Wasting food is wasting money (£50 a month to be precise!). Before you throw away the shriveled carrot or the odd egg white, take a look at these inventive tips for using your leftovers. You’ll be surprised at how much you can save!
1. Browning bananas
Instead of throwing out a banana that is starting to turn black, put it in the freezer to use at a later date to make banana muffins. To make the muffins just add mashed banana to your normal muffin recipe. Banana muffins are also freezable so you can make a batch and save some for later.
2. Veg at the bottom of the fridge
Every fridge has a few odd items in the bottom of the vegetable drawer. Don’t throw these out but use them to jazz up a meal such as scrambled eggs. Lightly fried or grilled mushrooms, tomatoes, aubergine, courgettes and even celery go great with eggs for a filling and healthy brunch, or on a homemade pizza if you just add tomato puree and some cheese.
3. Fruit bowl leftovers
Don’t throw out fruit that is starting to look less than its best. You can make a multitude of healthy and filling snacks with leftovers from the fruit bowl. Smoothies are the obvious choice and are very easy to make – just throw in your favourite fruits and whizz them up (but make sure you remove any large pips before blending!) For a cooling snack, freeze your smoothies in ice lolly containers and put fruits such as grapes and berries in a bag in the freezer to keep them longer and to enjoy as an instant and healthy treat.
4. Vegetable smoothies!
There is no end to what you can use leftover vegetables for. Add your vegetables to stir-fries, quiches, pasta and curries rather than throwing them out, and enjoy a delicious meal which will help you and your family achieve your five a day. Also remember that you can make vegetable juices and smoothies too, just as with fruit.
So much bread is thrown out every day, but there’s so much you could do with it: use leftover crusts and slices to make breadcrumbs for recipes such as chicken kievs; freeze bread to defrost and use later; toast bread going stale for use in soups as crouton; and of course you can feed the ducks!
6. Fresh herbs
For instant flavour for stocks, soups and stews freeze, leftover fresh herbs into ice cubes. They quickly melt into the pot and save you money.
7. Sunday roast leftovers
Fry up leftover Sunday dinner potato and cabbage to make bubble and squeak, or add other leftovers such as chicken, bacon, stuffing and greens to make your own version of colcannon. These are both delicious and made entirely from leftovers.
8. Odd egg whites
If you use a recipe which only requires you to use egg yolks don’t throw out your egg whites. You can sweeten and whip up egg whites until they are stiff and bake them to make delicious meringues for a dessert. Egg whites are also perfect for light omelettes. Whisk the egg whites up as you would with full eggs and cook as normal.
9. Flat Coke
Flat cola which is usually thrown down the sink is the key ingredient for slow cooked chicken or ham. The cola which coats the meat makes a sort of sticky barbeque sauce which is delicious.
Many recipes that use plain yoghurt only require you to use a small amount. Don’t throw away the leftover yoghurt but mix it with sour cream or spices to make a dip, or sweeten it to make a lovely accompaniment for fruit or cereal. You can also use yogurt as a face mask – plain yoghurt is said to tighten pores and cleanse skin so eat it or coat your face in it but don’t waste it!