The difference one person can make should never be underestimated, especially when it comes to reducing our food waste and bettering the environment as a result. There are plenty of ways to reduce food waste and focus on being a little more eco-conscious. Sometimes all it takes is a little more intention, time and consideration, dedicating a little more effort surrounding your kitchen habits can make the world of difference. By making these simple switches we can help to remove 9.5 million tonnes of food waste from landfills throughout the UK – that’s huge! Here are some ways to become a little more sustainably-savvy in the kitchen…
One key way to reduce food waste is to freeze food or leftovers. This is an easy way to prevent waste and is a guaranteed way to please your future-self. Imagine coming home from work after a long day, opening the almost-empty fridge to a selection of uninspiring ingredients as you smugly remember that you have a portion of your homemade chilli or curry waiting for you in the freezer. Big win!
On a similar note, meal prepping and batch cooking is another fantastic way to reduce the amount of food waste that you create. This means that your ingredients are used and the meals can be frozen – again, great for the future when you’re short on time, and means ingredients aren’t going to be sat in the fridge and go off. There are plenty of great meals that can be frozen, ready to be defrosted for those time-strapped evenings, such as these two soups: curried coconut squash soup and this asparagus and cashew cream soup. Our 2L container is ideal for batch prepping; it’s size makes it perfect for making a portion now and having plenty left over to save for later!
The Vitamix blender allows you to quickly create batches of homemade meals for your baby. If you have a little one then why not use our ‘baby food’ recipes, such as this mango baby food or this roasted root vegetable medley baby food! You can easily blend up your baby’s food, and then store it in small portions using an ice cube tray. This way you only need to defrost the exact amount that you need! In fact, this idea can easily be transferred to any liquid meals, supplements, or seasonings such as soups, stock, sorbet or pureés!
If you notice your fruit bowl looking a little sad, then rather than letting your overly-ripe bananas or slightly soft pears/satsumas go to waste, add them into your next morning smoothie instead. On a similar note, why not use your Vitamix blender to create a creamy soup from those veggies sitting at the back of your cupboard or refrigerator. Or perhaps a delicious hummus from that half-used tin of chickpeas, like this roasted red pepper hummus. All are simple yet effective ways to create delicious meals from ingredients that would otherwise be binned.
When possible, blending up the entire fruit or vegetable – rather than peeling or coring – is another easy yet successful way to reduce excess food waste. The Vitamix blender is designed to effortlessly blend the whole fruit or vegetable which offers the benefit of reducing food waste as well as providing the additional nutritional benefits that the whole fruit provides.
Another simple yet effective way to reduce waste is to add any old herbs or spices to your oils. This is a great way to infuse and flavour your standard oil, ready to be used in salad dressings, or to enhance your food during cooking. A delicious basic, chilli or garlic oil is a wonderful way to elevate your oil whilst also preserving your herbs and seasoning.
Fancy something sweet? Why not use up your berries and try your hand at making some jam. Preserves are a great way to save your food from going off, and therefore going to waste. Whether you’re into your chutneys, marmalades, jams or conserves there are plenty of recipes waiting in the pages of your cooking book; or found from a simple Google search. Another option is to pickle your foods. Most foods can be pickled, from your classic beetroot, egg and cucumber to the less traditional options of turnip, strawberry and even avocado!
Repackaging foods is another great tip, if you buy in bulk or purchase larger quantities, then separate your foods such as your meats to store in smaller, individual portions inside of freezer bags is a useful way to reduce waste. Some other easy transitions and new ways of thinking to consider are to: not over buy, keep an eye on use-buy dates, organise your fridge, donate foods and start composting.
Opting for frozen fruits and vegetables is another great way to prevent food waste! Frozen fruit are picked at peak ripeness so they are typically more flavourful than fresh produce. Being picked and frozen at the optimal time allows the fruit to retain a great amount of their nutrition whilst still tasting amazingly and packing a punch. When kept in the freezer they remain safe to consume for an extended period of time, but it’s generally recommended to consume the fruits within 6-12 months whilst they’re still at their best quality.
From batch-cooking and freezing foods, to re-organising your fridge and cupboard, there are plenty of ways to reduce your food waste and be a little kinder to the planet. So, perhaps now is the time to reassess our kitchen cupboard customs, our meal prep patterns and our typical cooking conventions. Consider one or two of the above tips to make a step in the right direction!