January 31, 2023

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How can you prevent food waste in your home?

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With food inflation rising at its fastest rate in nearly four decades, there’s no time like the present to learn some interesting ways to keep your food fresher for longer. Food wastage is a big problem for us Britons, with the average UK household throwing away around £800 worth of food every year. That’s around £70 a month!

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At this point in time, moving your meals further and preventing good food from being thrown away is one of the top ways you can save money on your food shopping. You might be surprised at some of these top tips!

Put Your Vegetables in a Vinegar Bath

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Showering your vegetables with vinegar when you bring them home from the supermarket not only helps to naturally disinfect them, but also helps keep them clean and removes any bad bacteria that may be lingering on your skin. Can break down food more quickly.

Put your vegetables in a bath of three parts water to one part vinegar. You shouldn’t taste vinegar on your produce afterwards. Let your carrots, broccoli, parsnips and peppers soak for about 15 minutes.

Wash and dry them thoroughly before placing them in the refrigerator. Removing bacteria keeps your vegetables fresh for up to a fortnight. This helps prevent food waste that usually comes from rotting vegetables.

add salt to your milk

We hadn’t even heard of it! Once opened, your milk can last anywhere from about four to 10 days in your fridge. It depends on what type of milk you use, and how many cups of tea you consume! If you’re like us, we can’t pass the day without an endless cuppa with a good biscuit. But we regret.

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Adding a pinch of salt to milk immediately after opening it acts as a preservative. This prevents bacteria from growing without compromising on the taste of dairy products. Shake the carton well and put it in the fridge as soon as possible.

Don’t put it in the door, mind. The door is the hottest part of your fridge, as it is the furthest from the cooling system. Try placing your milk cartons on the tallest shelves in the back of the fridge. This will prolong its shelf life, guaranteed.

Freeze Herbs and Nuts

Fresh herbs are delicious, but they often go unused and end up in compost. Try freezing them before turning. You can keep them in freezer bags as they are, or finely chop your herbs and put them in ice cube trays.

You can either fill ice cube trays with good old water, or drizzle them with olive oil, adding them to dishes to give them that wonderful herb flavor. Plus, using an ice cube tray means you get the right portion size every time.

This can be done with green herbs, such as parsley, coriander and chives, as well as flavorful add-ins such as garlic and ginger.

You can also freeze surprisingly crazy. Although nuts and seeds have a longer shelf life than fresh herbs, they only last three to six months. If you need to extend the shelf life of any nuts you have in your cupboard, you can keep them in the fridge. However, if for some reason you don’t think you’ll be able to use up the nuts you have on hand, you can keep them in the freezer.

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keep herbs alive

On the topic of herbs, did you know that treating your fresh herbs like fresh flowers will make them last even longer? Pour water into a glass or small vase, put your herbs in it, and place a plastic sandwich or freezer bag on top. This will keep your herbs fresh, crunchy and vibrant for a long time.

Of course, dried herbs are the best bet if you’re someone who finds yourself going through a lot of herbals.

hard cheese wrap

Wrap your hard cheese in parchment or baking paper, removing the plastic packaging. Plastic packages can create excess moisture, which can encourage mold. Similarly, the parchment allows your cheese to ‘breathe’ without drying it out.

Give new life to stale bread

Freezing any bread that you don’t think you’ll use up quickly enough, before it becomes stale or moldy, is one way to prevent food waste. However, if you forget to do so, you can run an ice cube over the bread before placing it in the oven for a few minutes.

If you don’t have ice, sprinkle some water on your bread. This allows the moisture to return to the bread, making it edible once again. You can also use stale bread to make homemade bread crumbs, which can then be frozen.

separate your bananas

There are a lot of myths about bananas and whether they speed up the ripening of other fruits nearby. The answer is yes, technically they do. All fruits produce ethylene, a gas. Bananas produce high concentrations of this gas, which accelerates the ripening of the surrounding products.

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Apples, peaches, pears, melons and avocados also produce high concentrations of ethylene, so be mindful of where you store these in relation to other fresh items.

Wrapping bananas in tin foil or cling film can slow the ripening process, increasing their shelf life by a day or two. You can wrap them individually or as a bunch. Don’t forget, browned bananas are perfect for making delicious banana bread, so consider this before throwing anything away.

use paper towels

Did you know that paper towels can be a great help when it comes to storing your berries? Whether you’re a fan of strawberries, blueberries or raspberries, don’t let the juicy, sweet goodness go to waste. Berries should be stored in an airtight container with a dry piece of kitchen roll.

The paper absorbs any excess moisture, reducing the chance of mold developing on the fruit. Change the paper towels every other day for maximum freshness. This can add up to three weeks to the life of your berries!

Do you have any top tips for preventing food waste? We want to know. Leave your comment below!

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