Fridge your fruit
I recently joined the judging panel for Ocado’s Food Waste Challenge with Little Inventors, and an 11-year-old girl came up with an ingenious idea – a food waste fighting fridge-friendly fruit bowl - in a bid to help Britain cut down the £15 billion-worth of binned goods annually from our homes. The bowl, named the ‘Alarm Cup’, can be used to keep fruit in the fridge - where it’ll stay at its best for longer - and notifies its owner with two days to go before expiry, was crowned the winner.
“Fruit is one of the UK's most wasted food types, with 800,000 whole apples thrown away as part of the 5 million tonnes of good food binned every year in the country. Apart from bananas and pineapples, most fruit lasts much longer in the fridge – try it with apples, pears, citrus fruits, stone fruits; they’ll all stay deliciously crisp and fresh!”
Treat yourself to guilt-free banana ice cream
Brilliantly, the Alarm Cup can also be used for fruit that shouldn’t be stored in the fridge and one of those is, of course, bananas. “If your bananas are beginning to go brown, peel and pop in the freezer in a bag or plastic container – blast in the blender for delicious ‘ice cream’. Never store your bananas in the fridge: they’ll go black in there!”
Stay cool this summer with frozen fruits
A great way to keep cool during the heatwave is to freeze fruits such as grapes, berries and citrus fruit wedges. These frozen fruits can be popped into your glass for a novel and fruity way to keep grown-ups - and their drinks - cool. It looks appealing too, so give it a try!
Ice cube trays aren’t just for water
At home, one of the main reasons for binning food is that we don’t use it in time; yet there are some really simple things we can all do, such as making sure we store our food in the best way, to make the most of the food we buy. Did you know that little bit of leftover red wine can be frozen and used to add flavour to your spaghetti Bolognese? Or save pesto from the curse of going mouldy once opened by freezing it into cubes – perfect for a pasta lunch. You can even freeze milk in an ice cube tray and pop a cube or two straight into your tea or coffee when you run out of the fresh stuff.
Blitz those breadcrumbs
Fresh bakery items have a short shelf life, but bread, buns and baguettes can be frozen to be used another time. You can also blitz into breadcrumbs for crunchy toppings - think moussaka and shepherd’s pie. Freezing a loaf? Tap the bottom of the bread on a surface before freezing to keep the slices separated. You can toast the bread straight from the freezer.
Did you say kitchen roll with your side salad?
Keep salad leaves fresher for longer by keeping them in their original packaging and putting a piece of kitchen roll into the bag and clipping the top – a peg will do - to stop the leaves from going sad or even worse, slimy, quite so quickly.
Leftover life hacks
Currently the average family wastes the equivalent to £67 worth of food every month. Save some cash and transform last night’s leftovers into tonight’s feast (or today’s lunch). Check out www.lovefoodhatewaste.com for oodles of lovely leftovers recipes.
Ocado’s recent Food Waste Challenge collaboration with Little Inventors comes alongside its new Fight Food Waste platform – recently publishing total 2017 food waste figure of 0.02% – just 1 in 6,000 items. Further waste-reducing initiatives from the online supermarket include its Product Life Guarantee and receipts arranged by Use By Dates.
Watch the making of The Alarm Cup video here and to see all of the competition entries from Britain’s pint sized pioneers, visit ocado.littleinventors.org
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