What to do with your Thanksgiving Leftovers (Vegetarian Edition)
Too many mashed potatoes left after Thanksgiving? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Vegetarian or vegan or just don’t like turkey? We’re here to help you out. Here are some recipes to stop you from wondering not only what to do with that cranberry sauce you have left in fridge, but also with the rest of your Thanksgiving leftovers!
Mashed potatoes are definitely not boring when used in this Leftover Mashed Potato Cakes w/ Raspberry Ginger Mustard Chutney recipe by An Edible Mosaic. You can also make doughnuts with this recipe from Dinner with Julie and rolls by Spicy Southern Kitchen. If you’re feeling something a little less cake-y, why not try this mashed potato and mushroom quesadilla from Cooktoria? Mashed potatoes are truly the side dish that keeps on giving.
Warm it up to use as a sauce for desserts, like ice cream and cake, spread it on toast, add it to cocktails, or use it to flavor yogurt. Just add as little or as much sauce as you want for a fall yogurt treat! You can also add it to labneh for a delicious dip.
Veggie Broth by the Minimalist Baker (VG) - Use up your veggie leftovers and scraps with easy 1-pot vegetable broth recipe. It makes the perfect base for all sorts of dishes, like soups, stuffings, and even pot pies!
Did you know 1.3 billion pounds of pumpkins are thrown away after Halloween every year? And when these pumpkins waste away in the landfill, they generate greenhouse gas emissions. Instead of adding to the pumpkin waste, why not upcycle your pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns? If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve got you covered.
Note that a carved pumpkin that’s been left out for over 24 hours could be unsafe to eat. Carved jack-o-lanterns should be properly composted. If you have some uncarved pumpkins lying around after Halloween, here are some great ways to make sure those delicious pumpkin pieces don’t go to waste:
Make pumpkin puree!
It’s easy to do - just bake, boil, or steam your pumpkin pieces and throw in a food processor. Here’s a recipe for roasted pumpkin puree from A Sweet Pea Chef!
You can freeze it for the future or use them in muffins, soups, breads, and if you’re not feeling almond or peanut butter, pumpkin butter. You can even use it in a homemade pumpkin spice latte. Or why not use it in pumpkin face mask to make that skin glow? Pumpkins are full of vitamin A and C and other nutrients that are great for brightening skin!
What do you do with jack-o-lanterns after halloween?
But what about the jack-o-lanterns looking a little worse for wear once the spooky festivities are over? We have tips for those too. Try these tricks instead of throwing your pumpkin in the trash:
Compost it! Pumpkins make great fertilizer. You can compost them on your own by finding a spot for your pumpkin in your garden (sunny spots speed up the composting process), smashing it, covering it with leaves, and letting nature take care of the rest. If you don’t have a garden or backyard, drop your old pumpkins off at your nearest compost collection site.
Make a pumpkin planter! This is a fun, festive fall decoration that lets you enjoy your pumpkins a little longer.
Donate your pumpkins to a local farmer or zoo so animals can enjoy this tasty treat! You can even make your own pumpkin bird feeder if you’re feeling creative.
With a little creativity, there’s nothing tricky about keeping your pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns out of trash.
It’s impossible to walk into any supermarket and not find something pumpkin-flavored once fall hits. The familiar, round, orange squash is hard to avoid, but did you know that pumpkins come in tons of varieties, colors, shapes and sizes?! The heaviest pumpkin in the world weighs 2,624 pounds…Holy Pumpkin!
We’re giving you pumpkin to talk about at your Halloween party this year. Here are 5 facts about your favorite fall squash.
Jack-o-lanterns used to be carved from beets,
turnips and potatoes. The Irish used them to scare off evil spirits, and when they immigrated to the United States and brought along the jack-o-lantern tradition, they found out pumpkins were much easier to carve.
You can eat every part of the pumpkin.
That means not only the pulp and seeds, but also the leaves, skin, flowers, and even the stem! So next time you’re looking for a pumpkin recipe, don’t stop at pumpkin pie. How about some Stir Fried Pumpkin Stems instead?
Pumpkins have been around for 5,000 years.
That’s way longer than any pumpkin spice latte craze.
Pumpkins are 90% water
They’re low in calories, fat, and sodium, and have more fiber than kale. They’re also good sources of potassium, protein, iron, Vitamin A, and Vitamin B.
Pumpkins are grown in every continent
but Antarctica. Pumpkins are native to the Western Hemisphere but are grown all over! Illinois grows more pumpkins than any other state in the U.S.
Happy National Coloring Day!Let your Creative JUICES Flow today!
