Stop Food Waste Day comes round once a year, leaving us tips and tricks we can adopt in the kitchen the whole year through.
This horrifying statistic is just the start since the 797 million undernourished people in the world could be fed with just 25% of that global food waste.
The food we waste also harms the environment, contributing to a staggering 8% of all global greenhouse gases each year – but we can do something about it.
5 ways to save money on your weekly food shop
The meal kit retailer has put together 5 hacks that you can take back to your own kitchen.
Top tips to reduce food waste
1. Bring limp vegetables back to life
Limp vegetables don’t belong in the bin or the bottom of your fridge – show them some love and you might be able to salvage more than you think, according to Jordan Moore, Senior Food Innovator at Gousto.
Cut a bit off the bottom and place upright in a glass of cold water until firmed up. If your carrots are already cut, you can place them in a bowl of cool water.
Lettuce, spinach or bagged salad leaves
If they’re just a bit wrinkled around the edges, just place them in a bowl of cool water and they’ll spring back to life!
Trim the bottom and pop in a glass of water. If you have cut florets, place in a bowl of water until plumped up and crisp.
Spring has sprung, and it’s peak season for sweet British asparagus. If your stalks are looking sad, trim the bottoms and place them upright in a glass of water until firm.
2. Use up your scraps
70% of household food waste in the UK could have been eaten so it’s time we all stop and think before we throw away!
Whether you’re baking, roasting or frying, there are a few unexpected ways that you can use your leftover scraps and save yourself money and resources in the process.
You can use beetroot tops instead of your greens like spinach, swiss chard and bok choy and they’re just as versatile.
They can be steamed, sauteed, braised, added to soups, or even eaten raw – there’s no end to their talents!
The Gousto chefs recommend that you rinse them well, sautee the stems with a little garlic, orange and shallot since they make the perfect side to go with just about anything.
We’ll never say stop when the waiter is grating our parmesan and now you can even make use of its pesky rind too.
The chefs recommend layering the parmesan rind on top of your next batch of soup and watching it melt – especially a steaming bowl of French Onion.
Boiled vegetables into gravy
If you’re boiling some veg for your Sunday roast, Gousto suggests that you wait until it’s tender before draining it over a pot and using the nutrient-packed water to make your gravy.
3. Blanch & freeze to keep veg fresh
We are all guilty of over-stocking the vegetables when you’re shopping while you’re hungry or desperate to get a little creative in the kitchen.
Instead of letting them go off, you can use them to your advantage and store some veg and herbs in the freezer, ready for the next time you need them.
If you want to blanch veg like beans, asparagus and broccoli, let them simmer in boiling water for a few minutes, and then plunge them into cold water straight away.
Once they’ve cooled, just get rid of any excess water, and pop them into a freezer bag for safe keeping and it’s as simple as that!
Sturdier herbs like basil, chives, oregano and rosemary can last up to six months once frozen, Gousto chefs say.
You can chop them up, then arrange them in a single layer on a baking tray and put them in the freezer.
The foodies at Gousto have gone one step further with this ultimate hack to freeze fresh herbs into ice cube trays and a little cooking oil or melted butter.
You should chop up your fresh herbs (including the stalks for soft herbs and discard the stalks for woody herbs), add two tablespoons of chopped herbs to each cube of an ice cube tray.
Then, you can fill the cube with cooking oil or melted butter and freeze and when it comes to cooking, you should just add the cubes directly to the pan.
4. Pickle & preserve fruit or veg that’s past its prime
There is no shortage of vegetables that you can pickle and preserve to help you make the most of them once they’re past their best.
Pickling cucumbers is a Gousto favourite, you just need to cut them in half lengthways and then finely slice them before soaking them in rice vinegar, sugar and a pinch of salt.
Make a giardiniera
Transport yourself to Italy with the pantry classic – la giardiniera.
Originating from the northern Po Valley, giardiniera is all about “locking in the incredible flavour of excess seasonal veg at peak deliciousness so they could be enjoyed year-round,” Gousto says.
It couldn’t be easier for you to recreate at home either and it’s something that you and the family can do together.
The recipe is completely customisable, allowing you to pick and choose from whatever veg you have hiding in the fridge.
To give you a little inspiration, Gousto has dug out this incredible recipe to get you started.
- 250g assorted veg (cauliflower, carrots, courgettes, peppers, radishes, peas)
- 2L sterilised jar
- Pickle brine
- 500ml white wine vinegar
- 500ml water
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp salt
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
Step 1: Combine your brine ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn off the heat and allow to cool slightly.
Step 2: Wash your veg, chop them into bite sized pieces and add to your sterilised jar. Pour over the warm pickle brine and close the lid. Leave to cool before putting them in the fridge.
Your giardiniera will be ready to eat once cool but it’s best left for 24 hours before serving. It’ll keep in the fridge for 3-4 weeks.
5. Make sure you’re storing fruit and veg properly
Storing your food properly is one of the ways you can help preserve your ingredients and of course, reduce your waste.
Here are some surprising storage hacks from the chefs at Gousto to help us correct the errors of our ways:
We shouldn’t be keeping them in the fridge because the cold damages the delicate skin, dilutes their taste and even causes them to have a floury texture.
You should store them in a fruit bowl at room temperature and you should eat them as soon as possible to get the best flavour.
Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes
Store them in a cardboard box or paper bag in a cool, dark place to allow them to breathe.
You should never store them in a fridge and don’t forget that you can still eat them even if they’ve started to sprout.
Aubergines last a lot longer when you store them at room temperature and out of direct sunlight.
The best way to store it is in a bowl or just loose in a kitchen cupboard.
Spinach, Kale & Salad Leaves
Keep your greens in a sealed Tupperware box which has been lined with kitchen roll.
You should then place another piece of kitchen roll on top.
Your box needs to be big enough so the leaves have a bit of space and aren’t jammed in, according to Gousto.
The box should protect the delicate leaves whilst the kitchen roll absorbs the excess moisture.
Lemons and limes, along with other citrus fruit, will harden when stored at room temperature.
You can keep them fresh for longer by storing them in the fridge.