Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Sustainable September 2017 - Day Fourteen



Hello my Sustainable friends,

Welcome back to Sustainable September!

Today has been a long and busy day for me so I will keep this as short and sweet as I can. 

Yesterday was all about packaging, I even shared how hard it can be for a person with allergies and intolerances to get unpackaged items. However, today I found some gluten free Sweet Potato crisps at a bulk store (instead of buying a plastic wrapped packet of Sweet Potato crisps). I don't buy them very often because they are not that good for me. However seeing as I am currently on the Auto-Immune Protocol Paleo Food lifestyle where there are not many easy access foods, this is the best of a bad bunch.

Sustainable September Day Fourteen - Store food so they last longer.

I must admit that this one is new to me. Some of these tips and tricks may not apply to everyone, depending on what you purchase at the shops or farmers markets. I heard a whole heap of these from one of my favourite Podcasts... The Slow Home Podcast. Brooke McAlary has a wonderful podcast and blog that talks about slowing down and one of the things she discussed a few months ago (after the Australian Broadcast of War on Waste) was how to REDUCE waste. Here is a screenshot of my phone and the podcast athay I will be talking about today.

This link gives you 50 Different Ways to REDUCE your food waste. So I will pinch some of the things from this list that i have used in my own kitchen to save on waste. Have a look at the link above so that you can see other awesome ideas that apply to you. Then share them with me... i want to know what works. :)

Some of this stuff I have also learned through trial and error.

Did you know you can freeze a whole lot of stuff? For example, do you have a half used glass jar of Pesto? Instead of throwing out the left overs (or letting it sit in your fridge to go mouldy and rot before throwing it out), use an ice tray to separate single serves of pesto and freeze. It is usually in about tablespoon quantities. So you can throw it into some other things you make in the kitchen later.

Celery - For me, If I buy celery, I need to cut it up into smaller pieces for dips and snacks because if I leave it as a whole it tends to wilt without being touched. If it is cut then it gets eaten fast and there is a lot less waste. I cut them, then store them covered in water in a reusable container. Drain them before eating. Changing the water every second day.

I often use Celery in making Vegetable Stock, along with a lot of other veggies (you can also use celery tops and leaves for stock).

Carrots - In my house, if they are precut they get eaten faster. I cut them, then store them covered in water in a reusable container. Drain them before eating. Changing the water every second day.

If I have some whole carrots starting to get bendy I use them in my Green Smoothies. In the mornings I make a smoothy that contains a carrot, a handful of spinach leaves, half a cucumber, a cup of blanched kale, half an apple, the juice of half a lemon, either half an avacado or a teaspoon of olive oil, and then I add other bits like a handful of Berries, sometimes some limp celery, or over ripe banana or pears, or other fruit or veggies that are starting to look a little sad.

I often use Celery in making Vegetable Stock, along with a lot of other veggies (you can also use celery tops and leaves for stock).

Berries - For firm berries, you can rinse them in vinegar, dry them and store them in the fridge on a bed of papertowel in a plastic container. For more details about how to care for them check out this indepth tutorial about how to make your berries last longer here.

Any sad looking berries (not mouldy) can be thrown into a smoothie too.

Spinach/Lettuce/Kale leaves - I discovered that if I trim then wrap my lettuce, kale and spinach leaves into the damp clothes (damp teatowels) and then put it in a reusable container it lasts a lot longer than when I used to buy them in plastic bags.

This is my pink tea towel, my English spinach and a reusable plastic container I store in my fridge. 

Hard Cheese - Although I do not use Cheese (or any Dairy) personally, my family does. When we have bits of hard cheeses left over we chuck the extra bits in a container in the freezer. When you have a small container in the freezer full, put it in a blender and blend it all up together and you can use this extra cheese for making things like Cauliflower cheese or nachos. I learned this one from Jamie Oliver. We love putting parmesan rinds in soups. Cauliflower soup with parmesan is awesome - I remember this, even though I dont eat it anymore.

Bananas - Don’t compost your squishy, over-ripe bananas. Peel, slice and freeze on a tray, then transfer the rounds to a container. These are perfect for for banana bread, smoothies, protein pancakes, or my favourite is Banana Coconut Ice-cream (Daena Friendly & accidentally Vegan!). 

VeggiesKeep all your veggie offcuts, peels, skins and trimmings in a container in the freezer. When there’s a good amount, put it all in a big saucepan, cover with water, and cook for a few hours. It makes a delicious rich (free!) veggie stock that can then be frozen and used as needed.

Meat - Only keep out what you’re cooking in the next day or two. Separate the rest of the meat into meal-size portions. Alternatively you can take containers to the butcher and ask them to separate the meat into meal sized portions for you. You can then put it in the freezer with a lable if you need it. 

ACTIVITY - Start a Waste Free Cookbook. 
Basically it involves finding your favourite recipes to use up any of your usual food waste.

Do you often have too many bananas? do they get black and end up in the bin because you dont know what to do with them? Well how about finding a good banana bread recipe? Or peel the banana and put it in the freezer to use in smoothies, cakes or ice-creams. 

There is so much information here. You can take on whatever you want to do and give it a go. You don't have to do everything at once, I don't want to overwhelm you! 

I hope this finds you all well, 
love Daena xx

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