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Your tips to reduce food waste

We each have things we do to make the most of our food. Maybe you make smoothies from brown bananas or your Mum has a special way of storing celery?

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What do you do to reduce your food waste?
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Vegetable water

I usually steam vegetables and drink the water I used with a bit of added lemon juice and apple cider vinegar

By: Hans titze


Re-heating hot chips

If you have chips leftover from fish and chips, they can be successfully reheated in a frying pan (as reheating in the microwave makes them taste awful!). Place the chips in a dry frying pan (no extra oil) and heat over a low heat. Turn frequently to prevent burning.

By: Kirsty, Auckland


Liquid vegetable peeling fertiliser

Never throw out your veggie peelings – put them in your blender with some water and liquidise them, then use them to feed your plants.

By: Angela, Paihia


If it’s there….

We have “if-it’s” at least once a week… if it’s there, you can eat it, if it’s not, you can’t! I empty the fridge out onto the bench and we make whatever we can- first in usually gets the best meal.

By: Vicky, Waipawa


Make use of strawberry tops

The green tops of strawberries are edible so it is waste to just chuck them into your bin or compost. They are great for adding an extra dose of greens to your smoothie – either chuck in the strawberries whole, or if you are not making a smoothie immediately, freeze the tops to use later.

You can also use the strawberry tops to infuse water or as a flavouring for vinegar or kombucha.

By: Sarah, Auckland


Use cornflakes as breadcrumbs

If you have stale cornflakes, toast them in the oven to crisp them up, crush them into a powder (you can use a food processor) then use to crumb chicken or fish, like you would with breadcrumbs.

By: Macrae, Dunsandle


An extra plate

When making a family meal put an extra plate out and dish up. You can always squeeze out an extra lunch or dinner from a family meal. Cover and freeze. After a week or so you will have a selection to call on for that hungry teenager or a no cook day!

By: Ngaire, Christchurch


Dehydrating saves waste and space

Keep all vegetable peelings, pumpkins skins, cabbage cores etc. Chop all of them finely and then dehydrate till crisp. Whizz to a powder then just add 1 teaspoon to flavour stews, soups etc. Roughly 1 teaspoon equals 1 cup stock.

By: Janine, Auckland


Excess citrus prepped for marmalade making

When I’ve been given more citrus fruit than I can use, I weigh and prepare enough for a batch of marmalade to make later, then put in large bag to store in freezer. Later, I just measure the required sugar and water and cook in the usual way. Defrost the frozen fruit and cover with the water in large stockpot and leave overnight.

By: Carol, Hamilton


Freeze herbs and ginger

I wash and dry my herbs using a salad spinner. I then push them into a sandwich bag and roll like a sausage to freeze. I just slice as much as want when needed. I also keep my ginger in the freezer and grate when needed. There’s no need to peel it first.

By: Mary, Matamata


Use waste in your garden

Banana peels can be put around rose plants to keep aphids away. Egg shells can be crushed and put around plants for their calcium needs.

By: Sudha, Auckland


Yummy potato skins

When I peel potatoes to make mashed potatoes, I use a knife and collect the clean peelings into a bowl. I add herbs, seasonings and olive oil and bake them in a hot oven – yummy baked potato skins to enjoy as a snack or lunch the next day. You can add carrots or parsnip skins too.

By: Nilanthi, Dunedin


Freeze your leftovers on plates

Instead of putting your meal leftovers in a plastic container, serve it on plates. Top the plates up with frozen vegetables, if necessary, then cover with cling wrap and freeze.  Now, we can easily see that we have instant ready-to-go meals when we open the freezer.

By: Allan, Auckland


Emergency pizza

Always have a basic frozen pizza in your freezer – margarita works well. When you have certain things leftover (most cooked veggies, pineapple, any meat), and can’t be bothered or don’t have time to cook, just put your leftovers on the pizza and shove it in the oven for 20 minutes.

By: Sela, Wellington


End of week soup

Take everything left in your veggie drawer, stems included. Chop everything and sauté with some garlic and olive oil on a medium heat in a large pot for about three minutes. Add two kettles of boiled water and around 6 chicken stock cubes. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Use your old bread crusts for croutons and top with pesto and Parmesan, if you have any.  This makes a dinner for family of six in 30 minutes.

By: Ruth, Cambridge


Don’t shop until you have eaten everything

Don’t visit the produce shop / butcher / supermarket until everything you have bought is completely eaten.

By: Maggie, Auckland


Shop carefully

I plan and write down my weekly meals before I shop so only buy what I need. I buy my fresh fruit and produce in small amounts every 2 or 3 days so that it is always fresh.

By: Linda, Auckland


Keep apple peels and cores

When bottling apples I keep all of the peelings and cores to use as a base for jams. Boil them for 3-4 hour and then strain them through a muslin cloth or sieve. If you’re not going to make the jam straight away it can be frozen until you need it.

By: Raewynne, Napier