Words Vicki Ravlich-Horan, Images Brydie Thompson
New figures recently released indicate New Zealander’s throw out more than $3 billion worth of food each year – more than $1,500 per household per year.
While many of us compost or have worm farms and some regions have food waste collections which all reduce the impact of this food going to landfill, there is a step before discarding and that is utilising. Perhaps it’s time to take a leaf out of our grandmothers’ and great grandmothers’ books and waste not want not. Those who lived through the Great Depression and rationing were, by necessity, skilful at not wasting food.
Here are a few ideas to get you started. We’d love to hear yours too, so share your tips or recipes on our Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Apple Core Jelly
Made an apple pie or crumble and been left with a pile of apple peels and cores? Before you throw them in the worm farm or compost bin, why not make apple jelly!
Peels and cores from 12 to 15 apples
Place the apple peels and cores into a large pot and add enough water to cover.
Bring to a boil and cook until the cores are mushy, and the water level has reduced by half.
Strain out the apple scraps, measuring the liquid left behind. For every cup of apple liquid, add half a cup of sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook, stirring often, until the mixture reaches the gel point (105°C).
Ladle the jelly into hot sterilised jars and seal.
Each year, more than 282 tonnes of broccoli stems are thrown out. Apparently a third of us (37 percent) think the stalk is rubbish. The stalk is over half of what you are paying for when you buy broccoli, so don’t throw that away. Peeled and julienned, the stalk is a lovely addition to salads and slaws. Or slice it and throw it into stir-fries. Or if you have a lot, make them into broccoli chips. The mere fact they are called chips will have the family clamouring for them.
Peel the stalk and slice into chip-like batons.
Place in a bowl and toss with olive oil, grated parmesan, a little salt or other seasoning (Opito Bay Sazón would be perfect!)
Lay out on a baking tray and bake at 180°C for 15–20 minutes until golden brown.
Peanut Butter Jar Dressing
Don’t wash the last of the peanut butter down the drain, instead use the jar and remaining peanut butter to make a scrummy satay like dressing. You can apply this practice to other jars and bottles too (think the bottle of sweet chilli sauce). Or add some sour cream into a jar of my favourite pickle to make a delicious dip, spread or dressing.
approx. ¼ cup peanut butter left in the jar
2 tbsp hot water
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2–3 tbsp fresh lime juice
3 tbsp neutral oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp honey or brown sugar
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1–2 cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
Place the hot water in the peanut butter jar, place the lid back on and give it a good shake to loosen all the peanut butter on the sides. Add the remaining ingredients and shake again until well combined.
Feta in a Jar
I love feta but hate how I never manage to get through a whole block before something starts growing on it. So this trick has been a game changer!
Simply dissolve 1 tbsp salt in 1 cup of boiling water. Allow this to cool before placing your unused feta in a jar, covering it with the salted water. Place the lid on and store in the fridge until you need feta again.