For the love of food | He ngākau whakaute ki ngā hua o Rongo

Let’s show our food some aroha!

Starting this September let’s show more love to our food, using up every bit, storing fresh produce and leftovers in the best way, and getting creative so we don’t waste it. Check out our tips in this blog below!


New Zealanders waste more bread than any other food item – it goes stale or mouldy, not everyone wants to eat the crusts or bread-ends, and kids’ sandwiches often come home in their lunchbox uneaten or with a few bites taken out. But we can get creative with these so it all gets eaten.

Depending on what is in the half eaten sandwich, they can be toasted in a sandwich press or oven – just make sure there are no salad ingredients, like lettuce or cucumber. Leftover sandwiches can also be frozen and then toasted at a later date.

Even sweet sandwiches can be toasted – try peanut butter and banana or a Nutella sandwich.

❄ Storing bread somewhere cold is the best way to stop bread from getting mouldy, the freezer is the best place to store bread, keeping it fresh and prevents it from drying out. Find tips on how to stop slices from sticking together and sandwich and toastie ideas here.

Next time when you make a fruit crumble try out this recipe for crumble topping using bread crusts, and for 7 more ways with bread crusts click here!


There are many awesome ideas you can try out with less than perfect apples, whether the apples are slightly blemished, oddly shaped, imperfect in any other way, or they are apples that have come home in your children’s lunch boxes with a few bites taken out of them – save them from the bin! You may need to cut out some small sections or patches to remove any blemishes or bits that have been bitten.

🍎 Store the cut apples in a labelled freezer bag or container and place in the freezer until you have enough to cook them up. Recipes such as cakes and muffins are great for smaller amounts of apples, whereas crumbles and pies are great for using up lots apples.


While rice can be a higher-risk food, it is safe to eat leftover rice. Cooling rice as quickly as possible by spreading it out over a large tray or wide plate is the best way to ensure your leftover rice is safe to eat, then transfer it into a container and straight into the freezer.

🍚 Give new life to your leftover rice by turning it into tasty meals or desserts!


Freezing kiwifruit and other fruits that are starting to become soft or overripe is the best way to make sure they don’t end up in the bin, and you’ve got a smoothie pack ready to go! Another quick and tasty way to use up chopped frozen fruit is by mixing it through pancake batter before cooking to make fruit pancakes, or if using bananas, defrost and roughly mash before mixing through the batter.

🍐🍋Most fruits are best kept in the fridge to prolong shelf life, then just bring out small amounts of fruit each time to fill the fruit bowl.


Say no to the naked potato and remember – peel is good, peel is great. They contain most of the vegetable’s nutrients and fibre goodness. But unsure about what to do with your peelings? Try making crisps, add to soups, or pies!

Leftover mashed or boiled potatoes are also great to have, you can make delicious scones, boston buns, potato bread, gnocchi, potato cakes. Yum! And roasted potatoes are great to add into curries, frittatas, and soups.

🥔 Tip: to make sure your potatoes don’t sprout so quickly, store in a cool dry place but keep away from onions. Also, sprouted potatoes are safe to eat, just remove and trim off the sprouts that have grown. For more about potatoes and what you need to know, click here.


September 29th marks the United Nation’s International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste Reduction, “an opportunity to call to action both the public (national or local authorities) and the private sector (businesses and individuals), to prioritise actions and move ahead with innovation to reduce food loss and waste towards restoring and building back better and resilient-ready, food systems”, source. To get involved with #FLWDay and see what you can do click here.

More ideas

💡 Have you ever wondered what to do with any leftover or stale potato chips, hot chips, baked goods, meat, chicken nuggets, yoghurt, toast, cooked rice, cooked pasta, raw or cooked fruits and vegetables that are leftover from your child’s meal or lunch box, or you just can’t finish that last few bites of the sandwich, cereal, porridge or last few sips of the smoothie? There are plenty of ways you can make the most of all these food items, get inspired here.