Following on from our last post, today we have some more tips for you: we’re talking about ways to avoid wasting food by storing it so it stays fresher for longer and by being creative with your leftovers. According to The Guardian, the average household in the UK throws away £730/$900 worth of edible food every year. As they explain, that’s the equivalent of discarding one in every three bags of shopping you buy! Apart from saving us a lot of money, using up all this food would also be good for the environment as greenhouse gases are created when it breaks down in landfill.
Simple ways to avoid wasting food
Storage and organisation
Storing food in a way that keeps it fresher can make a big difference.
People in the UK throw away more than four million potatoes every day, often because they’ve deteriorated while being stored at home. To keep them in optimum condition, keep in a cool, dry, well-ventilated cupboard, covered in newspaper and away from any sources of heat.
Bagged salad can be prevented from turning into a soggy mush if you wash it, pat it dry and store it in an airtight container with some kitchen paper towel.
When you add food to your freezer, keeping a list of what’s there and in which section can help you remember to use things up, and help you find them more quickly.
A forlorn last slice of bread can be blitzed into breadrumbs to use in homemade burgers, as a topping, to add to soups or in place of pine nuts to make pesto. A stale loaf can also be freshened by sprinkling it with water and heating in a cool oven for a few minutes.
Salads and greens
Blanch greens or salad leaves in hot water, squeeze out the excess water and then freeze for adding to curries, casseroles and stir fries. You can also bake them into muffins or even chocolate cake; if you have a family member who isn’t keen, this is a good way to add greens to your menu without them being obvious.
Slice oranges, lemons or limes and freeze them to add to drinks, or squeeze the juice directly into ice cube trays to add to dishes like hummus or salad dressings.
Apart from making banana bread, pancakes or muffins, overripe bananas are perfect for freezing. Peel and slice first, and then use for smoothies or ‘nice cream’. To make the latter, take the banana out of the freezer 10 – 15 minutes before you want to use it, and then blitz in a blender until it resembles smooth ice cream. You can also add chocolate chips or other fruit like blueberries and top with nuts when serving.
Try a ‘BLT’
Vegan chef Max La Manna suggests that, if you have organic bananas, you can eat the skins! To make a ‘BLT’ – banana, lettuce and tomato – sandwich, shred the peel with a fork, marinate in two tablespoons of soy sauce, two teaspoons of brown sugar, a teaspoon of smoked paprika and a pinch of garlic powder for 15 minutes. Fry until crisp, then coat in the marinade before making up the sandwich. We can’t say that we’ve tried this but, if you give it a go, do let us know in the comments how it turns out…
Leftover cooked potatoes can be used in salads, sautéed, turned into potato waffles in a waffle maker, added to casseroles and curries or blitzed into soups
Milk can be frozen in ice-cube trays to add to recipes or used up in making custard, batters and rice puddings.
We hope you find some of these tips useful and enjoy the ‘BLT’ if you try it!
Until next time,
Claire and Sam
Salad image with thanks to Matthias Boeckel; Basket of vegetables image with thanks to Congerdesign, both from Pixabay.