy any nutrients present in this raw material. Hence, you might want to cook these raw materials on the top rack of your fridge or oven to preserve nutrients before using them.
- Another way to preserve the nutrients in your leftovers is by freezing them. Freezing your food makes it easier for its nutritional value to be preserved due to its physical structure. Although it may also cause some leftover loss, it is much better than eating it. Some nutrients found in your food can still be destroyed by freezer burning. However, frozen leftovers can retain most of their nutrition compared to cooking it a second time.
Dehydrating foods is the best method when preserving the nutritional value of your leftover foods. Cooking and dehydrating your foods can greatly reduce their shelf life. Dehydrated foods are easily used in soups, stews, and chilli. When choosing the method of dehydrating, it is better to purchase foods that can be frozen or are already freeze-dried. Examples of these foods are coconut milk, vegetables, fruits, herbs, and juices.