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Thread: What can I do with....? The food waste reduction thread.

  1. #21
    Moderator Azvanna's Avatar
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    Re: What can I do with....? The food waste reduction thread.

    You guys are full of such great ideas.

    I have the Tupperware fridgemates as well. They are expensive, but I think they're worth it.

    Tonight I froze my blueberries instead of chucking them out. They'll be ready to make a compote or muffins with another day.

  2. #22
    Supporter Jembru's Avatar
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    Re: What can I do with....? The food waste reduction thread.

    Great idea Azvanna! I asked JP to pick up some blackberries yesterday and he brought home blueberries.. I'm not so keen on them. They have a weird grainy texture to me. So I think I'll freeze most of them too so I can make some kind of dessert with them over the winter! They'd have headed bin-wards for sure otherwise.
    夕方に急なにわか雨は「夕立」と呼ばれるなら、なぜ朝ににわか雨は「朝立ち」と呼ばれないの? ^^If a sudden rain shower in the evening is referred to as an 'evening stand', then why isn't a shower in the morning called 'morning stand'?

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    Re: What can I do with....? The food waste reduction thread.

    Make crisps with those beauties!!!! Or once again jam. Dump them in a pot with a heft scoop of sugar and port and cook until they have broken down. Make a slurry with water and cornstarch and add in thicken. We make tons of jams at work with our berries that are past their prime. Alright I had to do some digging cause KP likes to hide his prize recipes.

    This recipe can be used for beans or okra

    Ingredients

    Beans 2 pounds
    small dried chiles split in 1/2 4
    mustard seed 2 teaspoons
    fresh dill sprigs 12
    whole garlic cloves 4
    whole peppercorns 1 teaspoon
    kosher salt 1/4 cup
    rice wine vinegar 2 cups
    bottled water 2 cups
    sterilized pint-sized jars 4

    Clean and trim beans to 1/2 pieces, Place 1 chile, 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds, 3 sprigs of dill, 1 clove of garlic and 1/4 teaspoon of peppercorns in the bottom of each of the jars. Then divided the beans evenly between the jars standing them up vertically.

    In a medium sauce pan over medium heat bring salt, vinegar and water to a boil. Once boiling pour the mixture over the beans leaving space between the the top of the liquid and the lid. Seal the lids and set in a cool place for 2 weeks
    "If you want to know what a man is like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals." -- Sirius Black

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  4. #24
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: What can I do with....? The food waste reduction thread.

    I freeze greens for smoothies before they go bad...say I've made my salad and have some leftovers, and know they will probably be funky the next day or so, pop 'em in the freezer.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

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  5. #25
    lady sings the blues DanieMarie's Avatar
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    Re: What can I do with....? The food waste reduction thread.

    I love this thread! I find that reducing food waste is a learning process. I'll share some of the things I've learned below, but I have to admit that I'm still learning myself. I still waste more than I'd like....

    Anyway, stuff I've learned:

    -I freeze things just when I think they might go off. These things include cheese, bread, and most fruits or veggies. Most of it isn't good fresh after being frozen, but they're good for cooked dishes.
    -Food storage makes a big difference. I avoid storing anything with apples, because apples make things go off. Same with bananas. I try to keep foods relatively separate in the fridge as well and store them in cloths and paper bags over plastic.
    -I shop seasonally. This week I'm also starting a food co-op, which is entirely seasonal (it's produce only and completely seasonal). I plan all of my meals around the produce I have or can get. Part of this is because I also do balcony gardening and foraging and usually have a lot of plums, tomatoes and peppers, so I have to plan my summer meals around those things. It's not the most glamorous way to eat (there's usually lots of the same things for several weeks), but I find that local, seasonal produce tastes so good I end up using it anyway.

