Healthy Eating…Waste not! Want not!



I came across a recipe this week as I was reading blog posts and it used the juice from the chickpeas to make a lovely sounding mayonnaise…

I also attempted and that is definitely the operative word to make my own baked beans now this wasn’t a wholly successful venture but cooks/ chefs know that on occasions we do indeed have kitchen disasters now and again and even the best of chefs …I have seen a few clips of famous chefs and their little faux pas …Haven’t you???

One of the comments and also something which came up during my research was the bean cooking juice…Of course, that made my ears prick up and I made a few other discoveries…..Some were lurking at the back of my mind and a couple of others which I didn’t know or more to the point hadn’t given much thought to.

I haven’t even kept count of the number of times I have thrown bean juice from a can of chickpeas straight down the sink…Not anymore…


The juice also has the name aquafaba a term coined by a vegan baker Goose Wohlt.

It can also be produced from the liquid from home-cooked dried beans now I  already knew that this liquid could be used as a base for soups, stews and sauces but I wasn’t aware that if it was reduced down by cooking until it thickens then it can be used in the same way as the juice from the tinned chickpeas and is used by vegans or anyone who has an egg allergy as a substitute for egg whites in many recipes.

For example, it can be used in cookies, cakes, icing, creams, even meringues and also mayonnaise…

The liquid can also be frozen for future use I either freeze it in zip lock bags or ice-cube trays.

Just a little word of warning:

If you are using the juice from canned beans please make sure you are using brands which DON’T contain preservatives are organic and grown without using synthetic fertilizers or pesticides also look for low salt or no salt varieties and BPA free cans as the white lining inside the cans is a known endocrine disruptor and can leach from the can lining into the food causing many health problems, including brain development abnormalities, cancers and heart disease.

 I err on the side of caution when using beans and use dried beans unless I am absolutely sure of what they contain and I use google to double-check as more often than not the writing on cans is too small for me to read and if you are in a hurry or your lunch hour are you going to check a can? Glass bottles are good and more manufacturers are using them instead of tins.

Water from boiling vegetables:

My nan always used to give us some vegetable water with a little vinegar in a cup to drink and we thought we were in heaven we loved it. Does anyone else remember that? I also still use the water from cooking my vegetables or potatoes as the liquid for my gravy as although steaming is probably the best way to conserve the vitamins and minerals in your veg, not all vegetables are best steamed and that lovely nourishing water is good for you so use it…If you can’t use it within a day then again juice can be frozen for use another day…

Once again and I so wish I didn’t have to keep saying this…Vegetable growers take note...We don’t want pesticides in our food…Until then peeps only use organic vegetables as we don’t want to be filling ourselves with the residue from fertilizers and the like do we or even better grow your own ..Even if you only have a window box and a few pots grow what you can and it is so rewarding…

Until then peeps only use organic vegetables as we don’t want to be filling ourselves with the residue from fertilizers and the like do we or even better grow your own…Even if you only have a window box and a few pots grow what you can and it is so rewarding…

Potato Water:

Do you make sourdough starters? Did you know you can make them from potato water? Neither did I until a little while ago I knew sourdough was the oldest and most original form of leavened bread. The oldest recorded use of sourdough is from the Ancient Egyptian civilizations. But potato water I suppose that makes sense when you think about it.

Before you start your sourdough or if you haven’t attempted making your own starter before here are a few tips:

  1. Do not use metal pots or spoons with sourdough. Wood or crockery are recommended as best or plastic containers.
  2.  Cover sourdough pot lightly…do not seal or you will get an explosion as the gases build up.
  3. Sourdough reacts best at 68-77 degrees F
  4. If it separates, (water forming on top) stir well and add flour to make a smooth batter again.
  5.  Leave a cup of starter to renew for your next loaf.
  6. Sourdough can be kept in the fridge when not needed. It does take at least a day at room temperature though, to start working again.

Don’t be put off though as it is easier than it looks and practice makes perfect…
Sour Dough Starter:

Boil potatoes with the jackets on until they fall apart.
Lift out the skins and mash the potatoes in the water making a puree, let it cool down.

