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From last-minute present buying to never-ending Christmas parties, there’s no denying that December is a hectic month. The festive period is also to blame for a staggering amount of food waste each year. So, if you only make one resolution for January (and throughout 2020!), commit to wasting less food. We spoke to food blogger Fiona Connor about her top tips for reducing food waste at home.
Love your freezer
If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers from dinner, package them up into the freezer and save them for packed lunches – you’ll be grateful in the future. As well as freezing cooked meals, use your freezer for odds and ends too. Try mixing chopped herbs with olive oil, then pour into an empty ice cube tray and freeze. You’ll have herby oil cubes ready to cook with straight from the freezer – simply pop them into a sauce or soup when simmering.
Instead of binning your vegetable scraps, peelings and meat bones, use them to make homemade stock. It tastes amazing and freezes well too. You can use the stock to make flavour-packed soups, stews, curries… the list goes on and on.
Store it right
A well organised fridge with plenty of resealable containers is key to keeping your food fresher for longer. Check out this handy guide from Love Food Hate Waste for info on storing food properly.
Time to revive
Try using leftover ingredients from one meal to the next. Leftover roast veggies from a Sunday roast? Turn them into a breakfast hash – just top with a fried egg and a dash of hot sauce for an Instagram-worthy brunch dish. Or coat your potato peel in garlicky butter for this Potato Peel with Storecupboard dip recipe. The recipe below takes just 35 mins and makes us left over veg.
Plan the week
The easiest way to avoid food waste is to only buy what you need, then use it efficiently. Write a shopping list and stick to it, then create a rough meal plan for the week with dishes that use up the ingredients you have at home. Next, congratulate yourself on being so organised, of course.
Stock up on canned foods like tomatoes and pulses, along with dried foods like pasta and rice. That way, you’re only a couple of extra ingredients away from a speedy midweek meal. One-pot meals like curries and stews can often be made with ingredients you have in your cupboard and freezer, so that’s dinner sorted on busy days!