Make the Most of Your Fresh Food
Make the Most of Your Fresh Food
Since we are on the topic of creating less waste, let’s look at how to make the most of our produce to avoid filling those overflowing landfills. Utilizing as much of your produce as possible will also mean you are making the most of the hard earned money that you are spending on groceries. In Canada, $31 billion dollars of food is wasted annually… that’s a lot! Having compost is a great way to give food scraps back to the earth, but not everyone has compost services available to them. Here are the tips and tricks we have up our sleeves!
Soups and Stocks
- Use vegetables that are looking a little sad for soup. You can get creative here and make either a hearty or a blended soup
- Keep a container in your freezer assigned for scrap vegetables and herbs
- Freeze ends and scraps of veggies or anything that’s on their last days that you don’t have a chance to use (broccoli stems, leek greens, ends and tops of celery, onion skins, carrot ends and tops)
Put it all together in a large pot and add water, bay leaves, herbs, salt and pepper and let it simmer for a few hours to make a delicious homemade veggie stock!
Dips and Spreads
- roast any veggies that are looking a little too ripe like bell peppers, eggplant, sweet potato, squash, carrots, zucchini, or broccoli
- blend them up with traditional ingredients for things like hummus, babaganoush, or my personal favourite, ajvar
- Ajvar recipe https://www.chasingthedonkey.com/how-to-make-ajvar-recipe-roasted-red-pepper-sauce-recipe/
- Rinse stale loaf or slices in water and put in the oven for a few minutes at 350 degrees, this makes it easier to work with
- For croutons, slice or tear bread into cubes and add garlic powder, onion powder, a pinch of salt, and any other dried herbs you like
- Either leave out to dry on the counter or put in the oven to crisp up. Then you can store them in the freezer and use them for soups or salads
- Store stale bread in the freezer until you’re ready and make bread pudding; the moisteness of the custard will give the bread life
- French toast is another way to use up stale bread
- Using an ice cube tray, remove stems and chop herbs, fill each slot with ⅔ herbs and fill the rest with oil of your choice or butter (you can mix and match herbs if you like)
- Cover with a beeswax wrap or tea towel and place in freezer overnight
- Remove from tray and place in a bag or container and store in the freezer and use for making soups, roasted vegetables, pasta sauce, or sauteeing vegetables or meat
- Firm herbs are best; sage, basil, rosemary, thyme
- Pre-cut fruit, while fresh or at maximum ripeness, and store in the freezer for quick-to-make smoothies
- Add fruit to a pitcher or bottle of water and let sit overnight and enjoy some jazzed up water
- My fav flavours are:
- Strawberry, cucumber, basil
- Lemon, cucumber, mint
- Blueberry, lemon, rosemary
- Watermelon, kiwi, lime
- Blend up a variation of fruits and add water or milk (coconut water or milk is delish), add to popsicle molds and enjoy on hot summer days
- Chia seeds, fruit, citrus, and sweetener of your choice are all you need!
- Only takes 10 minutes to make and can keep for at least 2 weeks in your fridge
- There are tons of recipes online
Be kind to your produce! There are a lot of fruits and vegetables that bruise easily, so be gentle with them to give them a longer life.
If you aren’t overly creative in the kitchen, planning your meals ahead of time will mean you are buying only what you need and you will have less waste.
Meal prep is a great way to use your produce while it is fresh. You can store meals in your freezer and your fridge so you are set up for the week ahead.
Remember to store your food properly! You can refer back to our previous blog titled Produce Storage Tips.
Always check your food for mold and do not eat it if you find any!
I hope you find these tips helpful! Your produce, wallets, and future self will thank you for taking the time to go the extra mile. Tag us on social media sharing how you have made the most of your food and limited food waste!