Very soon our fridges will be chock-a-block with loads of extras – remember Cape Town meat wholesalers N1 for the very best in Halaal certified meat – and our tables will be groaning with delicious food as we begin to gather friends and family together for holiday celebrations. And, while food waste is something we should be mindful of all year round, it’s particularly important now as we a) tend to buy in more food and b) become more aware of just how many unfortunate people there are with so little at this time of the year.
So, as you are preparing that mental menu and making sure you have everyone’s favourites, keep the following pointers in mind to ensure that you make the most of what you have and that as little of it as possible goes to waste along the way:
- Dice any left-over braai meat and add it to stews or create your own super easy fajita – sauté together the meat, diced onions and peppers, add spice to taste and wrap it up in a fresh tortilla.
- Vegetables starting to wilt and look a little tired? Put them in a pot, simmer with water, herbs and salt and you have a vegetable stock which you can then freeze in portions – no need to buy it in the powder form.
- Stale cereal can be crushed and repurposed in a muffin recipe or it can be crisped up in the oven for trail mix – add nuts, seeds and raisins and you have a healthy snack.
- Ordered take out and still have left-over French fries? They really don’t taste nice cold do they, but you don’t have to throw them out, simply dice them and add them to an omelette and voilà – you have the makings of a Spanish omelette.
- Buy food that’s past its ‘best before’ date – yes, you read that right. According to the Huffington Post, so much food waste occurs because we think the food is unsafe to eat – see our article on Sell-By Dates – when it’s actually still perfectly fine.
- Bananas are one of the most versatile fruits, but they go from perfect to overripe in no time, if you want to slow down the ripening process then keep them in the fridge for a day or two, the skin may blacken but the flesh inside will be fine.
- Any left-over cake or biscuits that have gone stale? Highly unlikely in my house, but if the miraculous ever happens, then crumble it, add butter icing until the consistency is malleable and roll them into little balls and refrigerate. Or simply use them to make Christmas trifle – always a treat!