I recently posted a recipe for Left Over Pork Stew. It got me thinking about the amount of food that is wasted here in America everyday. Here is a great article that I found that talks about creati…
Source: Don’t Waste Food
I won’t pretend we don’t end up throwing food away. We do. But we try very hard not to. Our biggest tips for not wasting food are definitely on this list. However, I’ll go into a bit more detail of how it works at our house, as well as add some more tips!
- Use Left-Overs as Ingredients. Yesterday’s fried chicken is today’s Chicken Parm! The #1 go-to though is Stir-fry. I just throw whatever veggies and meats left over from the week make sense and fry it all up with an egg or two. Fruit salads are also a great way to use up all those fruits and berries, as is making something like my Snow Pancakes.
- Pets. My pets (two dogs, one gunieapig) have it pretty good. If I see something (like a bag of carrots) will turn soon, and I have no immediate plans to use them all in our meals, they become pet food. Raw for the GP, sometimes raw for the pups, but mostly I save up some of these veggies and cook up some homemade dog food for them using brown rice, veggies, some broth and waste cuts of meat. Or, if they are extremely lucky, there might be some meat about to turn that I’m willing to give to them instead of freezing or cooking up to use later.
- Freeze it, cook it! When meat is about to go bad, but we’re not going to make it for our meal (plans change sometimes), I freeze it or cook it. If I cook it, I can use it the next day or the day after, freezing of course really extends it’s life. You’d actually be amazed at what you can freeze! We also freeze fruit for smoothies, and some fruit is really good frozen–like grapes. We even serve frozen concord grapes with fancy cheeses for dessert sometimes at dinner parties!
- Bake it. When I see fruit starting to turn, or feel like it might turn in the next day or two, I throw it into baking. All those imperfect berries–baking. Carrots from that bag we talked about earlier–some can go in baking. I often peel and freeze bananas when they are brown and past normal eating. Then, when I’m ready I microwave them till they are soft again and use them to make my banana bread.
- Make Soup. Sometimes I just stash veg scraps in a ziplock bag, throw them in the freezer and pull them out when I need them for a batch of bone broth.
- Leftovers as lunch. This is probably our main go-to for leftovers.
- Give it Away. Sometimes I make a lot of food at once, because I have a lot of meat left in the fridge. This often happens with crockpot recipes like my Slow Cooker Chicken Taco. What isn’t frozen for later meals, or taken for lunch, or eaten as a left over, is given away. Sometimes if a friend is down on their luck, or has a family illness, or whatever I will bring them the food with all the fixins’ so that they don’t have to prepare dinner that night. You could also set up dinner-exchanges with friends. Also, if I have cans or unopened packages in my pantry that haven’t been used at all in a year, I usually give it to the local food cupboard, or young mother’s charity.
What tips and advice do you have for saving food?