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Food waste – the most wasted products and what to do with them

We asked some of our customers to keep a food diary for two weeks. The results helped us focus on specific food hacks and tips, that will be most useful for you!

Over half our food diary keepers said salad, vegetables and fruit were their most thrown away items. The top reason being they’d gone off or the portion size was too big. 

Follow our top tips below to help save three key fresh ingredients: bananas, potatoes and salad leaves. 


How to keep potatoes fresh

  • Store your potatoes in a cool, dry, dark place. Ideally keep them in a cloth bag, away from any strong-smelling food such as onions.
  • You can freeze potatoes too – just boil and freeze them whole or mash and freeze into portion sizes. A handy tip for using up leftovers or planning weeknight meals. 
Recipe Ideas for Potatoes
  • Potato skins: forget peeling your potatoes (it’s where so many of the nutrients are anyway) – simply give them a scrub and boil, roast or mash them with their skins on. 
  • Homemade crisps: save your potato peelings to turn into crisps. Add salt, pepper and seasoning to them, then bake in a hot oven until they’re crisp.  
  • Potato rosti: this is a great dish to make when you’ve made too many potatoes for a roast. Grate the roasted or boiled potatoes and fry them in a pancake shape – you can add some onion and seasoning for extra flavour too.

Lettuce and Salad Leaves

Nearly 20% of our food waste diary keepers said that salad leaves were their most wasted ingredient, with lettuce leaves being thrown out the most. 

How to keep salad leaves fresh

  • Store whole lettuce in the bottom drawer of your fridge, where it’s coolest.
  • Once you’ve cut into your lettuce, wrap it in a clean cloth or tea towel to absorb the moisture.
  • If your lettuce is looking a little sad, trim the bottom and store it in a bowl or glass of cold water. It’ll perk back up and if it’s getting a bit stubby it may start to grow back.
  • Refresh older salad leaves in ice cold water and then dry by hand or with a salad spinner. 
  • Only add dressing once your salad leaves are on your plate, otherwise they’ll wilt and turn soggy. 
  • Keep your bagged salad fresh with this clever tip: slide a fresh piece of paper towel into your bag of greens and seal with a clip or transfer to a box lined with a paper towel. The paper towel will absorb moisture that would otherwise lead your leaves to rot. For best results, replace the sheet of paper towel every day.
Recipe Ideas for Salad
  • Pesto: whizz up older leaves with some parmesan, a handful of nuts and lots of extra virgin olive oil (best options: spinach, watercress and rocket).
  • Chargrill: cook your lettuce hearts on the BBQ – simply cut into wedges, brush with a little olive oil and then add some salt and pepper (best options: cos, romaine, butterhead, endive, or radicchio). Try adding a drizzle of honey after too!
  • Smoothie: add wilting leaves to your morning smoothie for an additional green boost (best options: sorrel, spinach and basil).
  • Pasta: stir leftover leaves through your pasta. The heat of the pasta will wilt the leaves slightly so you won’t even notice if they were on the turn (best options: spinach, rocket, chicory).


How to keep bananas fresh

  • Keep your bananas somewhere nice and cool, such as in a cupboard or in a fruit bowl with a mesh cover.
  • Don’t store your bananas in the fridge, unless you want them to turn black.
  • Move your bananas away from other fruits – they release ethylene gas which makes other fruit ripen faster.
  • If you’re short on space, wrap the ends of your bananas with eco food wrap – this stops the gas from escaping.
  • If your bananas are getting too ripe or you bought too many, simply chop them up and pop them in the freezer (perfect for making banana ice cream). 

Top tip: If your avocados are too hard to eat, store them with your bananas to ripen faster. 

Recipe Ideas for Bananas

There’s no end of recipes that you can make with overripe bananas – not just banana bread! 

  • Banana ice cream or milkshake is an easy one – simply whizz up frozen bananas in a food processor. Add milk to change consistency or add other ingredients you love, such as cocoa powder, fruit or vanilla extract.
  • From chutney to pancakes, use up ripe bananas in our top four banana recipes.

Looking for more food waste tips? We’ll be updating the blog, so don’t forget to check back here soon. 

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