It’s over half through Zero Waste Week already, and I’m slowly learning my lesson that the key is in the planning! Having gotten back from a lazy holiday away, to an impending week of daily blogging; I knew from the onset the easy task of doing “one more thing” to reduce my waste might actually be harder than it first sounded. But I have been eternally grateful to the impressive inspiration oozing from everyone involved in the week, and it has spurred me on to get off my butt and get waste fighting!
But after several days of feeling smug that not one part of my fruit or veg was being thrown away, I hit a wall. Well, more accurately, I hit a stone…a plum stone. I obviously didn’t want to throw it away, but I was smart enough to realise that it would do more damage than good if I tried to stick it in my juicer! Had I finally found the one piece of food I couldn’t eat?!
Luckily, a hidden waste guru was at hand to save the day and teach me a lesson or two about how to get the most from food. Elaine Holden – my wonderful Nan who resides in the South West of France – helpfully advised me she uses the stones of plums to make natural pectin for jam; simply by boiling them up in a little water. I had no idea that the hard stones of fruit – which we so often just discarded – had such hidden talents!
It seems the French really do know their food, as pectin isn’t the only thing they use their fruit stones for. Apparently, the stones of fruits like peach, apricot, cherry and plum all contain a tasty little almond-flavoured kernel inside their hard shells. The French keep these kernels, calling them noyau; which they then use to make things like marzipan, amaretto and almond extract. Very nifty!
Steeping stones in water or milk is also used to make tea, sorbet and even cake! But my ultimate favourite idea is using peach pits to make fruity liquor; simply by simmering one peach pit for every two ounces of liquor, and then leaving to steep overnight. This also works with coconut milk or water to make a Vegan friendly sobet or icecream when frozen; though I must admit I like the alcohol idea a little more!
Once the stone have been used to get you merry, that isn’t the end of their life just yet. You can then roast your stones or pits in the oven at 190° for 30 minutes until they have dried out. Then give them a good bash with a hammer and pick out the kernels inside. You can roast these for about 15 minutes, and what you have left are some very tasty little roasted nuts; which make delicious healthy snacks!
So there you have it, just a couple of fruit stones and you have a tasty French style aperitif of fruit liquor and roasted nuts to share with a friend. Bon Appétit!
All this talk of stones reminded of this fantastic info-graphic I found recently, showing how you can regrow avocados yourself at home using left over stones!
Another very nifty idea which helps cut waste and eventually provides a tasty treat.