One of the many ways we can help our beautiful planet is to reduce our food waste. Check out these helpful tips.
1. Meal Planning - Create a plan for the upcoming week, including recipes and a detailed grocery list. No need to buy ingredients you won’t use or could potentially waste.
2. Prep Your Produce - After a trip to the market (or delivery) and before you put the groceries away - wash, dry, chop and store. They’ll be ready to grab and eat - or add to a recipe. Always avoid pre-prepping foods like avocado, banana and apples to avoid browning.
3. Clear Food Storage - Aim to use clear, airtight containers like canning jars, glass bowls and stash bags. If clear containers aren’t available, add a label.
4. Freeze Excess - Produce may only be available in larger quantities then you need for a recipe. Prep and freeze the remaining amount and use at a later date - like in a smoothie, soup or stir fry. Use frozen zucchini, cucumbers, beets, berries, greens and bananas in smoothies. Check the internet for specific freezing guidelines for optimum freshness.
5. Buy Frozen - Onions, spinach, broccoli, peas, corn and berries are some of the many items you can buy frozen. This allows you to grab the exact amount you need for a recipe without wasting the excess. These foods are already prepped and frozen at their peak of ripeness.
6. Freeze Herbs - Wash the herbs and remove tough stems. Roll in a clean dish towel or add to a salad spinner to remove excess moisture. Finely chop and press into ice cube trays. Top off with olive oil, avocado oil or water. Once frozen, add to an airtight container and freeze. Be sure to label if there are multiple herbs. Just grab a cube or two and add to cooked recipes like soup, stew, stir frys, sauces and marinades.
7. Make Vegetable Stock - Save your non-starchy vegetable scraps in a gallon size freezer-safe container. Include tips and skins of carrots, onions, garlic, celery, leeks, dark leafy greens, parsley stems, etc. Avoid brussel sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower as they may contribute a bitter taste. Freeze your scraps for a few months or until the bag is full - whichever comes first. Add the veggies to a large stock pot and fill with enough water until completely submersed. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 60-90 minutes, or until the liquid has a deep golden-orange hue. Strain out the vegetables and discard. Use the broth as normal or freeze for up to two months. I love making a fresh pot of soup right away to fully enjoy the benefits!
If we all put a few of these tips into action, collectively we can make a difference for our health and our beautiful planet! How do you reduce food waste in your home?