We are all guilty of forgetting about those veggies at the bottom of the fridge or the fruit that got a bit squishy in the fruit bowl. You might not even think twice about tossing them in the bin (and rightly so if it’s smelly and mushy). But most of the time those sad looking fruits and veg can be saved!
Did you know that in Australia, the average household produces 345 kg of food wastage every year? That equates to $1036, which could easily be saved with a bit of extra thought. What could you and your family do with that extra money?
33% of the food in our household bins is fresh foods, including fruits and vegetables, and 27% is our food leftovers. We want to help you combat food waste in your own home so here are some tips and tricks from the team.
1. Think about the food as a whole, not just bits and pieces.
Most vegetables have more than one edible part of the plant, like roots, leaves, tips and shoots.
- Beetroot, for example, has edible leaves which are full of flavour and colour. Use them like spinach in salads and smoothies.
- The stems and roots of herbs can pack a flavour punch too, like coriander root which can be used in Asian-style soups and pastes (make sure all the dirt has been cleaned off first). Sweet potato, carrot and coriander root soup is one of my favourites.
- The stems of veggies like broccoli and cauliflower can be eaten as well, as a tasty snack raw or cooked into stir fries, soups and stews.
- Did you know you can use the juice from a chickpea can like egg whites? Take a look at our cool meringue recipe using chickpea juice.
2. Rescue your fruit before they get the mushies
Usually you can tell when your fruit is starting to take a turn for the worst. For some really quick and easy saves:
- Try making fruit purees (either raw or cooked- depending on the fruit) and add it to yoghurt or porridge. Fruit puree can also be dried in the oven to make fruit leather or chia Jam
- Another easy trick is to cut them up into small pieces and freeze in bags. These frozen fruit bits can then be used to make smoothies, nice cream and frozen treats
- Or if you’re a keen baker, use those over ripe fruits in recipes like banana bread, muesli cookies, plum cake or pear and sticky date muffins
- Bliss balls can also be made with over ripe bananas. Try our ABCD balls
3. Cook up those limp veggies and think outside the box
A bit of heat treatment is all those forgotten vegetables need to be the stars of the show again. An easy way to save them is to:
- Make soup, both delicious and nutritious. Try our leftover veggie soup!
- You can use your veggie scraps to make stock for your soups and casseroles (freeze in an ice cube tray for easy access)
- You could cook them up into fritters, quiche, fried rice, frittatas or roast them up
4. Try to buy what you and your family need
Make a shopping list and stick to it. The best way to reduce wastage is to reduce the amount of foods that could go to waste. Don’t forget that frozen fruit and vegetables are a great option too, packed full of nutrition, already cut up and you can use as much or as little as you like! Meal planning (https://www.foost.com.au/category/blog/meal-planning/) can also help reduce wastage.
For more information on Australia’s food wastage, head to http://www.foodwise.com.au/foodwaste/food-waste-fast-facts/
Do you have any tips for reducing food wastage?