3 September 2016

What to do with the Most Wasted Foods in the UK

I have just read another article in the Huffington Post about food waste in the UK.

According to point 8 in the article the most-wasted foods and drinks are bread, potato, milk, fizzy drinks, fruit juice and smoothies, poultry, pork, ham and bacon, cakes and pastries. Well, let me tell you something …

… actually several somethings.

Bread Scraps


See here for 7 Interestingly Different Ideas for Leftover Bread, for instance this Melted Onion Panade.


Leftover Potatoes

See 8 ideas for leftover baked potatoes here  and how to make wonderfully named and delicious Krumplinudli from mashed potato is here.





Surplus Milk


Interestingly milk seems to last way, way longer than its Use By date to no detriment whatsoever.  See here for details and you might think again before throwing the stuff away!

~   Leftover milk can be frozen – it is not great for drinking once thawed but is fine in recipes which is easier if you freeze in ice cubes.
~   Make milkshakes – especially useful if you also have “leftover” ice cream!
~   Add to mashed potatoes
~   Make rice pudding
~   Poach some fish in it.
~   Turn leftover milk into buttermilk for baking by stirring 1 tablespoon of lemon juice into 240ml milk.

If your milk has separated, lucky you – it is surprisingly easy to make lovely cheese.




Leftover Fizzy Drinks


~   Freeze leftovers in ice cube trays and use them to cool down further fizzy drinks without diluting them!
~   Make Sorbet - partially freeze the fizzy beverage then either break up the crystals with a fork or similar or run through the food processor. Add a little suitable alcohol (it must be a spirit and use 50ml per 250ml of fizz) such as rum with coke or Cointreau with fizzy orange and re-freeze.
~   Rumour has it that using soda drinks in baking works but I haven’t tried it. If you have let me know how it went!


Leftover Fruit Juice


~ Freeze, as above, as ice cubes for the same reason.
~ Mix in a little icing sugar and use to glaze cakes.
~ Toss summer fruit in a few spoonsful of orange or other suitable juice 30 minutes before serving.
~ Cocktails - many cocktails include fruit juice, see this article on BuzzFeed and have fun!
~ Make a delicious sauce for your dinner! See point 8 here on how to deglaze a pan and use whatever juice goes well with your meat or fish e.g. apple juice with pork, cranberry with turkey, lemon with fish etc. 

Tomato juice is a rather special case, I suggest you either add it to soups and stews or make a …

Bloody Mary


Per person


90ml tomato juice
45ml Vodka
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco
black pepper
a stick of celery with leaves

~ Fill a tall glass with ice.
~ Mix together the tomato juice, vodka and lemon juice and season to taste (as us food writers say) with the Worcester sauce, Tabasco and black pepper.
~ Pour over the ice and bung in the celery!

Leftover Smoothies

I’m afraid I am flummoxed with this one, other than freeze it, and don’t think I am alone. Here are someone else’s smoothie ideas but they are somewhat tongue in cheek!

Leftover Poultry, Pork and Ham


Throwing away leftover meats of any kind is absurd, there’s so many ways to use them; sandwiches, stir fries, soups, salad, risotto, pasta, pizza and so on. Why anyone would chuck it is beyond me –

As a taster, so to speak, here is a lovely way to use up ham – Haluski. 

Leftover Bacon – a rather special meat!


See here for an utterly wonderful use for leftover bacon – Bacon Salt which is great for making all sorts of dishes bacony! I am absolutely delighted with this.




Too Much Cake – ridiculous, who throws away cake?


Good ideas are – add crumbled cake to ice cream, trifle, make cake pops, cake truffles (details in The Leftovers Handbook) or make cake croutons (dice the cake, toss in melted butter and then bake in a medium oven till crisp and golden) to serve with desserts.


Leftover Pastries

Now this is a tricky one, especially without knowing what sort of pastries, but if I had such a thing leftover I would probably freeze it and have a think. Or maybe eat it and have a coffee.

Do croissants qualify as pastries? They make lovely French Toast (much better than made with bread), good in bread pudding of the custardy sort, as are Danish pastries, and they also make great croutons.










Now then, don't you wonder what ideas I have for the other 450 potential leftovers in my book The Leftovers Handbook?

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