I have had a rummage around on the internet to find the best tips to avoid throwing away food. There is some general advise and some which I specifically looked up because they combat things which often escape being eaten. So whether it is a problem with hiders at the back of the fridge, or fluffy pesto I have the answers…… well some of them.
1. Walk or cycle to the supermarket – you are less likely to over shop if you know you are going to have to carry it all home.
2. Invest in a magnetic whiteboard for your fridge. Then you can write on the items which need using up first, or what to buy to go with what you already have.
3. Use over ripe bananas to make muffins or banana bread. If you don’t have time immediately peel and freeze them until you have a moment.
4. Don’t leave the fridge door open for unnecessary amounts of time or put food in the fridge which is not completely cold. Both these things compromise the efficiency of your fridge.
5. Best before, sell by and use by dates are not rules. Often food is perfectly fine after them, just use your eyes and nose.
6. Don’t shop when you are hungry. The amount of times I have gone shopping a little bit ravenous and come back with an overly plentiful and very strange assortment of food.
7. To use up any stale bread or just crusts: toast them, put them in a food processor or use a hand blender to make bread crumbs and then freeze until needed. Or chop them into cubes and freeze for croutons.
8. Make sure you are well stocked up on herbs and spices. This will mean that when you have left-overs to re-invent this will allow you to be more creative and come up with concoctions worth remembering.
9. Old lemons and limes can be used for de-greasing dirty dishes.
10. If you have zested a lemon/lime/orange – it won’t keep as long. So juice and freeze in an ice-cube tray until needed. Or just cut into slices, take out the pips and freeze – ready to ice and slice your G&T in one fine sweep!
11. Coconut milk is something that goes off quickly if you don’t use the whole tin – so freeze it in a Tupperware most suited to your portions.
12. Use chicken carcasses for making stock. Strip off most of the leftover meat and put aside for salads, sandwiches or adding to the stock later to make soup. Then cover the carcass in water, season, add herbs, onion, garlic and maybe celery. Boil and then turn to a low heat for three hours or more. The longer the more intense the flavour. Once cooled this can be frozen until needed.
13. Keep sliced bread in the freezer and only take out what you need.
14. Green leafy vegetables and whole lettuces keep a lot longer if treated like cut flowers. Cut a slice off the base of the stalk and place in a bowl of water / jug.
15. Pesto is always going off in my fridge, with fuzzy intruders lurking under the lid and round the edges of the jar. To avoid this, clean the excess pesto from around the lid and the neck of the jar. Then if the pesto looks a little dry, cover it in a bit of olive oil to preserve it. To just use it up a quicker, remember that it is always great in sauces, for a bit of extra basily-ness add to sauces, soups or even a tomato based stew or casserole.
16. Eat the stem of your broccoli as well as the florets! It is really tasty – just peel off any thick skin on the outside, slice. It works really well as a crunchy addition to a stir fry.
17. It might help to write down food which usually gets wasted in your house, and then buy less of it or replace it with something that is less likely to end up thrown away.
18. I always find that fresh herbs go off too quickly. A handy way of preserving them is to chop them up and put them in ice-cube trays or freezer bags with a tiny bit of water and then yes put them in the freezer.
19. Organise your fridge so there is a shelf dedicated to food that needs to be eaten asap.
20. Use all of the pineapple. Keep and boil up the peel and the core to create either a digestive tea or chilled juice, but remember to wash the pineapple before you peel it.
Thanks for reading! If you have any tips of your own, comments would be greatly valued.