When you come across curdled milk, or wilted greens, it’s usually a sign that they’ve reached the end of their life. Ikea respectfully disagrees.
Ikea Canada is getting into the cooking game with Scrapsbook, a new cookbook that utilizes all those forgotten, back-of-the-fridge products and food waste that are usually tossed. It’s available free to download as a PDF.
Ikea has made a commitment to go fully circular—that is, to run the business with zero waste—by 2030. This cookbook seems to be an extension of that idea.
Chefs from across North America created recipes for the book that use a few different strategies to make sure you waste less in the kitchen. Some use disguise, say with a wilted greens smoothie; mac & rinds, which incorporates cheese rinds into the classic pasta dish; jam made from watermelon rinds; or French press toast, which has whipped cream infused with spent coffee grounds. Others make the discarded ingredient center stage: How about broccoli stalk tacos or some banana peel bacon? There are also some “scrappy tips” to save nonedible food waste: You can grind egg shells into a calcium powder to remove limestone deposits in the bathroom, or turn coffee grounds into an exfoliating face mask.
There’s a lot to choose from. The book has about 50 recipes that span breakfast, mains, sides, soups, and dessert. And while you might need a sense of adventure to try some of them (like the spare fish croquettes), most look like just about any other recipe you’d cook up. Overall, there are lots of everything-but-the-kitchen-sink recipes that can act as a guide to help people think about food waste differently. These recipes aren’t written in stone: Ingredient swapping is definitely allowed.
The food photography helps here—the high flash and staging evoke Bon Appétit rather than the garbage disposal. It also acts as a low-key opportunity for Ikea product placement. Take that gorgeous two-layer chocolate banana peel cake on page 155: It has froths of cappuccino-colored frosting and a dusting of cocoa powder, all atop a mint-green cake stand and nearby plates—which Ikea also sells.
Whether scraps or not, a lot of the recipes look delicious. And I definitely won’t look at my coffee grounds the same way again.