Pandemic fuelled panic buying has consistently been featured in the media over the past fortnight. Desolate supermarket shelves have been ransacked by ravenous shoppers, stacking their trollies high in preparation of a premature apocalypse.
Sadly, this culture of stockpiling has accumulated an excessive amount of food waste, with images littering the internet of unopened loaves of bread residing in British bins. So, put down the ten tins of beans and think twice before binning that bread. This enlightening list has been compiled to combat inordinate amounts of food waste Brits are being bombarded with.
If stale bread is stacking up in your bread bin, why not blitz it into breadcrumbs or freeze the whole loaf? It will be ready to toast at a moment’s notice.
Those bananas that have been inhabiting your fruit dish for some time, so much that they could grow legs and waltz into your compost bin. They will make a smashing banana loaf. A simple recipe which can amalgamate any topping or filling your heart desires. From wonky walnuts to chunky chocolate chips, slathered with a generous spoonful of peanut butter, you can really set your wildest banana loaf fantasies free.
Banana bread recipe:
If you would like to board the banana bread baking bus, firstly preheat your oven to 180c/350f/Gas mark 4. Then, sift 285g of plain flour, One tsp of bicarbonate of soda and half a tsp of salt into a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, cream 110g of butter and 225g of caster sugar until light and fluffy. Add two eggs, four ripe mashed bananas, 85ml of buttermilk and one tsp of vanilla extract to the butter and sugar mixture and combine. Then add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture and combine. Pop the mixture into a 20cm x 12.5cm greased loaf tin and bake in the oven for one hour until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Once baked, cool the banana bread on a wire rack.
The neglected fruit draw in the fridge can harbour the odd mouldy blueberry at times, however, this abandonment must be halted. If your raspberries are looking a little ropey and your strawberries are somewhat sad, freeze them. When you fancy transporting your taste buds to a tranquil tropical island, pop your frozen fruit into a blender, add your favourite fruit juice and boom! It’s almost like being in Hawaii.
Potato peelings can pile up after prepping a roast dinner, often ending their existence in the bottom of a bin. However, the humble potato peel is worthy of great respect. It can be resurrected into a flavoursome crunchy crisp. Place the peels on a baking tray drizzle with olive oil (garlic olive oil if you’re feeling fancy) and bake for 15 minutes at 180 degrees.
The smell of fresh citrus peel can fill your home with an irresistible aroma around your home. Once you have devoured the juicy orange or succulent grapefruit, do not discard the fragrant remnants as they can be made into a multipurpose cleaner. Put your peel into a large sealable container and cover with white vinegar. Leave to infuse for two-three weeks, then mix equal parts water with the citrus vinegar and transfer to an old spray bottle. Voila! An environmentally friendly spray leaving your home smelling like the Amalfi coast.
If you have found some abandoned basil, or the rosemary needs resuscitating, pop them into an ice cube tray and fill with water. When a recipe requires herbs, you can rely on your frozen herb garden for assistance.
We are all guilty of rejecting the broccoli and carrots in the vegetable draw, seeking out the takeaway menu for a cheeky browse instead. However, halt the chicken korma, put down the poppadum’s, those vegetables can be summoned into a sumptuous soup. For an indulgent savoury soup roast the vegetables in olive oil, and blend with vegetable or chicken stock to get a desired smooth consistency. Pop some stale bread on top for a crunchy crouton topping.
The Dolmio days are long gone as the shelves have been stripped bare of the nation’s beloved pasta sauce. Wipe away those saucy sobs as you can embark on your own arrabbiata journey. Those soft tomatoes that have sailed past their best before date can be transformed into an enticing pasta dish, satisfying those quarantine cravings.
Tomato sauce recipe:
Firstly, heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan. Finely chop one medium onion and one clove of garlic and cook them gently, on medium heat for five to six minutes, until they are soft. Roughly chop 1.15kg of ripe tomatoes and add them to the saucepan with six basil leaves. Season with freshly ground salt and pepper, and leave to simmer on low heat, without a lid for one and a half hours, stirring occasionally. When the sauce has reached a jam-like consistency, you can blitz it with a hand blender, or serve it chunky.
Finally, make a meticulous meal plan and stick to it! When venturing to the supermarket on your next essentials only shopping trip, spare a thought for what frequents your fridge and cupboards before sweeping the shelves bare.