How to harvest your fridge and freezer
It’s the familiar 5 pm panic. You have an hour to get dinner on the table, with no idea what you’re going to cook and no energy to brave the supermarket.
What you need to do is harvest your fridge. That is, gather all those little odds and ends that you have and turn them into a meal – no trip to the supermarket required!
This type of eating is great for so many reasons – you’ll save money by not buying extra food, you’ll save time (and your sanity) by not having to go to the supermarket and you’ll stop your food from going to waste.
Winter is the best time to perfect your fridge harvest, with lots of warming options you can make. Things like stews and soups are very forgiving – allowing you to use what you have and adjust quantities as needed. Substitutions are the name of the game when it comes to fridge harvests – if you don’t have a certain ingredient, use something similar or leave it out.
Three steps to a successful fridge harvest:
1. Sweep your fridge and freezer for any food that needs to be used up or could be turned into a meal. Look for leftover meat and cooked or wilting vegetables.
2. Scour your pantry and see what other ingredients you have that could help turn it into a meal. Look for eggs, beans, lentils, pasta, rice, tinned tomatoes or chickpeas.
3. Raid the spice rack. Look for herbs, spices, sauces and other things you can use to add flavour to your meal.
Get cooking and be creative! If you are a cook who prefers to follow a recipe than going it alone, check out these helpful recipes for fridge harvest stew, frittata and crumble.
Harvesting your fridge means you won’t resort to putting those odds and ends in your freezer. But harvesting your freezer is also the best way of making sure you have room in your freezer for essential items like bread, and also means you won’t forget about items in your freezer.
The addition of a few eggs can turn any leftovers into a filling meal, perfect for any time of the day!
Put whatever you have into a pot and call it a stew.
Don’t forget about overripe fruit. Crumbles are a great way to use up fruit and treat your family to something sweet.