We’re at the end of zero waste week; zero waste is an ideal goal to strive for but how realistic that is, I think, depends on the progress you’ve made so far in reducing your waste. I always recommend my clients identify and make some small changes and once they become habitual identify and make more small changes and so on. You’re more likely to stick with them in this way.
One relatively easy small change you can make is with fruit and vegetables. I’m not just talking about making sure you eat all the fruit and vegetables you buy but also eating the whole or as much of them as is edible, or making full use of the ingredients.
Do you need to peel potatoes or carrots, for example, or could you just give them a scrub? If you really don’t want the peel in your finished dish, can you save the peel and bake them to make crisps or pop them in a freezer bag, along with any herb stalks you don’t use, and when you have enough make a stock?
What about broccoli or cauliflower stalks? I often see them thrown away but they’re a delicious part of the vegetable. Slice them finely to cook with the rest of the broccoli or cauliflower (that way it cooks in the same time), add to stir fries or use them for soups and stews.
Cauliflower leaves are also delicious, especially when roasted and crisp. You can serve them as if they’re an altogether new leafy vegetable.
Leafy tops from vegetables such as beetroot and carrots can be blitzed to make a pesto with the usual nuts, garlic and cheese.
Once you’ve squeezed a lemon or lime for your recipe, drop it in a jug or glass with some water, or even use some mint stalks and the ends of a cucumber.
Only used half a tin of chickpeas or got leftover cooked lentils? When you’ve got the oven on, put them on a tray, with a drop of oil, seasoning and some spices, if you wish, and bake until crunchy to make a delicious and healthy snack.
See if you can make use of bits and pieces you might normally throw in the food waste without giving it a second thought.
When it comes to reducing our food waste and making full use of our ingredients, we’re limited only by our imaginations.