Food waste is one of the largest components of household trash in America. In fact, according to Forbes, Americans waste around one pound of food a day, or roughly 225 to 290 pounds a year. This is likely because:
- We cook too much food.
- Food expires before the use-by date due to poor food storage.
- We forget about it or don’t know how to use leftovers in the fridge or freezer.
- We don’t check the cupboard or fridge before going shopping.
- We’re not planning our meals wisely.
Simple Ways to Avoid Food Waste
1. Buy bananas, tomatoes, and avocados at different stages of ripeness so you have some for now and some for later.
2. Make use of leftovers the next day. Stir-fries and frittatas are a great way to use leftover veggies. Leftover baked vegetables, such as sweet potato and pumpkin, are good served with couscous or pasta. Add cooked veggies, rice, or pasta to a frittata or soup.
3. To avoid wasting herbs, cook several dishes that include the same herb, or grow your own.
4. Freeze leftover stale bread and crusts until you have enough to make a large batch of bread crumbs in the food processor. The crumbs can then be stored in one-cup quantities in freezer bags until needed.
5. Leftover pieces of cheese can be frozen until you have enough to get out the food processor. Coarsely grate the cheeses and package in one-cup quantities in freezer bags for use in sauces and on baked dishes. For most recipes, a mixture of cheeses can be used together.
6. Leftover cream can be frozen for use in sauces. Likewise, if you know you won’t get through the milk by the use-by date, decant it into a container, allowing about an inch headspace for expansion, and freeze. Thaw in the fridge for 24 hours, and shake well before using.
7. Chop leftover fruit before it becomes overripe and freeze in containers. Add the chopped frozen fruit to the blender for smoothies and juices.
8. Put overripe bananas in the freezer until you have enough to make banana bread or muffins.
9. Freeze egg whites for pavlovas or egg yolks for custards separately in small tubs.
10. Keep nuts and seeds in the freezer to keep them fresh.
This article was written by Food to Love editors. For more, check out our sister site, Food to Love.