Day 5 of Zero Waste Week is officially looking at food waste.
This is something that I’ve worked really hard on in the last 18 months or so, and I’m pleased to report that we never throw any food waste into our black bin.
Our council don’t do a food waste collection (although we have a bio-digestor 2 minutes up the the road-the complicated working of council waste streams….), so we had to take steps of our own to cut it, but they were actually really easy, and very effective!
I’m pretty anal about using up leftovers, but nonetheless, we do still produce a surprisingly large amount of food waste.
Things like fruit and veg peel, apple cores, egg shells etc.
We don’t have a big enough garden for a composter to work very well, so I researched alternatives, and was delighted (yes, actually delighted!) to find that our Council subsidises something called a Green Johanna. This is a hot composter, so it takes food waste AND garden waste. AND it can take cooked food, meat and even bones. I LOVE IT!
In the blink of an eye, it has virtually eliminated our food waste-hurray for Green Johannas!
Here’s my Top 10 Tips for Cutting Food Waste:
1) Smoothies-any slightly manky fruit can be instantly disguised and made infinitely more edible (drinkable?) when blitzed up with a banana and a spoon of yoghurt
2) My kids seem to generate a bread crust mountain every 3 or 4 days. It is very annoying. I have taken to freezing the crusts, along with any half eaten bits of toast or roll, and then making them into Dead Bread Pudding when I have enough. I have a savoury bag and a sweet bag in the freezer-don’t muddle them up…
3) Frittatas-a brilliant way to use up leftovers-I bung any leftovers in a pan (pasta, risotto etc all work well) and heat it all up with a glug of oil and then pour 6 beaten eggs on top and cook until it’s cooked. I usually get away with this and the Smalls eat it without comment..!
4) Soup-any cooked veggies can get whizzed up with some stock into soup. If it’s Summer and roasting hot (?) then freeze it
5) Quiche-like the frittata thing, a quiche is a great vehicle for hiding leftovers in. It’s even better if there is enough left for lunch the next day-leftovers from leftovers-doesn’t get any better than that..!
6) Gnocchi-I was super brave and had a go at making this last year, and it’s great! A fabulous way of using up leftover mash
7) Dead things and custard/Dead things tart tartin-these appealing sounding puds are basically code for frying up fruit that is past it’s best in butter and sugar and then covering it puff pastr/cake and/or custard. Thereby making it much healthier…
8) So that brings us onto custard-a fabulous way to use up egg yolks. I had a go last year, with this recipe, but now prefer to use one that was left in the comments:
In a cold saucepan beat 2 egg yolks with 2 tablespoons sugar, mix in 1 heaped tablespoon cornflour. Stir in 350ml milk, pinch of salt and large piece lemon peel (without pith). (I leave out the lemon peel and use a half tsp vanilla extract) Heat slowly stirring continuously until thickened. Remove lemon peel. Eat custard.
9) The Veg Machine-hubby found this great app from Riverford on his phone-you tell it what veg you have and it comes up with some recipes!
10) The freezer is your friend. I freeze pretty much anything. I blogged ages ago about it, and had forgotten how much stuff you could actually freeze-check it out!