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UC to turn food scraps into gifts

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Free online class offers recipes for using food scraps, answers questions about food preservation.

“Putting food in our bellies instead of landfills is good for the planet,” said Sue Mosbacher, University of California Master Food Preserver Program coordinator. In landfills, decaying food releases methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.

“We can reduce food waste and save money by creating new foods from food scraps,” Mosbacher said. “Instead of throwing away a lemon peel after squeezing out the juice, use the lemon zest to make lemon curd or citrus salt. They make wonderful homemade gifts for the holidays.”

UC Cooperative Extension Master Food Preservers, a program of UC Agriculture and Natural Resources, provides ideas for using leftovers and advice for safely preserving food.

On Dec. 1, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., UCCE Master Food Preserver volunteers of Amador and Calaveras counties will host a free online class to show samples of apple honey, citrus salt, strawberry vinaigrette, sugared walnuts and lemon curd. Recipes will be emailed to participants. 

“Many of these gifts are inexpensive to make because you're using food scraps – such as lemon rind or apple peel – and a few other ingredients. You can put the citrus salt in jars you've saved,” Mosbacher said. “It is easy to make and there's no special equipment needed.”

After the “show and tell” session, the UCCE Master Food Preserver volunteers will answer participants' questions about freezing, dehydrating and canning foods and food safety.

Because the class is online, anyone can participate, regardless of their location. Register for the one-hour Zoom workshop at https://mfp.ucanr.edu/Events/?calitem=516566

The UCCE Master Food Preserver Program extends UC research-based information about home food safety and preservation to the public throughout the year. UCCE Master Food Preserver volunteers are located in 19 counties of California, most recently certifying volunteers in Modoc County, where they are offering pressure canner testing.

UCCE Master Food Preserver volunteers host monthly workshops on the first Wednesday of each month, with hosting duties rotating between Sacramento, El Dorado, Amador and Calaveras counties.

Upcomiing workshops

For 2022, the UCCE Master Food Preservers of Sacramento County are planning to offer the following workshops via Zoom:

  • Jan. 19 – Citrus for Super Bowl
  • Feb. 16 – Dehydration for Soups 
  • March 16 – Soups & Roots
  • April 20 – “Night of Fermenting” Cheese/Yogurt/Sauerkraut 
  • May 18 – Jams & Jellies
  • June 15 – “Ready for BBQ Season” Condiments & Beverages
  • July 20 - Red, White & Blue
  • Aug. 17 – “Tomato Mania” Salsas, Sauces & Peppers
  • Sept. 21 – Sausages & Mustards
  • Oct. 19 – “Apples, Pears & Persimmons Oh My”
  • Nov. 16 – Sides Dishes for your Holiday Dinner
  • Dec. 21 – Quick Gifts

To sign up for any of the workshops above, visit https://sacmfp.ucanr.edu

To find other upcoming UCCE Master Food Preserver Program events, visit https://mfp.ucanr.edu/Events. To find a program in your county, visit https://mfp.ucanr.edu/Contact/Find_a_Program.

Resources for preserving food and more information about the UCCE Master Food Preserver Program are available at https://mfp.ucanr.edu.

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