One of my resolutions for 2013 was to stop throwing out food. Buying too much and ultimately forgetting about it is an awful habit and one that most of us are guilty of. Since moving houses, having a semi-organised kitchen and becoming more involved in cooking, I am aware of what I purchase and use. There is still room for improvement though and that’s why I get excited when I stumble upon food-saving tips. Simple and easy to do, some of these tips will save you money and others will add a natural healthy touch to your dishes.
Bring back the crunch: Cereal, crackers and crisps can be revived in the microwave with a couple of ten-second blasts. The same can be done with hard slices of cake or stale bread. Just make sure you wrap the latter in a damp towel before. I like to transform hard bread into croutons or breadcrumbs too. It is very easy. Just cut up the stale loaf and place in the oven with a sprinkle of salt, pepper and oil for the croutons or toss in a food processor for breadcrumbs.
Scrape your glass jars: You can make a delicious creamy salad dressing by adding olive oil, vinegar and various herbs to the last scrapings of a mayonnaise jar. Try it with pesto too. Nutella or a peanut butter jar can be filled with milk and shaken to create a drink.
Keep those veggies fresh: What I am most guilty of is tossing out veg that’s been forgotten in the fridge. When it comes to salad leaves, you should wash and place in a ziplock bag. But before you do that put a folded paper towel in the bag to absorb excess moisture and keep them fresh for longer. You should also wrap cucumbers in plastic and celery in foil paper to maintain its crunch. Since it is not airtight like cling-film it allows ethylene, the gas that causes fruit and veg to rot, to escape. This is also one of the reasons why you should never store fruit and veg together. The levels of ethylene can prematurely ripen whatever is close by.
Freeze your bananas: Overripe ones can be used to make banana bread, muffins or cookies. Otherwise, chop them up and put them in the freezer for smoothies and/or ice-cream.
Ice cube trays are good to have: If I’m making a soup with veg or chicken, I always spoon some into ice cube trays and place them in the freezer. I use the little blocks as stock in various dishes. However, there’s one excellent way to include fresh herbs too. Just chop them up, mix with olive oil or melted butter and freeze. You can also do this with wine, red or white. When added to stews or sauces, the result is very good. Just remember when doing this: the more veg and flavour, the better.
Based on an article published by the Daily Mail.