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More taste, less waste: turn leftovers into something new

Did you know 70% of UK food waste comes from households? In UK households we waste 6.5 million tonnes of it every year, 4.5 million of which is edible. That’s enough to fill 38 million wheelie bins, or 90 Royal Albert Halls.

We’re not talking egg shells or chicken bones. We mean the last few bites from your plate that you couldn’t quite manage, or produce slightly past its best. 

Surprisingly, these small decisions we make every day are responsible for a huge amount of food waste, as many of us choose to ignore the skins, leaves and  stalks of our favourite  fruit and veg. When we could be using this leftover fruit and Veg to make something new and exciting to consume instead.

Our 6 Top Tips For Making Something New

Pickled cucumber – Half a cucumber going spare?

  • Slice your cucumber into ribbon, discs, or strips and add to a jar or bowl
  • Cover with equal parts white wine vinegar and caster sugar
  • Add any extra herbs and seasoning that you fancy – dill and chilli are great to add some extra zing. Leave for 15 minutes.
  • There you have it pickled cucumber to add to your salads, burgers, picnics. You can also do this with sliced radishes, carrots or beetroot.

Pesto – Leftover herb stalks or some spinach and rocket which is getting a bit wilted?

  • Wizz these up (or chop finely and grind in a pestle & mortar) with a handful of nuts, grated parmesan and a splash of olive oil for some quick and easy pesto.

Berry Smoothie – Leftover berries that are going a little squishy?

  • Blend these up with some ice cubes, your milk of choice or just the fruit – the choice is yours for a refreshing summer’s day smoothie

Vegetable Crisps – Use up your veg peelings and make your own crisps.

  • Give your peelings a good rinse, pat them dry and then pop in a roasting tray with a drizzle of oil and some salt.
  • Roast in the oven until deep golden brown and crispy them tip directly into a serving bowl – perfect for that Saturday movie night.
  • Tip – make them yours and add some smoky paprika or cumin too for some added spice

Tomato chutneyTomatoes gone squishy?

  • Roast or simmer your leftover tomatoes with sugar, salt, lemon juice, and whatever aromatics or spices you like — maybe cinnamon, fennel seeds, and dried red chiles, or onion, vinegar, cumin, and coriander — until they are super soft and broken down. 
  • Then spread liberally on any and all bread you can find – perfect for cheese sandwiches in your garden (or balcony). 

Fruit JamOdd bits of fruit lying around?

  • Use just one fruit or… simply store all your little bits in your freezer until you have enough for a batch.
  • Here’s a quick recipe: combine 500g of your fruit of choice with 30g of sugar, 2tbsp of lemon and a pinch of salt in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat and mash slightly with a potato masher or fork. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer, stirring continuously until the mixture is jammy and thick – approximately 20 minutes. 
  • Turn off the heat and transfer into a clean glass jar, cool to room temp, seal and label with the fruit and the date.
  • Tip – you can make with any quantity of fruit just add sugar to taste.

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