Nobody likes waste, in particular FOOD WASTE! So to help, here are my 10 top tips on how to reduce kitchen waste and use up leftover food that would may usually end up in the bin..
- 1) Leftover Bananas: Instead of binning ‘over-ripe’ bananas put them to good use: You can mash them into a pancake batter or make a simple pancake mix from 1 mashed banana and 2 eggs. You can also peel, chop and freeze over-ripe bananas to add to smoothies, or to make banana nice-cream with; simply blend chunks of frozen banana in a food processor and hey-presto healthy ‘nice-cream’ is created! And for a healthy snack you could even bake over-ripe bananas into banana bread!
- 2) Leftover Yoghurt: Large tubs of yoghurt are more cost-effective to buy but most have to be eaten within 3 days. If there’s any yoghurt left after 3 days you can freeze it in ice-cube trays and add it to your morning smoothie or blend it for a healthy fro-yo with fresh or frozen fruit. A top tip is to buy natural or plain yoghurt and flavour it yourself with honey or fruit.
- 3) Leftover Berries: You can make smoothie bags from leftover fruit such as berries; add a selection of different berries to a small freezer-safe food bag and freeze. When you fancy a smoothie simply add the frozen berries to a blender with some optional banana, yoghurt and milk for a creamy, vitamin packed drink.
- 4) Leftover Red Wine: Instead of letting good wine go to waste pour into ice-cube trays and freeze it. You can then pop out a cube or two and add it to your cooking pan when a recipe calls for it; add them to stews, chills or bolognese for flavour depth.
- 5) Leftover Vegetables: Leftover vegetables can be kept in the fridge or freezer to be heated up for lunch or dinner the next day or, they can be stir-fried with some seasoning, onion and some chicken or meat alternative pieces (which are often easier to digest) for a delicious high protein meal. I am a huge fan of bubble and squeak.
- 6) Leftover Dinner: Once you’ve filled your plate with dinner, pop any extras in a plastic container, tiffin tin or bento box for lunch the next day. Allow the food to cool before popping it in the fridge and make sure it’s fully re-heated the next day before tucking in! Cooked food can usually be kept in the fridge for 2-3 days so make sure to label it with what date it needs to be eaten by or freeze it for an even longer shelf-life.
- 7) Leftover Avocado: If you’re anything like me then you’ll love smashed avocado on toast.. but what happens when avocado gets too ripe? My top tip is to blend it with some cocoa, honey and (optional) extra light cream cheese or banana to turn it into a chocolatey dessert. My avocado mousse is a big hit!!
- 8) Leftover Vegetable Cooking Water: Did you know that whenever you boil vegetables some of the nutrients leach out into the water? This water is a great addition to your gravy and can even be added to soups as a low-salt alternative to stock.
- 9) Leftover Honey: If your honey has solidified put it to good use by turning it into dark chocolate bark! To make dark chocolate bark, all you need to do is heat equal amounts of honey, coconut oil and cocoa (by weight measure) in a pan, pour it onto a baking tray lined with grease proof paper and freeze it! It really is that simple. For an added twist and extra fibre you can also add a selection of dried fruit pieces along with chopped nuts before freezing.
- 10) Leftover Eggs: If your eggs are breaching their best-before date then boil them immediately. Hard boiled eggs make the perfect high protein snack between meals. Keep them in their shells so that they can be easily transported in a food-bag and enjoy them with cherry tomatoes or cucumber sticks. If you fancy some cooking, then why not add them to a frittata for a healthy breakfast to go?
I really hope these tips help you to reduce your food waste. Remember though, prevention is key; try to plan your meals for the week and only buy in the food that you need!