Add 2 cups of flour and 2 tbsp of sugar to 2 cups of the potato puree. Beat it until it is smooth, cover loosely and put in a warm place to ferment.

Feed your starter DAILY add cup flour, cup water and a pinch of sugar, and cover loosely.

Leave it to work and within 5 days you should see a good lot of bubbles and it should be fermenting nicely and ready for the next step of making your bread…

I will be posting the whole recipe from start to finish within the next few days I am waiting for my starter to be ready…I am also looking forward to some lovely sourdough bread made with potato puree.

It can also be made with potato water which I will try next time…

There is also so much more you can do with this starchy water, add a little of the water with butter and milk for the fluffiest mashed potatoes.  Add it as a stock to thicken soups and sauces.

N.B: if you boil potatoes with their skins on, be sure to wash them thoroughly first.


Anything leftover afterwards can be used to fertilize house and garden plants. If you have chickens then you probably already feed them potato skins and peelings I remember my mum feeding the chickens with the potato peelings and she made a mix with the water and potato skins and maybe other additions like some bran but I was young and don’t remember too much as to all the ingredients in the chicken food.

Pasta Water:

Starch-rich water left after you drain pasta has multiple uses. Pour a little in at the end when your pasta and sauce are cooking together to help bind them to one another and give the sauce a silky texture, in your pizza mix and the Italians use it to make Carbonara.

The correct way to make carbonara just like the Italians is not laden with cream but the sauce is made with egg yolks and the pasta cooking water, it is a lovely silky sauce and even my grandson who loves carbonara always now says you are not putting cream in are you, nan?… He loves it made this way and all you need to do is to be careful that you remove the pan from the heat or else you will get scrambled eggs.

The recipe for Carbonara.


To serve two people

I have seen so many versions of Carbonara and tasted a few as well..some were to die for and some quite frankly I felt like killing the chef!

Put the 3 egg yolks into a bowl, finely grate in 40 gm of Parmesan, season with pepper, then mix well with a fork and put to one side.

Take 150 gm of Pancetta and cut any hard skin off….. put the skin to one side and chop the meat.

Cook the spaghetti in a large pan of boiling salted water until al dente..remove the pan from the heat.

Meanwhile, rub the pancetta skin, if you have any, all over the base of a medium frying pan (this will add fantastic flavour, or use 1 tablespoon of oil., then place over medium-high heat.

Peel a clove of garlic, then crush with the palm of your hand, add it to the pan and leave it to flavour the fat for 1 minute. Stir in the pancetta, then cook for 4 minutes, or until it starts to crisp up…..If you use ham instead of Pancetta then cook very lightly as ham is already cooked so really you are just warming it through.

Pick out and discard the garlic from the pan.

Drain the pasta reserving some of the cooking liquid and add the spaghetti to the pan with the pancetta. Toss well over the heat so it really soaks up all that lovely flavour, then remove the pan from the heat.

Make sure you remove the pan from the heat if the pan is too hot then the eggs WILL scramble.

Add a splash of the cooking water and toss well, season with pepper, then pour in the egg mixture – the pan will help to cook the egg gently, rather than scrambling it. Toss well, adding more cooking water until it’s lovely and glossy.

Serve with a grating of Parmesan, an extra twist of pepper and a little-chopped flat leaf Parsley.



Oil or juice from canned fish:


Your dog or cat will love you even more as long as you check that the fish is low or no salt and only occasionally as some fish as we know can be high in mercury but as a little treat…..Fido or Tiddles will love it and you!

Pickle Juice:


Leftover brine, oil from sun-dried tomatoes all of which are a combination of vinegar, salt, olive oil, sugar and spices — can actually be used for a whole host of dishes or just reuse your pickle brine for your next batch just be aware that if it is jalapenos the next batch will be oh so fiery.  If you would normally use vinegar or lemon juice substitute some pickle juice/ brine, spoon some pickle brine into potato salad or coleslaw. Add some to vinaigrette-style salad dressings (this is where) that oil from the sun-dried tomatoes takes on a life of its own or as a marinade for grilled chicken or fish. Flavour your risotto, marinara sauce, hummus and again that tomato oil in your bread mix or brushed over the top or on some bruschetta so many uses for something I have been so guilty before of just throwing it away.

