Do you ever find that you end up throwing out the same kinds of foods every week?
Sure, we work hard to meal plan and properly store our produce, but there are still those groceries that somehow slip through the cracks and are discovered after it’s too late to use them. Or so you thought. I know that at my house, I often see the same foods sneaking up on me and becoming ripe, or (conceivably) unusable before I’m ready for them. Yet, with a little research, it turns out that there are a ton of ‘hacks’ that I can be deploying regularly to keep these foods out of the garbage.
Food waste at home is something that we’ve all been guilty of at one time, but one of the first steps in reduction is simply identifying where you could be doing a better job. These are foods I found myself throwing out the most, as well as the solutions I discovered. Which groceries do you find yourself having to save from the garbage at the end of the week? Leave a note in the comments, and we can find some solutions together.
Got wilty greens? Throw ’em in a smoothie.
Have your greens gone a bit wilty? If you know you won’t be able to ignore the slickness of the overripe greens in a salad, that’s totally understandable. However, throwing them in a smoothie will work wonderfully, and taste exactly the same as if you’d just bought them. Pro tip: adding lemon juice to your smoothie will cut the taste of bitter greens like kale, so you can get that burst of green goodness without having to put a brave face on.
Greens that work great in a smoothie include: kale, arugula, chard, collard greens, spinach, beet greens, dandelion greens, romaine lettuce, celery, cilantro, basil, carrot top greens, and parsley.
Veggies on the brink? Pickle ’em.
Pickles are definitely nature’s solution for being able to preserve just about anything in a delicious way. For all the Caesar lovers out there, perhaps reducing food waste means that your at-home caesar bar just got that much more interesting. Check out our pickling tips, and recipe for Dill Pickles. Seriously, you can pickle more than you think!
Foods you can pickle: cucumbers, watermelon, garlic, eggs, cauliflower, green beans, Brussels sprouts, carrots, turnips, red tomatoes, Daikon radish, asparagus, oyster mushrooms
Breads gone stale? Make breadcrumbs.
There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to make avocado toast only to find that your loaf of neglected bread has gone mouldy. Stay ahead of the curve by taking action at the first sign of stale bread. Turn the stale bread into breadcrumbs that can be stored and used whenever you need them by baking the bread on low until dry and brittle, then pulsing in a food processor until turned into crumbs. And when you’ve got bread crumbs at the ready, you can turn your food waste reduction into Zucchini Fries! Yum.
No one touching the bruised fruits? Make this Vegan Fruit Chili Sauce.
People are hard on bruised fruits. They’re always the last ones out of the fruit bowl, and sometimes they don’t get eaten at all. Well, bruises won’t get in the way of these apples, peaches, or anything other bruised fruit being the star of this flavour packed chili sauce. It’s perfect for anything from mac n’ cheese, to be paired with meat, shepherd’s pie, or anywhere else you’d use a relish. This sauce is also great for using up any tomatoes, peppers, or pears that have wound up on the ‘eat this first’ list.
You’ve got half a bag of tortillas getting stale? Zap ’em back to life!
This is a real hack. All you have to do is give these tortillas a little spritz of water, then stick them in the microwave for a few seconds. They’ll come out warm, fluffy and good as new for your next burrito night. You’re welcome!
Brown sugar gone rock hard? It can be revived.
Has your brown sugar gone rock hard? Before you go to throw it out and mourn the chocolate chip cookies that will never be, stop. We’ve written an entire blog post about how to get brown sugar soft again, and these tips are legit.
Figuring out ways I can use up the groceries I’ve been leaving to the last minute is my way of reducing the food waste in my life. What’s yours? Check out our Let’s Not Waste Challenge to find out how to enter (it’s easy), and how to win some fantastic prizes!
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