With the rising cost of living and groceries being a hot topic lately, here are a few ways to make the most commonly wasted foods last, or stretch a bit further, to get every bit of goodness out.
Step one, is of course, to buy the freshest produce you can. The fresher it is when you get it, the longer it will last in your fridge!
A top tip to using up veges is to start a “stock pot”. This can be a large freezer bag or container that you put the ends of your veges, peelings etc into, and then place that in the freezer.
Keep adding to it, and when you come to make soup for example, you’ll have a wealth of fresh veges to use in your home-made stock. There's no need to buy expensive supermarket stock laden with additives. All you need are your own scraps and some herbs and seasoning and you’ve got litres of free, yummy home-made stock right there!
Talking of making soup, that's a really good way to use up any veges kicking around in the salad drawer, but here are some other ideas for you.
Cabbage keeps super-well in the fridge for weeks, as long as you wrap it tightly in Gladwrap. Just cut off what you need and re-seal to prevent the air getting to it.
It's such a versatile vege – raw for slaws and great sauteed! The core can go in the compost or in your stock pot, along with the outer leaves (or give it to your pet bunny if you have one!)
Carrots – no need to peel! Just give them a good scrub, and top and tail. The ends can either go in your stock pot or in the compost.
If you are buying bunched carrots, don't throw away the green tops! They make a lovely addition to a salad with a slightly peppery taste, almost a cross between parsley and rocket.
Can be used for garnish on a cheese platter too!
Alternatively, feed them to your dog.
Our mini-schnauzer, Zac, loves carrots!
Potatoes are best stored in a cool, dark place away from your onions, to stop them from sprouting.
Again, no real need to peel unless you really want to. Give them a good scrub, cut out any eyes with a sharp knife and you’re good to go.
If you’re into composting, the peels make excellent worm food. (Side note – don’t add onion scraps or citrus scraps to your compost otherwise you will kill off your worms!).
Don't waste a single tomato! Even if they are starting to go soft and past their best for raw eating, they can be easily roasted up in the oven, or throw them in the slow cooker or air fryter to make a tomato-based sauce that you can use for heaps of things.
Season to taste and add onion and garlic if you like. I like to keep my base sauce simple, and then add whatever flavourings I need at the time I use it. Pop into containers and freeze.
Celery - wrap tightly in foil and keep in the crisper drawer in the fridge. It should last a good two weeks this way.
The leaves make an excellent garnish for a salad, or add them to your stock pot stash.