Stop Food Waste Day: Ways to utilise all your produce
Did you know that 45% of root crops, fruit and vegetables produced globally are lost or wasted per year. To mark Stop Food Waste Day on Wednesday 28th April, we are looking at just a few of our favourite fruits and vegetables and revealing innovative approaches to using all of the produce in a bid to help reduce food waste.
- Use the whole onion! Yup, even the green bit. Many recipes tell us to cut off the tops and just use the white part but you are truly wasting delicious produce by doing this. Savour those darker green, papery tops as ingredients in their own right. With a subtle, onion flavour and crunchy texture, you can wilt them like leeks or why not chop them finely into salads.
- Save the roots and grow more spring onions. Simply slice off the ends of the bulbs, leaving the roots attached and stand the bulbs root-end down in a small jar. After a few days, green shoots will emerge from the tops of the bulbs.
- Unlike onions, the shelf life of spring onions isn’t that long but just because they have gone a bit soft and wilted doesn’t mean they can’t be used. Slice them up and roast them and they will make a tasty side dish.
- We are a big fan of the humble carrot and adore all the shades of colours our carrots come in. However, this root veg can often be found at the back of the fridge going bendy and unloved but even if your carrots are looking a little sad they are still packed full of nutrition. They can be grated or chopped up and added to sauces, soups or curries.
- So often thrown in the bin, carrot top greens are perfect for making pesto and chimichurri, as well as used in salads and veggie burgers.
- If you’ve got a big bag of carrots which you won't be using any time soon, then why not chop them up, par boil, dry thoroughly, and freeze. They'll be fine in the freezer for months!
- Slice thinly or grate your carrots and dehydrate them in a dehydrator or in a very low oven temp. These can be packed into jars and sprinkled directly into soups, stews or casseroles.
- Save your carrot peelings (and any other kind vegetable peelings) in a bag in the freezer. Once the bag is full, leave in the slow cooker covered with water overnight. In the morning strain and you will have tasty homemade carrot/veg stock to keep in your freezer.
- The glorious spud can often be found slightly soft and wrinkly at the back of the cupboard and more often than not ends up in the bin. But if your spuds are looking a little worse for wear, fret not they can still be eaten! Simply wash, chop, and add to a dish such as a curry or a stew.
- Toss potato peels (or any other root veg peels) into oil, cover them in salt and spices, then roast in the oven to make delicious homemade crisps.
- Leftover mash can be added to watery soups as a thickener or alternatively used to make potato cakes or gnocchi.
- Did you know that you can grow your own potatoes simply by chopping the ‘eye’s off with a small part of the potato and replanting them to grow more.
- Bananas are one of the most wasted fruits in UK homes with 920,000 thrown away every day. But there are lots of ways to use bananas, starting with a lockdown favourite, banana bread! Black bananas are perfect for baking this tasty elevenses and are the ideal way to get rid of those rotting bananas.
- Banana skins are the part of the fruit which always get thrown away. But did you know that you can eat them?! Rich in key nutrients, including potassium, dietary fiber and essential amino acids, you can use the skins to make delish dishes such as vegan “pulled pork”.
- Another alternative for banana skins is to use them to make a fertilizer for your plants. Either place them in water and leave for a week to create liquid fertilizer or cut up the banana peel and bury it around your plants.
- A brilliant egg substitute when baking, bananas can be used in chewy baked goods like brownies. One ripe banana for every egg is the general rule.
- Citrus peels are more often than not thrown in the bin however they have a multitude of uses, including being added to vinegar to make a fresh smelling homemade house cleaner.
- Lemon peels that you would have once thrown away can be used to make your own zesty seasoning. Simply grate the zest before halving your lemon and mix in with soups, stews or curries to bring out the flavour or add to cooked grains for a zingy crunch.
- Take your orange and lemon peels and turn them into candied peels and then coat with dark chocolate to create sumptuous sweet treats. They are perfect as a thoughtful gift or as a healthier treat.