    If all else fails, it does go in the compost bin. I'm lucky enough to live in a city with a compost collection, and we can put anything biodegradable in it. The city uses it to make the biodiesel that runs the waste collection trucks and the byproducts go to farms for fertilizer. Still, I'd rather not waste. It still takes resources to come collect the organic waste from each house.

    Anyway, I have some slightly wilting lettuce in the fridge left from the people who were housesitting for us while we were gone. It's decent lettuce, but there is a lot of it. Any tips?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Jembru View Post
    I'm still sometimes leaving it too long to use up fresh produce, especially with salad, but I'm much more conscious of what I throw out, and it really encourages me to use everything up. I buy bags of mixed leaves now, rather than various whole lettuces. It costs a little more, but if half my lettuces would just end up in the bin, I'd just be throwing money away anyway. Yet these bags of leaves don't seem to last as long, so I'm still finding that they're going mushy before I've finished the bag. The guilt kills me each time too.
    Don't buy mixed lettuce! It's usually fairly old and tearing it up like they do makes it go off faster.

    My tip would be to just make salads with one or two different kinds of lettuce. If you want to make a mixed salad, use something like rocket, endives or radicchio. Those don't go off as fast as regular lettuce and they add a lot of flavour to salads. Make up for the extra flavour with veggies. Slicing up a few veggies doesn't take long, and they usually add more flavour anyway. I like cucumbers and tomatoes (and always have a lot I have to use), but radishes and carrots last longer in the fridge.

    Also, do you have any farm markets that you can get to in your area? The fresher the lettuce, the better it tastes (it actually has a lot of flavour) and the longer it lasts.

    Storage also matters. Do NOT store lettuce in plastic. Store it in paper bags or slightly damp dish cloths. Hope that helps!

  6. #26
    Supporter Jembru's Avatar
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    Re: What can I do with....? The food waste reduction thread.

    I never thought to freeze salad, is it okay to do so? I mean, if you're going to be making it into smoothies like Thal suggests. Could I maybe add it to soups that I'll be blending too?

    A few days ago, I came by an example sentence in my grammar textbook that translates to 'lettuce isn't just good for salads, but is actually great stir-fried.' Not sure if it's true or just for the sake of illustrating the grammar point, but I think I'll give it a try next time my lettuce is starting to get a bit too brown for salads.

    That reminds me, how green is too green when it comes to potatoes? I always thought the green ones were poisonous, but I had a bag of them from my sister's allotment and while they were all from the same plants, one was significantly larger than the others. I started peeling it and it was quite green inside. The others had a feint tinge to them too, but this was much more noticeably green. I threw it away thinking it was bad, but it was a terrible waste and the guilt is still playing on my mind a little. Not sure of the variety, but the skin was reddish, and could be scrubbed off quite easily with a damp dishcloth.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by DanieMarie View Post
    Don't buy mixed lettuce! It's usually fairly old and tearing it up like they do makes it go off faster.

    My tip would be to just make salads with one or two different kinds of lettuce. If you want to make a mixed salad, use something like rocket, endives or radicchio. Those don't go off as fast as regular lettuce and they add a lot of flavour to salads. Make up for the extra flavour with veggies. Slicing up a few veggies doesn't take long, and they usually add more flavour anyway. I like cucumbers and tomatoes (and always have a lot I have to use), but radishes and carrots last longer in the fridge.

    Also, do you have any farm markets that you can get to in your area? The fresher the lettuce, the better it tastes (it actually has a lot of flavour) and the longer it lasts.

    Storage also matters. Do NOT store lettuce in plastic. Store it in paper bags or slightly damp dish cloths. Hope that helps!
    Okay, I'll give that a try. Actually, my mum has guinea pigs and they get fresh greens every day. Maybe I could start halving my lettuces and give half to my mum. I often do share my surplice with the pigs, but recently it's been turning too quickly to get it to her while it's still suitable for them. I place paper towels in the bottom of the salad drawer and keep them moist, but do you think I should be actually wrapping the whole thing?