You can even add pickle juice to your Bloody Mary for added zing now hold that thought…lol

Bloody Mary at Bliss

This was my favourite place in the world for a Bloody Mary…It was also very aptly called Bliss …

I hope you have enjoyed this waste not want not post and try some of the ideas or maybe you have some you can share with me????

Just in case you have missed some of my posts about Healthy Eating I have added some links here for you…

Healthy Eating…Potassium

Healthy Eating …Just Pickled


45 thoughts on “Healthy Eating…Waste not! Want not!

  1. Pingback: How To Add A Sub-Category To Your WordPress Blog Post – Hugh's Views & News  

  2. Pingback: Awesome Post About Not Wasting Cooking Juices! –

  3. Grace

    This is how I make my carbonara… look so yummy and I like the idea of Pickle Juice. Just want to tell everyone that if you can’t grow your own vegetables better to buy the organic one. It has low pollution coming from fertilisers and chemicals and it is gown for your health.
    Doorstep Organics ( )

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. blondieaka Post author

      I know we really don’t know what we throw away and coud use do we Debby. I know I don’t probably know the half but I am learning so much and trying to pass as much on as I can…Thank you for your visit and comment x

      Liked by 1 person

    1. blondieaka Post author

      It certainly is far superior taste than cream but like anything even chilli it’s a hybrid as I call it…lol or westernised either way not authentic 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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  6. Rex Trulove

    In fact, if a person simply feels that they *must* throw away vegetable water (including water they are boiled in), it should be allowed to cool and then should be poured around growing plants. They can use the nutrients, even if a person doesn’t want to.

    As for sour dough, I use a small crock pot specifically to hold my starter.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. quiall

    Great tips! This is my father’s favourite Bean Recipe:

    500g GROUND BEEF




    Liked by 1 person

    1. blondieaka Post author

      Thank you very much, Dr J…I have always used vegetable, pasta and potato water as my mum and nan always did and my children do in their cooking …I wasn’t familiar with the aquafaba though it is just such a shame we have to read every packet and even the tins the food is in.are killing us..I am used to 100% coconut milk living here and had a call from my son tonight actually who is in the Uk at the moment asking could I look and see what ingredients were in my coconut milk..Nothing was my answer ..The one he had was 60% coconut milk and 40% other stuff..He did read it out and was not happy..My point is that manufacturers seem to be intent on making something that maximises profits because most people don’t read labels.He can’t wait to get back here as so much just seems so processed and additive laden at the cost of peoples health…When will someone wake up and realise that the health bill alone would massively reduce if products were not poisoning the population…Oh! Silly me…Their profits/bonuses/ kickbacks/whatever would go down 🙂 Rant over! Thank you for commenting and sorry you got war and

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Doctor Jonathan

        I so understand how one’s emotions can flair when human lives are compromised for profits. Although I consider this concept an atrocity, I consider our population equally liable for their personal decisions to follow the “easier (“cheaper”) path” that ultimately destroys their health.

        We have the concept backward! The masses determine the manufacturers production line. We create the demand and they supply the “stuff.” We claim they are in control of our lives. NOT TRUE. We are in control and CHOOSE to forfeit our control for “cheaper” more “convenient” lifestyle habits. It is our job to wake up and tell them we demand healthy products manufactured through healthful means. They will somehow find ways to create profit regardless. At least this approach doesn’t harm our people in the process!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. blondieaka Post author

        Yes, you are probably correct but they should take some responsibility….I noticed when I was in Australia that special offers were geared towards healthy food and the unhealthy was higher priced…Some need leading I have always been like this I think I must have been born that way …

        Liked by 1 person

  8. marianbeaman

    Funny you should mention this: Sometimes I save water I boil potatoes in for soups, often semi-homemade: Begin with a can of soup + add whatever’s in the frig. Quick fix for busy writers – ha!

    Liked by 1 person

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