Ugly Juice is all about individual creativity, interesting color and flavors and doing things different. We also need some new art for the walls of our new office. So we’re enlisting our awesome community’s help! Scroll down to the bottom of the blog for 2 downloadable coloring sheets inspired by Ugly Juice and let those creative juices flow! Don’t forget to tag us on Instagram so we can feature your masterpieces!
But First, a Little Throwback…
We’re throwing it back to our tie dye party that we held at Sports Basement in San Francisco. This event was a colorful, educational and fun way to get artsy with the Ugly Juice crew and our juice drinking community. Food was provided by Regrained and Marlo’s Bakeshop, both local San Francisco companies. We had fun catching up with Angie from @Pharmdfoodie among the other rad juice drinkers who came by.
Why tie dye?
Tie Dye has naturally become part of the Ugly Juice brand identity. What started out as a fun way to add color to Ugly Juice t-shirts quickly manifested itself into the company. If Ugly Juice were a car, it would be a Westfalia and the people who surround the brand are individuals who care about the uniqueness of the brand and themselves. During a team meeting we came up with this description of the company…
If Ugly Juice were a car, it would be a 1969 VW Westfalia (with a more sustainable fuel choice). An encapsulation of free spirits, alternative lifestyles and adventure, the Westfalia goes against the status quo. At the same time it exudes friendliness and is an image of home. There is something comforting about a Westfalia van. It is a reliable, relatable friend that carries real people, adventurous people from one beautiful place to another. It doesn’t try to be something it’s not, because it doesn’t have to be. It is uniquely itself and gets noticed because of that. Everyone recognizes it, yet each van is unique. It’s quirky, a little weird and makes people chuckle.
Here’s a look at our tie dye party (keep scrolling for coloring pages!)
And now some tie-dye inspiration
24 hours after the tie dye party, we started seeing everyone’s designs. They turned out awesome and reminded our Ugly Juice team of the amazing, waste-fighting and supportive community Ugly Juice has built. Like Ugly Juices, each shirt is beautifully unique and has its own personality! Thanks to everyone who helped make the tie dye party great. Which design is your favorite?
Ugly Juice Coloring Pages!
Let your creative juices flow with these two Ugly Juice coloring pages! Download ‘em, print ‘em and fill ‘em in! The Ugly Juice office needs new art on the wall…tag us in your creations and it might just be featured on our wall! Instagram: @drinkuglyjuice
Earlier this summer, we worked with Gal Collective and some awesome local San Francisco brands for an afternoon of yoga, mindfulness and essential oils. It's easy to get caught up in the busy world of city-living, but events like this remind us to take a moment to find little things that reconnect us with nature, ourselves and our peers. Whether it's ordering a bouquet of sustainably-sourced flowers, drinking a waste-fighting juice, making tea, or popping into your favorite fitness class, take time for YOU!
We love catering events of all sizes and occassions! If you're interested in having Ugly Juice at your wedding, office holiday party, happy hour, wellness event, etc. fill out this form.
This vegan smoothie bowl not only tastes great, but it is also a fantastic way to start the day. With a large amount of fruit and the tang of half of a lime, the Strawberry Smash smoothie bowl blends all of the best parts of a sweet and sour collection of produce. With a splash of almond milk, the bowl is taken to a whole other level of creaminess that helps to make this a full meal. At Ugly Juice, we like to get creative with our bowls, this means that you could add a handful of granola, nuts or various seeds to make your bowl that much better.
1 green apple
1 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 cup almond milk (or milk of choice)
1 Strawberry Smash Juice (or replace with another fruity Ugly Juice)
1/2 Lime, juiced
10 mint leaves
Toss everything in a blender and blend until smooth! Top with your favorite granola, nuts, seeds or fruit!
Want to try Ugly Juice? We've got lots of ordering options! From office delivery to event catering and individual pick-ups, we've got you covered :)
Ugly Juice hit the Heart of the City Farmers Market this to celebrate National Farmer’s Market Week and get to know some of the awesome growers in our state.
The San Francisco farmers market brings together a cavalcade of interesting people who all have different methods on how they deal with food waste. We interviewed three farmers, all from different parts of California, on what they did with their excess produce and how others can do their part to fight waste. Here are their stories.
The first stand that we visited, De Santis Farm, was owned by a very sweet couple Matteo and Rosa De Santis, who have been in the farming industry for over 40 years. After moving to the United States from Italy, they married and managed a local grocery store before purchasing a 20-acre plot of land in Fresno, CA which reminds Rosa of her homeland in Italy. After talking with them, we asked what “What do you do with old produce?” Rosa responded by saying “We try to get creative with our excess food since more often than not, we have more food than we know what to do with. We will either make fertilizer or we will feed the animals. It all depends on the day and the weather!” We then asked them “what does zero waste mean to you?” The couple quickly said,
“Try not to waste anything… there is always a use for everything.”
