Ways to Reuse Your Leftover Food
Have you ever thought about how much food you are wasting every day, month or year? It has happened to all of us – we bought too much food, stacked it at the back of the fridge or pantry and let it die; or we have cooked too many portions or the portion size was too big. Yes, we can freeze it for later use but we all know that chances to remember and eat the pre-cooked frozen food before it goes off are slim. So what else can you do besides throwing or freezing the leftovers of your food? Below are just some of the ways to reuse your perfectly edible leftover food.
Include it in creative new recipes!
Yesterday you ordered a pizza that you couldn’t finish, you put the leftover pieces in the fridge and today they are very cold and have hard edges – they are just not attractive to eat. But guess what!?You can use them to make pizza lasagne, pizza meatballs or even pizza hotdog(you get the picture) and have a new warm delicious meal. There are no rules against mixing recipes to create a new one so just experiment with your leftover rice (think rice cutlets); with your leftover chicken steak (think Caesar salad); or with your leftover fresh veggies (think slow cooking them with meat).
Put it in ice cubes!
All you need to preserve liquid leftovers that you might otherwise spill down the drain, such as broth, tomato paste or chicken stock is an ice tray. The bendable ones made out of silicone provide a super easy removal of the food ice cubes. But no problem if you don’t have this kind of tray, as any ice tray can do any of the following for you: ready-to-use recipe starters out of herbs and oil leftover; flavour-adding recipe finishers out of half-used boxes of beef, chicken or vegetable stock; healthy protein boost out of soon-to-expire Greek yogurt or healthy fat boost out of slightly over-ripped avocados. Even leftover drinks like coffee and hot chocolate can be frozen in ice trays so that you can add these cubes for flavour in your glass of milk or cocktails.
Make smoothies with it!
You made a dish with frozen beans or other veggies but you defrosted too much of them or you bought fresh greens like spinach and kale but forgot to use them fresh and now they are wilted. Don’t worry and just put them in a blender to make a tasty smoothie – no one would be able to notice that they were once lifeless. If you now have a portion of the smoothie as a leftover – don’t force it down nor tip it in the sink. With the use of gelatine, you can make smoothie gummiesto snack on in the morning going to work or after your gym session to replace nutrients quickly.
Stir it into an oatmeal!
You made a berry cheesecake but you have leftover berries now. You made banana bread but bought too many bananas that are becoming spotty. Don’t panic as you can add almost any type of fruit to your oatmeal and have a healthy breakfast the next morning.
Share or donate it, don’t dump it!
The most social way to reuse the good food you no longer need is to share it or donate it to someone who needs it but cannot afford it. Why not offer it to your neighbors, friends or co-workers? If they don’t need it, then the shelters for homeless people are always open to accept any kind of donations.
Even if none of the above works for you, still don’t throw your leftover food away as the most environmentally-friendly solution is to compost it in your backyard composter or start a compost pile. If you don’t have a yard, then buy or make your own worm composter which you can keep indoors or on your balcony. This system will provide you with nutrient-rich soil for your veggie garden or potted plants while at the same time the worms will eat your food scraps reducing the amount of rubbish going to landfills.
So, next time you have some spotty fruits or you are left with the last few scoops of roasted veggies, rather than throwing them out, repurpose them using some of thesequick and easyideas.They are good for your bank account, other people and our environment.
Fixie owner, risk-taker, ukulelist, reclaimed wood collector and storyteller. Working at the fulcrum of design and sustainability to develop visual solutions that inform and persuade.She spends most of her time on doing kitchen stuff reviews and owns several health and home sites such as gearweare.com, runnerclick.com, monicashealthmag.com, janeskitchenmiracles.com & nicershoes.com.