Did you know that we Brits throw away 1.4 million bananas and 24 million slices of bread every single day?
Did you also know that every day across the world one in nine people go to bed hungry?
Today is the launch of the UN World Food Programme’s #RecipeForDisaster campaign, raising awareness of food waste to kick-start a massive shift in the way we treat our food. By raising awareness of the World Food Programme and the work its doing to spread resources more evenly, we also need to address our terrible throwaway culture – and that starts in our own fridges and kitchen cupboards.
I’ve compiled a number of my food waste-busting recipes to help kickstart your own path to throwing less out, as well as a few rules I follow in the kitchen to help prolong the life of my food. If you’d like to share your own food waste recipe, make sure to tag #RecipeForDisaster and follow @worldfoodprogramme_official!
There’s a lot to be said for keeping up with the seasons. One of the first tools I put together on the blog is my Seasonal Food Calendar, which details which fruit, vegetables, nuts and herbs will be in season each month in the UK. It’s a great idea to shop and eat seasonably, as you’ll be getting the freshest and most nutritious produce compared to out of season produce, which is often shipped from further away, making it older and also not great for the environment. You’ll also find a lot of produce in season is stocked in abundance, meaning it’ll be cheaper to buy too!
One of my favourite recipes that exemplifies this is my pumpkin stew, a perfect option for autumn cooking when you want a warm, hearty meal. It also takes care of the pumpkin flesh that is so often scooped and thrown away to make lanterns!
Love Your Leftover Fruit
Don’t you just hate it when fruit goes brown? Squishy grapes, bruised apples… they’re always unpleasant to eat. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can save your forgotten fruits at the bottom of the bowl.
In the wintertime, I love making leftover fruit crumble, which takes care of any old fruit and gives it a crisp, delicious topping. All year round, you can make overnight oats, which absorb the fruits’ flavour and sweetness overnight to make a delicious breakfast. And in the summer, why not try my mixed fruit ice lollies, which I originally made with apricots and berries, but so long as you can smoothie it, anything can go in!
Juice or Coffee?
I don’t think I could go without my morning coffee, but there’s always those horrible coffee grinds to sort out after a cup. Instead of chucking them, try making a coffee body scrub by saving the grinds in a jar and adding them to a mix of sugar and carrier oil for a stimulating morning wash!
And if you’re a fan of juicing, I really recommend saving your pulp and making juice pulp crackers. I tried these when I first did a 3-day juice cleanse, and boy did I have a lot of pulp waste! Instead of throwing it away, I used the fibrous leftovers to make crackers. Since then, I’ve made better ones by spreading my pulp even more thinly across a number of trays, and drying them out for a few hours in the oven at a low heat.
Brown Bananas are Best
I love a brown banana. So often I end up picking the worst looking bananas at the supermarket, purely because they’ll be great for making smoothies and smoothie bowls with! In fact, I rarely eat bananas when they’re yellow anymore…
If you’re not crazy for smoothies, you could also try making simple banana bread with your brown ones. Let’s be honest, you can throw almost anything into a banana bread and it tastes good, so do the same with whatever you’ve got around!
Switch Up Your Kitchen Cupboard
Finally, you’ve got to have a little creativity when it comes to using up leftovers. Sometimes I find myself left with half a can of chickpeas, or a lonely cherry tomato. One simple way to use up small amounts of leftovers is to make snacks – these oatcake topping ideas show just how easy it is to make a snack taste even better and also find ways to avoid the bin.
My partner recently made a wine from the fruit that was past its best from our fruit bowl. I thought that was genius.
That’s such a great idea, they’re half way to fermented anyway! x
Nice post 🙂
There’s also the option of making the most of our freezers (which are a privilege that we often don’t appreciate).
Especially useful for situations where it’s clear that there’s too much food to eat and that some needs to be stored in some way.
Savory ingredients: make a big stew and freeze it!
Fruits can be made in a compote / jam and then also frozen.
A full freezer is also more energy-efficient!
That’s such a good point James – food storage is key! I use jars in my fridge to keep a variety of dishes in, so I’m never stuck without food even if I’ve had a busy day. And my freezer is great for saving veggies and fruit that I can later smoothie or cook. I sometimes freeze bread too, it’s easy to toast it later and save it from going off! x