UK households are throwing away 7 million tonnes of food every year – enough to fill 40 million wheelie bins, or 100 Royal Albert Halls. Here are some top tips on how to reduce your waste and make the most of your food.
New research by Hotpoint has found that Brits are having to cook 2 dishes on average each mealtime to cater for various household dietary requirements, contributing to over £1 billion a month on food that ends up in the bin.
The study into the nation’s cooking habits, has been commissioned by kitchen appliance expert Hotpoint, as it launches its Eat Your Fridge Challenge this October, in partnership with Jamie Oliver.
1. Know what not to put in your fridge
Only put things in the fridge that actually need to go in. Items like potatoes do not need to be in there, so store those in a dark, dry place somewhere else. The fridge can make some food go off faster, such as bread which will keep fresher for longer outside of the fridge.
2. Easy freeze-y
Freezers are like a time capsule for fresh food. It is like pressing the pause button, locking in nutrients and preserving taste, especially when it comes to fruit and veg. If you have got some fruit and it is about to go bad, put it in a container and into the freezer in a container and they will be perfect for a delicious smoothie another day.
3. Wrap up herbs and salad
A great tip to keep herbs fresher for longer is to wrap them in slightly damp kitchen towel before you pop them in the fridge. You can also line your veg drawers with paper towels which will absorb the moisture and condensation from the vegetables you store in your fridge, keeping them fresher for longer. But remember to change these with every food shop!
4. Blitz your bread
Bread is a British staple and we have been making it for thousands of years, but research suggests that it is the number one most wasted food in the UK.
Instead of putting stale bread in the bin, cut it up into chunks to use another time as croutons, or whizz it up into breadcrumbs and pop them in the freezer. You can use breadcrumbs on the top of mac and cheese, a crumb coating for tofu nuggets or to add texture to tomato pasta sauce.
5. Double up
Portioning up food and freezing it is a lifesaver for those days you come home and just need something quick. If you’re cooking something like a curry or stew simply make double the amount! If you freeze it thin and flat it will freeze really quickly, and defrost really quickly, too.
6. Pickle it
Make your own pickled vegetables with any random bits of crunchy veg like carrot, broccoli, cauliflower and cucumber. Simply put it in a jar with some vinegar, salt, sugar and water and you’ve got a brilliant pickle. You can add herbs, mustard seeds and whatever else you like to change up the flavour too.
7. Herb flavour bombs
A great tip to make your fresh herbs last longer is to freeze them before they go to waste. Chop them, pop them in an ice cube tray with a little bit of oil, and whack them in the freezer. That way you can then use them whenever you need a bit of extra flavour.
8. Chill your chillies
If you catch chillies before they lose their freshness, or even when they’re slightly past their best, you guessed it, you can freeze them. Then, when you want to add a little heat, you just grate it into a dish whilst cooking, or even over the top of a curry.
To find out more and to take part in the Eat Your Fridge Challenge visit: www.Hotpoint.co.uk/FreshThinking