Zero Waste Cooking
Cooking with zero waste in mind is a great way to get the most from the food you buy. A recent food waste report by WRAP revealed UK households threw away a whopping £13 billion worth of edible food in 2015. According to the report, households waste 7.3 million tonnes of food each year, costing families up to £700 a year. Preventing this would have the same environmental benefit as taking one in four cars off the road. Zero waste cooking provides a fun and easy way to dramatically slash food waste amounts – a win-win for our wallets and the planet. So what could zero waste cooking look like in your home?
Zero Waste Shopping
Have a quick look in your fridge, freezer and store cupboard to see what your missing. Think about meals that will use what you already have. Here’s a handy meal planner to help you create the perfect list. Then, we know we say it all the time, make a list and stick to it!
To avoid excess food packaging, try shopping at local farmer’s markets or seeking out the loose produce at the supermarket. Remember to bring your reusable shopping bag too!
Cooking root to tip
Believe it or not, many of the food scraps in our food waste bins make better dishes than compost. For example, last year while visiting a school, we saw them sprinkling potato and beetroot peelings with oil, salt and pepper to bake into delicious veggie crisps. You could do the same with parsnips, sweet potatoes and carrots too.
Cook the knobbly bits of vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower as well as the florets. You can keep these bits in the freezer and when you have enough make a tasty soup. Alternatively, save all the extra vegetable odds and ends you have (carrot tops, onion peels, pepper membranes, basically any vegetable off-cuts you wouldn’t normally cook) and once you have a good collection, boil them up to create a delicious, home-made vegetable stock. Add leftover bones to create a meat-based stock if you prefer. They taste great and help keep food waste down.
Reinventing your Leftovers
Using the leftover bits and bobs in your fridge can boost your leftovers to a new level. For example, the rind from a block of parmesan cheese can be melted into a stew to add more depth to the flavour. Throw tired looking lettuce leaves into a soup. Omelettes are always elevated by extra vegetables. Sprinkle fresh herbs onto an old dish to add a new taste, even if you only have a few stalks. The skies the limit, don’t be afraid to try new things.