Try these healthy kitchen habits to get the most out of your fresh produce and reduce waste in the kitchen.
By Kylie Alla
We all know that feeling of guilt associated with seeing our fruit and veg slowly brown in their bowl, but this can be avoided and it doesn’t have to involve buying less on your weekly shop.
Plant-based meal delivery service, Soulara’s in-house food scientist, Kylie Alla, has shared some sage advice when it comes to redirecting perfectly good produce from the trash back to your plate.
1. Store your veg correctly
This one might seem simple but can actually make a huge difference to the use you get out of your produce. Avoid tossing out browning veggies before you make the most of them by storing your potatoes, onions, garlic and ginger in a cool dark place, like the pantry, not in the fridge. This handy tip will stop them from going soft or mouldy.
Store leafy greens and salad in a ziplock or produce bag in the fridge to protect them from the cold. Snip the ends from soft herbs and place them in a small jar of water in the fridge with a bag over the top to get a couple of weeks use out of them.
2. Utilise Leftover Ingredients
Repurposing leftovers is a habit that should be adopted in every household. Not only does it reduce food waste, it’s a great time and money saver when it comes to the way you eat. This doesn’t have to mean endless soups or pasta with a combination of random ingredients, there are actually plenty of ways to make the most of your leftovers.
Some food for thought: Use leftover curry and roast veggies to make pie filling. Simply transfer your curry to a ramekin and cover with a disc of puff pastry. Brush pastry with milk (non-dairy works here too) and bake at 200C for 20 mins or until pastry is puffed and golden brown.
Try to save any leftover stock and sauces from dinner in a reusable jar, and serve up with some cheese toasties for lunch the following day. The leftover sauce from Soulara’s Deva Dahl Makhani is an absolutely flavour bomb, tasting just as good the next day.
3. Make the freezer your friend
If you’ve got a fridge full of fresh produce but you’re heading away for the weekend, then it’s time to buddy up with your freezer. The beauty of the freezer is that literally anything can be frozen and kept for later – save the guilt of ever buying too much.
Chop your cauliflower and broccoli into florets, slice zucchini into rounds, and shred winter greens like kale and spinach, then place them in containers and freeze for handy meal prep when you’re ready.
4. Use ice water to refresh your herbs and greens
We all know what it’s like to look in the veggie drawer and see a sad head of lettuce or a wilted bunch of herbs, but never fear, these can easily be rescued.
Fill a large bowl with ice water and submerge any of your leafy greens. After about 5 mins they will start perking up again. Dry them with a tea towel and enjoy your refreshed salads, as good as new!
5. Turn your veggie scraps into stock
Often the parts of your veggies that you throw away are actually packed with flavour, and are best used to make a quick veggie stock. Save the peels and ends from onions, carrots, celery, sweet corn, zucchini etc. (just avoid cruciferous vegetables and potatoes), and keep them in the freezer until you have two to three cups worth.
Place them in a large pot with a litre of water, a sprinkle of salt and your favourite dried herbs, then simmer for 20 minutes. Strain the liquid once it’s cooled, and use the stock for stews, soups and pasta sauces.
So next time you turn your nose up at a soft vegetable or piece of fruit, remember that tossing it out doesn’t have to be the only answer!
Soulara is an Australian plant-based, ready-made meal delivery company. Our in-house chefs take inspiration from all over the globe to bring you new and exciting meals every week, while our in-house dieticians ensure each meal is nutritionally balanced. This allows you to get plenty of the nutrients you need to thrive while on a plant-based diet, even protein.
As well as being 100% plant-based, Soulara cooks all our meals fresh and uses atmosphere-modified packaging to keep the meals as nutritious and delicious as the day we cooked them. Due to this, you get to enjoy restaurant-quality meals for less from the comfort of your own home.