Facts about food waste
While there are many provisions in place to reduce food waste, the UK produces the highest amount of food waste in Europe. Over ⅓ of all food produced globally goes to waste and the UK throws away around 9.5 million tonnes of food waste in a single year.
But stay calm – there are simple tricks to reduce food waste, which is kind to both the environment and your wallet.
Earlier this year, we organised a competition in Sweden, focusing on food waste! People could enter their best tips on how to reduce food waste at home.
Here are some great tips and recipes on how to turn your leftovers into new and tasty meals.
What you can do with your leftovers
- Make your own broth
Make your own broth using carrots and parsnips that have gone soft, the ends of leeks, fennel, celery and stems/leaves from your herbs.
Put all the vegetable leftovers in a large pot, fill it with cold water and add some salt. Bring to a boil and let it simmer at low heat for about two hours. Strain the broth and let it cool. You can pour the broth into small jars or in your ice cube container and put it in the freezer.
- Make a tasty soup
Vegetable leftovers are perfect for making a nice soup. Fry chopped onions, carrots, celery stalks, fennel, celeriac and fill with water, broth, a bay leaf and spices. Simmer until the vegetables are cooked through. Serve with a dash of sour cream and some tasty bread.
- Spice up your vegetables
Vegetables that have gone soft can easily be refreshed by putting them in a bowl of cold water (preferably with a few ice cubes in) for about an hour.
Tip! Grate your carrots and put them in bags to freeze. Perfect for the occasional stew or for a salad.
Cold potatoes are perfect for a stir-fry. Dice potatoes, sausages, root vegetables, onions and any other vegetable leftovers.
- Tasty potato au gratin
Slice the cold potatoes and mix with onion, cream, garlic, salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for less than an hour and enjoy the potato au gratin with fried chicken and a green salad.
- Mashed potatoes made easy
Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and add some butter and spices, such as thyme, rosemary and garlic. Bake it in the oven until the potatoes are golden-brown.
- Minced meat soup
Dice the potatoes and make a soup with minced meat, onion, tomato puree, parsnip, celeriac and fennel. Don’t forget to use your homemade broth in the soup.
Fresh herbs are wonderful in cooking, but unfortunately, they quickly go bad. In spring and summer, you can try replanting the herbs in pots to make them live longer. Also, when you have used the herbs that you want, you simply cut the rest of the fresh herbs and put them in the freezer.
- Brown bananas are perfect for making tasty and nutritious banana pancakes. Mix your bananas with 1-2 eggs. You can also add some flax seeds. Fry the batter in butter or oil and serve with fresh fruit and cottage cheese.
Brown bananas are also perfect for making banana scones. Mash and mix the bananas into the dough. Bake and serve with butter, jam and cheese. Perfect for a brunch or as a snack. Tip! The browner the bananas – the tastier the scones!
- You can do a lot with apples that are going bad. Peel an apple and cut it into rings. Then let them dry in the oven (on low heat) for a few hours. You can also make dried apple cubes to enjoy with your yoghurt or salad.
- Freeze mango, pineapple, raspberries, rhubarb, bananas, strawberries. Cut into small pieces, put them in plastic bags and throw them in the freezer. Perfect when you want to make a smoothie or some ice cream.
- Old cream is perfect for making your own butter. Whip the cream (about 5-7 minutes) until it becomes butter. Pour the liquid out and add some salt.
- The last piece of a cheese can be grated and put in the freezer. Great for potato au gratins or taco dinners.
Other food items
- Big packs of meat with a short expiration date can be divided into bags and put in the freezer. Then you can take out one portion at the time.
- Dry bread is great for making your own breadcrumbs. Cut the bread into smaller pieces and run them in a blender. Put the crumbs on a baking sheet and bake in the oven, 180 degrees for about 10-15 minutes. Stir every now and then. Allow to cool and then store your breadcrumbs in a cool, dark place.
- Crispy croutons are easily made by cutting the bread into small cubes and frying them with a little butter. Add salt and allow to cool. Use your freshly roasted croutons for a salad or a soup.
- You can use leftover rice to make your salad or soup more nutritious. Fancy some Spanish food? Rice leftovers are perfect for a paella.