Food waste is a serious global issue, with 33-50% of the food produced globally never being eaten. And while the issue requires action on a global level, there are steps we, as consumers, can take in order to reduce food waste in our own household. Besides, thinking about interesting dishes to make with leftovers or something you thought wasn’t edible reveals a new side of food and opens up creativity.
1. Bread And Butter Pudding
There are a lot of great recipes you can make with stale bread. You can make French toast, Panzanella or breadcrumbs for other recipes. The pick today, however, is a British Classic – the bread and butter pudding. This desert will definitely help you lower your food waste, you’ll never want to throw away another stale loaf of bread again.
It’s basically stale bread, layered with delicious vanilla custard, dried fruit and lemon zest. I’d recommend this recipe from BBC GoodFood. If bread and butter pudding is not up your alley, you can also try reducing your food waste with any of these top 10 ways to use up stale bread.
2. Banana Pancakes
Everyone knows that banana bread is the ultimate recipe to make with overripe bananas. There are a lot of other recipes that can help you lower your food waste by using up all your bananas. You can check some of them out here. These include smoothies, ice cream, and naughty French toast. Naughty because it is very indulgent made with chocolate and you guessed it, banana.
However, I’m here to tell you about something even better (and much healthier). Banana pancakes! You can find a recipe here, but I am going to tell you all you need to know. You need one bowl. Take one overripe banana and crush it with a fork. Then break two eggs and mix until combined. Add a little bit of baking powder, a cheeky bit of cinnamon, maybe a splash of vanilla extract. Give everything a stip. The batter is done, that’s it, extremely simple.
Heat up a pan with some oil in it. I think they are quite delicious fried in coconut oil, but it’s up to you. There are two things you need to do to make sure this recipe works because it’s a tricky one. Cook them on low heat in a non-stick pan. Be patient with this recipe. Once you get it right, it will turn into your go-to recipe for reducing food waste.
3. Cheeseboard Sauce
I love cheese and if there is any food waste I would hate to produce, it’s cheese waste. If you were hosting a dinner party and there are bits of cheese leftover. Or if you need help finishing the little cheese selection you bought from the reduced section, here’s how you can avoid the food waste.
The cheese sauce is basically béchamel sauce, but with cheese in it. You can use this recipe as a base but the idea is that you make a béchamel sauce and then mix in all your leftover cheese (grated or cut into small pieces). Then you stir until it is all combined. It’s great on top of pasta, broccoli or maybe even the next item on our list.
4. Stale Pitta or Tortilla
This recipe is too simple and you can find it among other 25 ideas on how to use up your leftovers here.
You are basically going to make your own chips and dip. Take your stale pitta to tortilla, lay them on a baking sheet drizzle oil, salt and any other seasoning you may like. Put it in the oven (grill) until the edges have grown. Then break into shards and have with some dip.
5. Watermelon Rind Jam
I would have never thought to do this with watermelon rind. The watermelon rind has always been just food waste to me. Seeing that it can be made into something delicious is amazing! I found out that there are actually many ways you can cook watermelon rind, some of which you can check out here.
My favourite has to be jam. You can check out a recipe for it here. Watermelon is not something that I eat regularly, but whenever I do, I’ll make sure to minimise my food waste and make some delicious jam.
What steps do you take to minimise food waste? Share in the comments.
Featured image source: https://unsplash.com/photos/Hfu6RNhOSLg
Currently going into her final year of English and Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London. Gery has been writing in a personal blog since 2014 and has been published in publications StudentVoices and FictionHub on Medium. She debuted her first play 'Liminality' at Edinburgh Festival Fringe and is already planning her next project.