CUT FOOD WASTE, SAVE A FORTUNE!
Do you chuck half the contents of your fridge in the bin at the end of the week? These tips from nutrition experts will help you keep your food fresh for longer – and cut your shopping bill in the process
PROTECT YOUR VEG Apparently, every year we throw away 40 per cent of the bagged salad we buy. “Keep lettuce and salad leaves in a Tupperware box with dry paper towel to absorb their moisture and stop them going off,” says Lily Soutter, nutritionist and Bowel and Cancer Research supporter.
“Also store asparagus in a glass of water in the fridge to keep it crisp. Wrapping broccoli and celery in foil before putting in the fridge will help keep them fresher for longer too.” How can you protect an unused half of an avocado? “Leave the stone in and brush the flesh with lemon juice or olive oil to prevent it from browning,” Lily advises.
Nutritionist and weight loss expert Pippa Campbell (pippacampbellhealth.com) adds, “Don’t wash food before you store it in the fridge because it will deteriorate sooner. Just make sure you remember to do it before you eat it.”
UTILISE YOUR FREEZER
There’s no need to let citrus fruits dry up in your fridge. “Slices of lemon, lime and orange can be stored in the freezer ready to add to drinks – they’ll keep your drink cool too!” says Lily. “To prevent fresh herbs from going off, cut them into chunks, mix with a drizzle of olive oil and freeze in ice cube trays.” No more throwing away mushy bags of basil!
MAKE STOCK WITH YOUR LEFTOVERS
Nutritionist Jody Middleton (jodymiddleton.com) says, “Instead of throwing away the bones from your Sunday joint of meat, put them in a slow cooker with some carrots, onions and celery, cover with water, then cook them for 12 hours. You’ll end up with some very healthy, anti-inflammatory, gut-repairing stock.” Jody also suggests keeping leftover veg from every meal to add to stock. She says, “Save carrot ends, onion peel and other leftover veg and throw them into the freezer in bags for making stock on a different day.”
STORE IT PROPERLY
Nutritionists agree that the way you store certain items makes a huge difference to their longevity. “Your fridge needs to be cool enough – 5ºc or below,” says Lily. “Keeping your milk on the middle shelf will help it stay cooler than in the fridge door, so it will last longer.”
“Separate fruit and veg – apples and bananas ripen other fruit and vegetables quickly,” explains Pippa. “Minimise the problem by putting fruit and veggies in their own drawers in the fridge, or in separate areas on the countertop, depending on how you prefer to store them.”
And Jody adds, “Leave your onions and potatoes out of the fridge, instead keep them in the dark away from other vegetables to make them last longer. Also, as weird as it sounds, keep an apple in your bag of potatoes – it will stop them from sprouting so quickly.” Genius!