The second stand that we visited is family owned farm, Yerena Farms. The farm originally started growing strawberries for Driscoll for 12 years and began to grow conventionally in 1982, due to market demand. Now they have 6 full time employees and travel from farmer’s market to farmer’s market, selling 100% organic produce. When asked what they did with their food waste, the son was quick to respond by saying
“We make wine out of blackberries, we make juice and we make ice-cream. The issue is, we will have months where there is so much food, that it’s hard not to waste it. But we do our best to use all of the harvested produce.”
The third and final stand we visited was Rainbow Orchards which is a third generation family farm. Based out of Camino, California, Rainbow Orchards has been growing fruit for 40 years and claims to have the best apples, pears, peaches and blueberries. We tried their blueberries and attest that they are quite amazing! When asked what her family farm does with excess produce, she responded by saying, “ We make jams, we make amazing apple cider, and they also have a compost pit.” She then continued,
“Since we are a third generation family farm, we have it down to a science. We rarely have excess food waste since we know how much to grow, what time of the year to grow and how much needs to be harvested.”
The San Francisco Farmers market was an eye opening experience to say the least. All of these farms have very creative ways in which they deal with excess produce and making the best tasting. If they all had one thing in common, it’s that they don’t let anything go to waste. We should all follow in these farms footsteps and live by the motto that everything should be used for something!
We couldn't let #NationalMojitoDay pass by without creating an unconventionally delicious Ugly Juice Mojito recipe!
These refreshing mojitos are the perfect addition to any event...impress your guests at your next BBQ, office happy hour or summer party with these waste-fighting drinks (each bottle of juice saves ~2lbs of cosmetically disadvantaged produce from going to waste)!
Drink Yo Broccoli Mojito Recipe
The refreshingly tropical ingredients in Drink Yo Broccoli (apple, cucumber, pineapple, broccoli, kale, celery, turmeric, lime) play beautifully with rosemary and mint in this summer cocktail.
4 oz "Drink Yo Broccoli"
1 oz White Rum
6 mint leaves + more for garnish
Juice from 1/2 lime
Rosemary for garnish
Muddle lime juice and mint leaves in a glass.
Add ice to the glass (fill halfway).
Add juice and rum.
Top off with soda water, stir and garnish.
Grab your cocktail, grab a good book and enjoy in the sun!
This past spring, Tule joined the Ugly Juice team as an intern in charge of sourcing new produce and working with farmers and distributors to identify and remedy inefficiencies in the produce industry. This is her reflection. We miss you Tule!!
Diary of an Ugly Juice Intern: Tule
Before learning what Ugly Juice was, I’d always been someone who cared a lot about health and nutrition, and even more about the intersection of food systems with environmental issues. With a single-use culture and obsession with aesthetic perfection, it’s not hard to see that we’re a country of wasters. But I already knew that. What I didn’t know was why.
During my 9 week internship, I cold-called produce wholesalers and farmers in Northern California and slowly but surely learned the ins, outs, and insidiously simple yet dangerous shortcomings of the world of produce.
Here are my 5 greatest findings and surprises encountered during my internship.
1. So Much Goes to Waste
To many this may be a well known fact, and I did come into this internship already knowing the numbers: 20 billion pounds of fresh, perfectly edible produce (almost 50% of all produce grown in the US) goes to waste each year, costing the economy $218 billion, filling up 21% of the country’s landfill space, and wasting about 20% of the nation’s fresh water supply. Yet only after picking up the phone and talking with farmers and wholesalers did I really grasp the magnitude, and really the sadness, of this issue.
The produce industry is in many ways outdated in its systems of operation, leading to inefficiencies that generate a tremendous amount of waste. Without fail, every farmer or distributor I spoke with had their own food waste story. If you imagine all of the farmhouses and wholesale warehouses across the state, right now many of them have entire palettes of delicious produce sitting around, soon to be thrown out. Thinking about the numbers through this lense has definitely inspired a new sense of urgency within me, and I encourage you too to imagine the water, land, labor, and delicious produce behind the statistics.
2. Food Waste isn’t what you’re picturing.
What are you imagining right now when I talk about food waste? Moldy oranges? Wilted lettuce? The discussion around food waste often conjures up images of expired produce, yet in reality that assumption is far from the truth.
The “ugly” produce that Ugly Juice sources is never old, moldy, or compromised in quality in any other way, and truth be told, it’s often not even “ugly”. There are so many inefficiencies and challenges in the produce sourcing chain, and so while some of the produce we source has definitely been rejected for surface imperfections such as deformed shape or minor blemishes, much of our produce is simply the result of limitations inherent to the system.
