Monday, 11 January 2016

Frugal Food Hacks | Use it up!

It was estimated that UK households would be responsible for 7 Million tonnes of food waste last year, I'm sure we're all guilty of it, and I have to say for us it's usually fruit and veg.

For more information on food waste, see here, for information on what you can do and for useful tips and tricks see below.

There are so many good reasons not to waste food, one of them is that it's a total waste of money!

There are a few food items that at one point I wouldn't of had a use for but now I find they are sometimes the best bit and here they are:
  • Celery leaves - these are fantastic used in soups and stews and also to flavour stocks
  • Broccoli stalks - I used to chuck these, now I have found they are amazing cut into little matchstick size pieces and used in coleslaw and salads. They are also delicious chopped in soups and stews, and I also feed them to my Guinea Pigs - if they're lucky! 
    Image from Pinterest

  • Parmesan rinds - One of my chef friends told me this little trick and I love it, these can be tossed into soups and stocks or made into a stock. I used my last one in a courgette soup and it was delicious, the rinds can also be frozen until such time as you are ready to use it, then just use straight from the freezer.
Sometimes I find things get chucked because I don't have enough to make anything substantial with it, don't bin it, get creative, here are some ideas of what to do with 1:
  • Potato, courgette, sweet potato - Can be grated and added to soups, stews and stir frys. Also nice in omelettes or made into fritters.
  • Carrot - Great in salads, added to soups and stews
  • egg - Boiled and added to salad, or added to a white sauce for moussaka etc, used to egg wash pastry.
  • small piece of cheese - added to pasta, salad, sandwiches chuck i in anything really or top mash potato/cottage pies, etc.
  • small amount of corn, chickpeas, mixed beans, etc - Add to pasta or salads, make hummus or other bean purees. Add to soups and stews, or blitz with breadcrumbs or mash potato and make burgers/patties.
Meat leftover from roast dinners also is a common thing to be thrown away, here is some ideas for using it up in a creative and delicious way:
  • Chicken - Can be sliced or shredded and used in cold salads, I particularly like doing a pasta salad for our lunched the next day, although I do love a roast chicken sandwich! Not only does this ingredient work well in cold foods, you can add it as a pizza topping and add to soups, stews and hearty meals such as a chicken, pesto and butternut squash lasagne.
  • Beef - You absolutely cant beat a beef sandwich the next day, I like horseradish with mine.
  • Pork - I love shredded pork or gammon, whatever I have basically put into coleslaw, in sandwiches and salads
  • Leftover bones - These will make the best fresh stock which is a cut above your bog standard stock cube and so so worth the effort.

As fruit is a common item that is wasted, here as a couple of ideas on what to do with fruit nearing or just past its best:
  •  Old bananas - Can be used in banana loaf and banana milk, I find they are sweeter the older they get. 

  • Soft fruit such as berries and apricots, and apples - Can be simmered with a little sugar and seasoning such as cinnamon and ginger. This will make a nice compote which is lovely with Greek yogurt.
Cant find a use for your left over bits and bobs, you don't necessarily have to use it up straight away, you can always give freezing it a go, see here for some ideas on foods that will freeze well. 

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