Our #tipsofxmas countdown to help cut food waste!
Merry Christmas from the FoodCycle team! It’s a time packed full of delicious foods and indulgence – but unfortunately it’s also a time of huge food waste. Every year we throw away 5 million Christmas puddings, 2 million turkeys, and 74 million mince pies, not to mention huge amounts of vegetables, fruit and snacks. We’ve put together a few tips that will hopefully help people to waste less this year – we’ll be tweeting one a day until the 5th January!
9 Countdown Christmas Tips
Never shop on an empty stomach. You’ll impulse buy all sorts of things that might look/smell delicious but are you really going to get through all that…?
Store your food properly – ideally in unopened packaging. If not in the correct material: cheese in wax paper, mushrooms in brown paper and garlic in a breathable package at room temperature.
Store fruit and veg separately – they spoil each other! You should also store your potatoes and onions in different places – the gases from onions can encourage potatoes to begin sprouting earlier than otherwise.
Bundles of fresh herbs (parsley, basil, dill, coriander) should be kept in the fridge with their stems in a glass of clean water. You can pop ziplock bag on top and this will keep them looking healthy and tasting fresh for over a week.
Only want half an avocado but find cling film a bit annoying? Put the avocado in an airtight container on top of some chopped red onion. The onion releases sulphur (the same stuff that makes you cry!) and will prevent the avocado from oxidizing.
Try out root to fruit cooking this xmas! Broccoli stems, cauliflower leaves, etc all edible & tasty. Here’s a tasty cauliflower leaf soup recipe from Love Food Hate Waste: http://england.lovefoodhatewaste.com/node/4440
To find out if your eggs are really rotten:
Sinks = fresh
Sinks but with tip facing down = eat soon
Floats = don’t eat it!
It can be tricky to estimate portions of some foods. Try out this portion planner from Love Food Hate Waste and see if it helps! Portion Planner: http://england.lovefoodhatewaste.com/portions/everyday
Got half a lemon or lime leftover? Just slice them thinly, put in a tupperware and freeze. You can add extra more on top of this by putting greaseproof paper between each layer. You can then simply take them out for a Christmas eve gin & tonic or perhaps even a wholesome lemon tea! Alternatively you could make candied lemon – it tastes great and uses up the peel! Find out how: http://goo.gl/grRyzZ
12 Tips of Christmas
When making your Christmas lunch, it’s likely you will generate a serious quantity of potato peelings, vegetable ends and herb stalks that you don’t want on your plate… But don’t chuck them away! Use them to start off a ‘broth bag’ – a freezer bag full of stuff to make vegetable stock. You can put carrot and parsnip tops, mushroom and broccoli stalks, herd stems, potato peelings, the outer layer of onions, and even garlic skins.
Two words: Christmas. Sandwich.
By now, all the meat might well have gone from the turkey, but be sure to make use of the bones. Rather than throw away, use them to make a delicious stock or soup. Pop it in a large pan, add in any leftover vegetables you don’t fancy, cover with water, and simmer away for some tasty stock.
Lots of cheese leftover from that Christmas cheeseboard?. Try making a mixed cheese pasta bake, using all and any cheeses you can find!
You can dry fruit at 60 degrees in an oven if it’s really past its best. Timings vary so make sure you check towards the end of the cooking time, but you’re looking at about 6 hours for apples, pears, peaches, peaches and bananas and 9 hours for oranges and grapes.
Make a ‘one pot wonder’ –put any sad vegetables in a pot, add tinned tomatoes or stock, and put in a sealed oven-safe pot for 60-90 minutes at 180 degrees. If you fancy adding meat, make sure you brown it first. For veggies, add cooked chickpeas or beans, or a handful of lentils.
Leftover Christmas wine? Use it for a New Years Eve tipple! Sangria & plenty more ideas at http://www.cellarbrations.com.au/blog/posts/2014/wine-based-cocktails-to-use-up-leftovers/
Insubstantial chunks or rinds of cheese can be chucked in a soup, giving you a stronger flavour. It might even help tackle that New Years day hangover…?
Turn your bananas into bread or cake. Never underestimate how good brown – or even black – bananas will taste when baked into a dense and rich banana bread!
If food items are prone to getting lost in your cupboard, make an inventory so you know what you have to eat and when it needs using by – this can help you to waste less and save money!
Leftover wine in open bottles from Christmas and New Years? Don’t throw it away! Freeze it in an ice cube tray and it’ll be the perfect amount for risottos, stews or a red wine gravy.
Dry out stale biscuits in the oven to crisp them up. Alternatively, turn them into a refrigerator cake (this might also be a chance to use up all that dried fruit!)