Farmers and distributors alike struggle with fluctuating harvests, order cancellations, and minimum quantities, and so when such a variable industry is tasked with squeezing into the very defined expectations of quota oriented and recipe-centric restaurants and grocery stores, lots of produce falls by the wayside. And that is where we come in. We work some with farmers, but mostly with the middle men who purchase from farmers and sell to restaurants and grocery stores. We take all the produce that inevitably falls into the holes of the system; sometimes our produce even arrives at our kitchen pre-packaged, and pre-cut, from a produce distributor, exactly like what you would find at your grocery store.
3. The Problem is bad for everyone, and solutions are widely welcome
When you look at most large-scale challenges facing society today, someone or some people almost always stand to gain. Yet the wildly upsetting but equally advantageous aspect of the food waste crisis is that it is simply bad for everyone. Farmers expend the same amount of water, labor, and resources regardless of how much of their harvest they ultimately sell. Similarly, distributors don’t get their money back for the produce they can’t sell to the grocery stores, and grocery stores lose on the fruits and veggies that go bad sitting at the bottom of the pile. And, of course, our planet pays the ultimate price as we work the land almost twice as much as we need. Yet this very predicament is what makes food-waste solutions so welcome. Everyone that I called, representing all steps of the produce sourcing process, always received my calls with excitement and their own assurance that such a service was desperately needed to both save and offer profit for their otherwise wasted produce. I had the easiest sales pitch in the world as we were essentially offering returns to an entire class of produce rendered valueless by our backwards food culture. At the end of the day, fighting food waste is not only the moral but also the economical and logical path forward.
4. Complacency is easy, and might just be our biggest challenge.
Despite the obvious advantages of such a relationship and the initial excitement I almost always hear on the other end of the phone, many of these conversations failed to amount to anything. Ultimately, I found that despite the many positives and minimal drawbacks, many farmers and distributors weren’t willing to follow through, letting me know that while it seemed like a great opportunity, they didn’t want to deal with adding anything to their system.
Food waste is a challenge wrought with complacency and status-quo bias. Solutions abound but the willingness to take that first step is lacking, regardless how great the ultimate payoff. Distributors who were initially hesitant but ultimately joined our program transitioned seamlessly and quickly adopted a produce-saving mindset. They grew to recognize the lost revenue of each tossed item and reached out consistently to turn profit on the produce that just weeks prior had been without a second thought. Our food system is stuck in default, and so my conversations with the individuals across the industry make me wonder, how can we change the default option so that bringing value to all that neglected produce is not only profitable but also the path of least resistance?
5. Here’s How You Can Help
Vote with your wallet and purchase ugly and leftover produce, both in the brands you support and by picking the ugly produce off the shelf. Support food systems with a more efficient and sustainable chain of operations, such as farmers markets and grocery stores/distributors that donate all they can’t sell. Eat seasonally and recognize that we need to adapt to a consumer model in which the farmers and their harvests come first, and then we adapt, not the other way around. Read more about waste fighting tips here!
After 9 short weeks, I’m leaving this experience with both an appreciation for the opportunity but also a strong hope for the future of food. Companies like Ugly Juice are taking a critical look at the state of our food systems, and so long as we do too, and continue to support those who are working towards a more sustainable future, the possibilities of getting there are endless.
...hint: MLB player, Mark Melancon holds a whole lot of juice. In fact, he drinks so much juice that he opted to make a video with us. Check out his motivational speech to a whole lot of unique players.
We've loved working with Mark and his family over the past couple of months and are so excited to see Mark back on the field! And he's killing it!
MLB Pitcher Mark Melancon is a Fruit Whisperer - YouTube
Thanks for taking us out to the ballgame!
We had an awesome time at the game for our UJ team outing :) We even brought orange juice to celebrate!
We've got a misfit bunch here. As individuals, you've been ridiculed and rejected because you simply look funny.
You're a little too small
You're a little bent out of shape
You. You're a little too round
I know you're beautiful on the inside. If you're a little bruised or not necessarily in high demand. I know we can come together and do something really amazing.
Now get out there. Give it everything you've got. Impress me. Impress yourselves. Press every last drop.
[Juice delivered by Pros]
Shot & Directed by Joshua Kates
Behind The Scenes
Thanks so much to Josh, one of our awesome couriers and Ugly Juice filmmaker extraordinaire! Check out our YouTube channel for some of our other videos (hint: Mark joined our bike courier team and let's just say things didn't go quite as planned...).