    I just got back form grocery shopping actually. Wish I'd seen this first!
    夕方に急なにわか雨は「夕立」と呼ばれるなら、なぜ朝ににわか雨は「朝立ち」と呼ばれないの? ^^If a sudden rain shower in the evening is referred to as an 'evening stand', then why isn't a shower in the morning called 'morning stand'?

  7. #27
    Silver Member Tylluan Penry's Avatar
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    Re: What can I do with....? The food waste reduction thread.

    Actually lettuce isn't all that good for rabbits and guinea pigs. It gives them the runs.

    As regards green potatoes, if the green is just under the skin you can peel it away, but I wouldn't advise feeding it to anyone who's pregnant just in case. Otherwise I've done it quite a few times and never had any problems. Store potatoes in the fridge. They keep a lot longer.
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    Phantom Turnips never die.... they just get stewed occasionally....

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    lady sings the blues DanieMarie's Avatar
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    Re: What can I do with....? The food waste reduction thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jembru View Post

    That reminds me, how green is too green when it comes to potatoes? I always thought the green ones were poisonous, but I had a bag of them from my sister's allotment and while they were all from the same plants, one was significantly larger than the others. I started peeling it and it was quite green inside. The others had a feint tinge to them too, but this was much more noticeably green. I threw it away thinking it was bad, but it was a terrible waste and the guilt is still playing on my mind a little. Not sure of the variety, but the skin was reddish, and could be scrubbed off quite easily with a damp dishcloth.
    Don't eat it if it's that green. A bit of green can be peeled off, but lots of green under the skin is too green.

    I store potatoes in my storage cupboard out of the light.

  9. #29
    Supporter Jembru's Avatar
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    Re: What can I do with....? The food waste reduction thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tylluan Penry View Post
    Actually lettuce isn't all that good for rabbits and guinea pigs. It gives them the runs.
    According to the 'guinea-piglopedia' (the manual we got when we first got guinea pigs), iceberg lettuce isn't good for them. I never eat that horrible, tasteless stuff though (I feel like I've ranted about my hate for iceberg lettuce on PF before. I call it 'Satan's cabbage', if that rings a bell with anyone?). I mainly buy curly lettuce (especially the red one, but green will do), chard, rocket if it's not too strong, and spinach. That's what I mean when I talk about my 'salad', and they're all, according to our book, not only okay for pigs, but advisable at least a few days a week.

    Sorry, I spun off topic there. I just didn't want anyone to misunderstand and think we weren't taking proper care of our lil' piggies. We're doing our best, promise! My mum in particular is very good on which things can be a sometimes treat and what can be safely fed daily.

    Back on topic now. So I was probably right to throw that spud out? It's still a crying shame. Maybe I should have kept it and replanted it? That would work, right?

    I've heard that both keeping potatoes in the fridge is better, and also that you shouldn't keep them in there at all. I currently keep ours at the back of a cupboard next to the freezer, although to be honest, this is not so much a preference as it is convenient, because we have a very small fridge and buy a lot of fresh stuff so it's always packed.. because our freezer is also very small... there's a bit of a vicious cycle thing going on here, can you tell? ^^
    夕方に急なにわか雨は「夕立」と呼ばれるなら、なぜ朝ににわか雨は「朝立ち」と呼ばれないの? ^^If a sudden rain shower in the evening is referred to as an 'evening stand', then why isn't a shower in the morning called 'morning stand'?

  10. #30
    lady sings the blues DanieMarie's Avatar
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    Re: What can I do with....? The food waste reduction thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jembru View Post
    Back on topic now. So I was probably right to throw that spud out? It's still a crying shame. Maybe I should have kept it and replanted it? That would work, right?
    Yeah, that works. I do it all the time. You can even grow them in containers using this technique: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening...s-in-pots.html

    But I wouldn't beat myself up about it. As much as we try to avoid waste, it's pretty much impossible to never throw anything out.

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