This Little Things post by Sarah Wilson, of I Quit Sugar fame is one of my all time favourites and has arrived at the perfect time. Christmas is almost here and with so many crazy things happening in this corner of the world, it is so nice to have an elegant way to help the world, feel useful and refocus on the simple things.
Powerlessness, uselessness and all the other -lessnesses can lead to dark and winding roads, whereas, focusing on ways to live simply, so that we have the time and resources to help others can often make us feel better too. Meanwhile reducing our impact on the environment can impact millions of people in a positive way, because we all feel the brunt of environmental events.
All I ask is that you do it for the joy of it, not for the guilt of it. The rest I’ll leave in Sarah’s beautiful hands…
Sarah Wilson’s top tips to reduce food waste
What are your favourite ways to use leftovers?
I’m a fan of using up leftovers. I turn it into a sport, as anyone who’s a regular reader of my blog would know. My favourite way to use leftovers – get nerdy with ice cube trays. Ice cube trays are handy little freezer gadgets. They’re great for the obvious, but also really helpful for storing leftovers.
Tip #1: I suggest you use silicone ice cube trays. They make it easier to remove things when frozen.
Tip #2: Once things are frozen, simply remove from the cubes and store them in ziplock bags, freeing up the tray for more foods.
Have leftover herbs lying around? Fill each hole of an ice cube tray about half way full with chopped herbs and top with leftover stock or olive oil. They keep indefinitely and you can pop them out once frozen and store them in a ziplock bag. Toss them into soups, sauces and stir-fries. Hard herbs like oregano, sage, thyme and rosemary work best for this.Photo credit
What are some of your best tricks for not letting food go to waste?
I’ve written about this extensively on my blog. Here are a few of my favourite ways I reduce waste –
- I don’t buy more until I’ve finished what I already have (in the fridge/pantry). I completely run out of yoghurt before I set out to buy another. That way I find myself then using up the last of the sour cream or cheese in the interim.
- I don’t peel anything. I eat the rind/skin on pumpkin, potatoes, carrots, beetroot. A lot of the nutrients are contained in the skin.
- I shop every few days, rather than do a weekly shop. And I shop with a plan for 2-3 meals at a time.
- I cook in batches, using up the whole onion, the whole tin of tomatoes, all the beans. And I freeze what I don’t eat (which is more environmentally sound than storing the stuff in the fridge, anyway).
- When my veggies are looking lack-lustre, I make a big soup with lentils and bacon thrown in for flavour and protein. I stab-mix the lot. I juice fruit and beetroots and carrots. Or I make mish-mash meals.
- When I go away, I clean out the fridge. I make my breakfast/lunch etc for the flight using dregs, rather than buy airline/airport food. Again, see my mish-mash meals post for ideas.
- I don’t put stuff in the fridge I know I won’t get to eating in the 2-3 days before it will go off. Again, I freeze it. Eg: if I open a carton of chicken stock, I pour any excess into icecube trays and use 1-2 cubes to saute vegetables, instead of oil.
What is one of your favourite ‘something from nothing’ meals?
Roast Vegetable Frittata with leftover roast veggies
HEAT oven to 150C. Mix six beaten eggs with half a cup of chopped chives, a handful of grated Parmesan, salt and pepper. Heat the vegetables in a non-stick tart pan, and pour over the egg mix. Add ricotta or feta to taste. Bake for 20 minutes or until just cooked. Serve with a green salad.
Is there a good system people can implement in their kitchens to minimise waste?
I’m passionate about this stuff. I love food, hate waste. I’m unashamedly militant about using every last bit of food. And I get incensed when I’m around people who don’t. It’s a pet issue of mine and I don’t hold back.
There are 5 small changes your readers can make to reduce their waste, they are –
- Plan your weekly meals
- Write a shopping list before heading to the shops
- Measure your serving sixes
- Store your food correctly
- Use all of your leftovers
How do you minimise food waste over the silly season? I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments below.