Do you know that an incredible one third of all food produced worldwide is wasted! In the UK around 6.7 million tonnes of food is wasted per year – and that is about £250 – £400 per household per year! Incredible, isn’t it!
This got me thinking and I’ve put together some top tips to help you reduce your food waste, save money and save you calories as well!
One of our Slimtone mottos is “Failing to plan is planning to fail”. Planning your menu for the week and writing it down – or using one of the weekly menus in the Lifestyle Plan – is a great place to start. It makes it easier when you go shopping, you’re less likely to but things you don’t need (so no “little temptations” lurking in the cupboard or fridge!) and it helps you stick to a budget.
Make the freezer your friend
Lots of the recipes in the Slimtone Plan freeze really well, particularly Chilli or Spaghetti Bolognese, Chicken & Mushroom Curry or Oriental Pork. Why not do some batch cooking and then divide what you’ve cooked into portions and freeze. This is a really convenient way to have a meal in minutes – and you’ll save the temptation to grab a takeaway!
Frozen vegetables are as nutritious as fresh veg, they’re quick to cook and convenient. Freeze onions, mushrooms and peppers ready for curries, omelettes and stir-fries. How about freezing mashed potato – it’s great for corned beef hash or as a topping for Shepherd’s Pie. And frozen leftover herbs mean they’re always ready for your favourite recipe.
Here are some other ideas from members that make great use of leftovers.
Eggs: Don’t throw them away when they’re near their use by date. Simply whisk them up and pop into freezer containers. When they’re de-frosted use them in a Slimtone Frittata or on toast for a nutritious breakfast. An easy way to test if an egg is safe to eat is to put it in a bowl of water – if it sinks, it’s OK to eat but if it bobs up to the top, it is stale.
Cheese: Grate cheese and then freeze it and take out when needed. I pop a teaspoon of flour in the freezer bag before adding the cheese to prevent it from sticking. You can then take it out for a quick ham and cheese toastie or an omelette. Unfortunately cream cheese is not recommended for freezing, but, if it is near the use by date, stir it into soups or sauces – these can then be frozen.
Bread: If you find bread goes stale before you’ve got the end of a loaf, why not cut it into slices and freeze. You can take out just what you need and use it straight from the freezer for toast. And if you always have the crusts left, why not blitz them up into breadcrumbs – ideal for thickening soups and sauces, or adding a crunchy topping for a pasta bake.
Rice: Cooked rice should be eaten immediately but it’s convenient when frozen into portions. Simply cook as usual, then run it under cold water, drain thoroughly, divide into portions and freeze. When you re-heat the rice, always add a sprinkling of water to make it nice and fluffy.
Did you know that if you add a few grains of uncooked rice to your salt-shaker, it will prevent it from getting damp and will help the salt last longer.
Next week I’ll give you some more tips about how to avoid wasting food, particularly vegetables. If you’ve got any ideas or favourite recipes for using leftovers, I’d love to hear from you – post on our Facebook page or email me.
See you next week,
P.S. If you’re finding it hard to get back into the swing of things, to help keep you motivated we’ve introduced our Melting Snowman promotion in face-to-face classes. Did you know that if you lose just one pound every week, you’ll have lost 2 stone by the end of the year! So come along and claim your sticker for every pound you lose and that snowman will soon disappear under those sparkling diamond stickers!
P.P.S. Our Sainsbury classes have moved! These classes are now held at The Caeffatri on Coity Road on a Tuesday evening at 5.00 – 6.30pm and on Friday morning at 10.00 – 11.30am. You are welcome to come along. Click here, for details of all our classes.