I used to freeze bananas whole in their skin. They used to take up unnecessary space in the freezer because of their bendy shape and then when they defrosted the skin was all slimy to peel off. Now I quickly chop them up and pop them on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Once they are frozen you can pop them into a ziplock bag to fit any free space in your fridge, stack them up or lay them out flat. Then when you need some banana for smoothies and baking you can just defrost what you need. You can also reuse the baking paper for next time.
Cut the zucchini into rounds, blanch and then freeze free flow on a tray until they are frozen. Once frozen, portion into ziplock bags. Alternatively, grate the zucchini and freeze it in ziplock bags. It may be watery when it thaws, so just squeeze out the excess liquid before using.
Washing your berries in a solution of vinegar and water will extend their shelf-life by days. In a large bowl, mix 1 cup of vinegar to 3 cups of water— and give your berries a dunk. The vinegar will eliminate any mould and bacteria. Then rinse under the tap to get rid of any lingering vinegar taste. They need to be as dry as possible before going back in the fridge as moisture is the enemy, so dry them out on paper towels. Then place in a container lined with a fresh paper towel.
Fill ½ cup with sliced strawberries or other berries. You only need about 3 large strawberries or 1/2 a punnet of blueberries. Place in an 8 cup glass measuring jug with a spout or a Pyrex bowl. Stir in ½ cup sugar. Microwave on High for 5 -6 minutes, stirring every 1 minute. Makes approx. 1/4 cup of jam – the perfect amount for scones!
( Note if your jam threatens to bubble up and over the top of the jug just pause and stir more frequently)
One thing that worked well for our large flat was Sunday vegetable soup.
Before we would buy our vegetables at the Sunday markets we would try to use all of the leftover vegetables that we already had. Soup was a good way to do it – we’d start with a base of stock and potato, or potato, carrot & celery, or stock and coconut milk, and then just add ingredients from there, experimenting with different veges, spices and textures to make something delicious. We’d keep it simmering all day and developed quite a few great recipes this way!
Too many bananas or have they gone too far? Peel and freeze, next day tip into food processor with some cocoa powder or frozen berries, process well and you have an instant frozen treat you would be hard to not call gelato! Very healthy low fat instant dessert – you could throw in a tablespoon or two of yogurt to make creamier…
Buy your fresh produce from a greengrocer where possible. You can choose every item you buy. It’s fresher and cheaper (mushrooms at my shop are $5.00 cheaper than the supermarket). Most important, the staff are knowledgeable about where their stuff came from and how to use it!
Use leftover casserole or stew as soup base. Chop anything large, add liquid stock and water, add extra chopped veges and/or a can of chopped tomatoes and a handful pasta when the vegetables are nearly cooked.
When you buy or make coleslaw don’t mix the dressing through it – add dressing to each serve on the plate. This helps control calories and cuts how much dressing you need. Plus any leftover coleslaw has a longer shelf life and can be used in a stir-fry or soup.
I love mince dishes like pasta bake, spaghetti bolognaise and shepherds pie. I like to bulk them up with lentils and hidden veggies like grated pumpkin and carrots! If we have leftovers I will refry them and put them on toast with a poached egg in the middle or mix in a tin of beans and turn into nachos with some extra seasonings.
Turn Sunday roast leftovers into a dry style curry
Something we like to do with our “Sunday Roast” leftovers is to incorporate them into a recipe loosely based on a Jhal Farazi – its a dry style curry. A great fast and easy ‘one pot wonder’. You can use any left over meat, pork, chicken, beef or lamb and it’s also a fantastic way to use any leftover roast veggies (we sometimes roast extra potatoes and kumara just so we have some for this ‘leftover’ meal) . Here’s a recipe for Jhal Farazi http://thehappyfoodie.co.uk/recipes/beef-or-lamb-jhal-faraizi
Michelle’s suggestions on how not to waste any food….
• You don’t need to peel vegetables, the skin is the most nutritious part
• Always take leftovers for lunch or eat for the next meal
• Freeze excess portions
• Avoid the ‘two-for’ advertisements in supermarkets
• Buy fresh fruit and vegetables for a few days at a time only
• Use a biobag bin in the kitchen for organic vegetable scraps but no meat
• Use a compost bin in the garden or give your scraps to neighbours who have one
I have a Nespresso machine and have recently stumbled across mycoffeecapsules.co.nz. These guys sell short dated and dated original Nespresso pods (and original Dolce Gusto pods). The Nespresso pods are air tight sealed and so the coffee tastes the same to me whether they are in date or beyond their date. Plus they are cheaper. So, my tip is, don’t let a best before date scare you off.