Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Reducing food waste

With the kids going back to school this week - Alice in Year 1 and Lucy starting pre-school - I've spent a bit of time recently trying to get more organised.
I spent a good part of last week in the kitchen preparing healthy lunches and snacks that I could freeze - mini muffins, pikelets, Vegemite scrolls, chicken and veg sausage rolls and mini quiches to name a few.
I started a Pinterest board of lunchbox ideas and hope to continue adding and referring to it throughout the year.

But while researching freezer-friendly lunchbox ideas, I was amazed by some of the tips I found for minimising food waste.
I think we all know you can freeze bananas in the skin when they start to go brown - I always have two or three in my freezer. But there are so many other items that can be rescued from the chook bucket, compost or bin!

Shallots/spring onions
These can be chopped up and popped into a container in the freezer for later use in cooking (I tested this last night in our Chinese fried rice and it worked a treat!)

If you have an abundance of herbs in your garden, these can be frozen too. Chop them up and freeze them in icecubes, which you can then transfer to containers.

Can be frozen whole and used for both their zest and juice.

Buy fruit like grapes and strawberries while they are in season and cheap and simply pop them in the freezer. Grapes taste yummy frozen and strawberries can be used in smoothies.

Don't let bread go stale in the pantry. Eat the first part of the loaf fresh for sandwiches and then pop the rest in the freezer for toast.

If you're planning on going away and have milk that won't get used, pop it in the freezer. It will save a run to the shops after the long drive home!

When a recipe calls for egg yolks only you can save the whites by freezing them. If you do it in icecube trays in single portions, it's then easy to defrost and use them next time a recipe calls for whites!

Tomato paste
Most of the time when I use tomato paste the recipe only calls for a couple of tablespoons - I've learnt you can freeze the rest of the tub in containers or icecube trays.

Cherry tomatoes
And although this isn't a freezer recipe, this week also taught me that slow-cooked/dehydrated cherry tomatoes are delicious and can be stored in the fridge, covered in olive oil! We're still getting far more tomatoes than we need, so I roasted some off (at about 120 degrees for a couple of hours) with a few cloves of garlic, salt and pepper, then popped them in a mason jar covered in olive oil. We've used them on pizza, in pasta and as antipasto. Yummo!

1 comment:

  1. Great tips, Rebecca! Hope your girls are enjoying their start to the school year. :)