So it seems like food waste and general sustainability are hot topics at the moment-which is fab because it means people are starting to think about their level of consumption and trying to change to a more 'conscious' way of living. Did you know in the UK households waste 6.5 million tonnes of food every year, 4.5 million of it is edible. Not only is binning food a waste of resources but it's a waste of your money too. However it is not all down to us as consumers, food is being wasted before it gets to the shelves and markets and often supermarkets reject food for not meeting the standards. However its not all doom and gloom there are amazing businesses and charities doing their bit to redistribute surplus food.
Food waste has never been a thing in my family. My mum would very rarely waste anything. Some of my favourite meals were leftovers.. 'guess what's in this tupperware out of the freezer... is it a bolog or is it a chilli?' I've always been passionate about using up food and not wasting anything. Because why would you waste something so precious? I also like a challenge-a kinda ready-steady-cook with random food out of my fridge, freezer and cupboards when I'm skint or don't have a lot in. Anyway, I wanted to share with you some easy tips and tricks to keep in mind to help you to reduce the amount of food you are wasting.
-Storing food properly: use air-tight containers when storing chopped items in the fridge and check out where is best to store your veg.
-Try to avoid pre-prepped items as they will generally deteriorate quicker.
-If you're short on fridge space choose more items that will store ok outside the fridge (generally root veggies)
-Sprouting potatoes - as long as their not soft and really green, just remove the few sprouts and use like normal
-Boil up veg scraps & peels with some herb, spices and seasoning to make stock or keep them for anyone you know with chickens OR, if you are crafty save beetroot, avocado and turmeric skins/peels to make dyes
-Oil and season potato, sweet pot and parsnips skins and bake in the oven until crispy and use to top soups, curries and stews
-Peel, chops and boil up soft veggies to blend and make soup or a delicious base for a curry... if you’ve got carrots, potato, squash or sweet potato you can make a banging cheese sauce with some nutritional yeast, mustard, lemon juice, smoked paprika, herbs, salt, pepper, pb milk- blend
-Peel, grate and pickle veggies. All you need is a sterilised jar some vinegar, lemon and some salt. Chutneys are also an age-old way or preserving food!
-Use the broccoli stalks and leek tips- wash well (leeks especially) sauté with a little garlic and lemon and they’re delicious
-Cauliflower leaves can be sautéed with garlic and ginger and taste delicious as an ‘Asian-style’ bok/pak Choi alternative
-Don't throw away the stalks of leafy veg and herbs, just chop them up finely and throw them into your pan or into a chopped make a salad
-Soft tomatoes/ red pepper? Roast them with garlic, onion, chilli, salt, pepper, lemon and balsamic blend to make a delicious pasta sauce ..yum
-Steep leftover lemon in vinegar and make natural household cleaner
-Dry roast squash/pumpkin seeds in the oven with salt, pepper and spices for a garnish or alternatively blend the roasted seeds to make an umami seasoning
-Sundried tomatoes or olives in oil? Make sure you keep the oil to drizzle on salads/bruschetta or pasta
-Save the brine from the jar of jalapeño for adding to chillies, salsas and vegan nacho cheese
-Save chickpea water to make French dressing or mayo
-Only used half an Onion? Chop it up and pop it in a bag/ tub in the freezer
-Bread that’s going off soon- Freeze! Or if it’s already stale make croutons by cutting roughly in cubes and bake in the oven with oil, salt, pepper and some herbs - perfect soup topper
-Save your veggie stock water to water plants (as long as it’s not salted), or re-use to boil rice/grains cuz it’s full of vitamins
-Bought a big block of cheese? Grate and store in a Tupperware in the freezer - I used to do this when I was at uni and it was super handy
-If you’re not going to eat fruit before it going bad- cut up and freeze to make smoothies bags alternatively Bananas can be frozen and then blended into nice cream or made into banana bread , Avocado can be made into choccy moose or frozen to makes nice cream - just add some cacao, maple syrup and a bit of plantbased mylk
-Soft berries - simmer down to make a compote for ice cream or a quick jam, with chia, lemon juice, maple syrup and cinnamon.. yum!
-Apples going soft? Perfect to cook up into a pie, strudel or crumble, baked with cinnamon for a porridge topper or blended down to make an apple puree - which can then be frozen or used for the base of a dessert recipe
-Use your freezer that's what it is there for- don't be afraid of it, you can freezer pretty much anything!
I hope these tips have helped