Cook Smarterto #ChangeTheOutcome on Food Waste
Five ways to fall in love with your leftovers
When it comes to reducing food waste, our recent survey has found that a vast majority (86%) of New Zealanders are trying to be more sustainable in their households, looking for ways they can make a small difference in the kitchen to have a positive impact on the planet.
While we’re all aware that reusing leftovers is a great way to save on food waste, the temptation to want something different often leads to last night’s meal ending up in the bin.
Upcycling your food is one way to help protect our planet, and your wallet, as more than half (58%) of us admit that one of the biggest contributors to food waste is throwing out leftovers.
So, we have some tips to give you some inspiration on how to get creative with your food surplus
- 1. Reinvent your leftover movie night dips
Family movie night calls for chips and dip, but what happens to the leftover dip once the movie is over. Surprisingly, leftover veggie-based dips like pesto and salsa verde can make great salad dressings1 which you can store in the fridge and use throughout the week. Simply add lemon juice or vinegar to your leftover dip with a little bit of oil and mix it all together before tossing over your favourite greens.
- 2. Be smart with your stale bread
Did you know that bread is the most wasted food item in New Zealand? Kiwis throw out over 15,000 tons of it each year2? It’s also one of the most versatile food items. To bring your stale bread back to life, quickly run it under room-temp water and pop it in a preheated oven at 180° for 2 minutes – and just like that, you’ll have fresh bread again!Another way you can use stale bread is by making croutons which can be added to salads or soups. Simply chop up the bread, put the bits in a Glad to be Green® 50% Plant-Based Reseal Bag to keep fresh and pop them in the freezer until you’d like to use them.
Our favourite is reusing stale bread to create delicious Eggs on Toast Breakfast Muffins. This recipe is simple and all you need to do is line your muffin tin with Glad to be Green® Compostable Bake Paper, add your frozen croutons and herbs, pour whisked eggs into each cup and bake until set
- 3. Turn your leftover cauliflower leaves into Cauli Stem Wings
When it comes to cauliflowers, uses for the florets are never in short supply whether it’s adding them to your stir fry or mixing them into a soup. The cauliflower leaves however can be more challenging to reuse, which is where our Cauli Stem Wing recipe comes in. The recipe (which can be found here) is a great side dish to accompany any main meal or to enjoy as a delicious snack with zero-waste.
- 4. No waste homemade apple juice
Does anything taste better than homemade apple juice3? Fresh apple juice will last for five days if kept cool in the fridge and is a great alternative for the kids to enjoy with their lunch or evening meal. To make zero waste apple juice, simply place your leftover apple peels and cores into a pan of boiling water before adding a bit of sugar and letting it simmer for about 90 minutes. Once it has cooled down, strain your apple juice to remove the remains of the apples (peel and core) and pour it in a jug. Before you know it, you’ll have tasty apple juice, ready to enjoy!
- 5. Family pizza night gets an upgrade
Weekly family pizza night just had a zero-waste tasty makeover. Store leftovers from different meals throughout the week in Glad to be Green® 50% Plant-Based Reseal Bags, pop them in the fridge and bring them out on pizza night so the kids can get creative with their toppings. This is a great way to use leftover food and helps to educate the kids on why it’s important to reduce food waste within the home and the small actions they can do to help.With careful planning, leftovers can be a great way to cook smarter – helping to save your time, wallet and most importantly, the environment.