If you didn’t know, I try to have a no-waste kitchen as much as possible. I’m not always perfect at it, but we try to use every bit of food in the house before it goes bad. I asked Cheryl Meade to share with us her strategies to keep a no-waste kitchen and stretch your food.
Here’s what she has to say-
Making food go further is essential for many people. The further you can make your food go, the more meals you can make for less money and the less you will waste. You don’t want to end up throwing away food because you don’t use it on time or there’s only a small amount left.
If you think you throw away too much food or you want to make your meals go further, there are lots of clever but easy things you can do. Just a couple of changes to your behavior can save you money and reduce the amount of food you waste too.
Save Your Leftovers
If you don’t already save your leftovers, you need to start doing it. One reason you might not is that you might often find that you only have a small amount of something left. You think there’s no point saving it because it won’t even feed one person.
If you collect your leftovers, you’ll eventually be able to make a new meal or have a leftover night. Keep your leftovers fresher using food vacuum sealer rolls and a vacuum sealer. You can freeze your food until you’re ready to use it. You can also use tubs and containers, and even ice cube trays can be useful for sauces or seasonings.
Make Use of Scraps
When you make meals with fresh ingredients, you often end up with bits that don’t go into your meal. For example, you could have vegetable peel, sandwich crusts, or even pieces of fat you cut off meat. You might decide to compost some of this, which is a useful way to dispose of it.
However, you can also make some of it go further when you’re cooking. For example, bread crusts can become breadcrumbs. Some people recommend seasoning potato peel and crisping it up in the oven as a snack. You can use Parmesan and other cheese rinds as flavoring for soups and snacks.
Bulk Up Dishes with Cheap Ingredients
Sometimes making food go further is more about being able to make more meals, rather than avoiding throwing away food. If you’re on a tight budget, being able to get more food for your money is very useful. One thing you can do is use cheaper ingredients to bulk out meals, but still include lots of flavor. For example, pasta and rice are both cheap and filling, and there are hundreds of ways to cook them.
Rescue Food That’s Nearly Out of Date
People often throw away food that they’re not sure they can eat anymore. The first way to tackle this is to know when it’s safe to eat different foods, which requires a bit of research. The second thing you can do is know how to use foods that are on the edge of being edible.
For example, overripe fruits like bananas can be great to use for making ice cream or perhaps cakes. Slightly stale bread can become breadcrumbs. And there are many more ideas you can use.
You can do lots of things to make your food go further and reduce waste while making delicious meals at the same time.