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If you love purchasing fresh ingredients to include into your day-to-day cooking regime, then you most likely know that a lot of it can often go to waste, not because we mean to, but because the uncertainty of life takes over – work runs late, we get invited out to dinner or we end up eating cereal instead of the roasted chicken and vegetables we had originally planned to make.
With that being said, a lot can be done to reduce wastage while spicing up those everyday home-cooked meals.
Below are a few simple recipes that can help spice up your usual food options, while using up those unused fresh ingredients before they make their way into the bin. These are particularly great if you’re travelling this festive season, and need to get rid of those last few remaining fridge items.
Try using unused vegetables to make fresh, home-made sauces to accompany any standard meal – they taste great and are easy to whip up.
A Homemade tomato and onion sauce is a perfect example and goes with just about any meal. Boil some tomatoes in boiling water for a few minutes, drain and pull off the skins. In a separate pan, lightly fry some onions and some fresh herbs. Once done, briefly blend everything together in a food processor. Heat until the mixture has reduced to a thicker consistency and season to taste.
Another great idea is to get the kids involved by chopping up or placing left over vegetables into little bowls, which they can then choose from when making their own whole-wheat pita pockets. Tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, peppers and left over cottage cheese are all great options to include over and above a lean meat option of your choice!
Finally, we all have one or two potatoes in the back of our kitchen cupboards that are starting to look as if they would grow if you decided to pot them. If you plan to cook a meat based dish, then why not spend a few minutes making some delicious homemade fries? Your kids will love you for it!
Potatoes, preferably sweet potatoes as they are high in vitamin B6, and are a good source of vitamin C and D as well as iron and magnesium.
Step 1: Wash and peel the potatoes (or leave the skins on for added fibre).
Step 2: Cut the potatoes into slices.
Step 3: Season the potatoes. Remember, there’s no need to add oil.
Step 4: Bake the slices at 200° C for approximately 30 minutes until crisp.
If you always seem to have a fruit bowl with overly ripe fruit, then try this tip the next time you bring home the groceries. Leave half of your fruit out for your family to enjoy as an easy-to-reach snack, but cut up the other half into little pieces and freeze them in separate re-sealable plastic bags. They will last longer and will taste just as great as a filling smoothie or a refreshing sorbet.
Tip: Remember to remove the skin of fruits such as banana’s, apples, kiwi’s and pineapple before freezing.
Home-made sorbet is a great alternative and what’s convenient about the below recipe, is that you can mix and match just about any fruits to make a flavour that suits your taste buds – just make sure that your fruit is frozen before you begin.
- ¾ cup frozen strawberries (or any berries) – chopped
- ½ frozen banana – chopped
- 1/3 lemon juice
Step 1: Place all ingredients into a blender.
Step 2: Blend until the mixture starts to come together into an icy, smooth, creamy paste. This may take a little while as the fruit needs to soften.
A little liquid will help speed up the process, so feel free to add a small dash of water, fruit juice or coconut milk (depending on what taste you prefer). There are lots of fresh and simple recipes that you can use to manage your fridge without having to throw fresh produce away.