10 Waste Reducing Cooking Tips you need to follow
Cooking is a form of therapy for several of us. Many times, when we are stressed, worried or anxious about something, we turn to cooking and it never fails to make us feel relaxed. For those of us who are passionate about food and the various angles to it, cooking is surely a delightful time and act.
However, in the process of cooking and the happiness it induces inside us, we often forget our responsibilities towards Nature, environment, and fellow residents of the world. There are many items (used or unused) that are left out after cooking that can be recycled and reused. A report by UN food agencies indicates that almost 815 million regularly go to bed hungry. During such a grave situation, throwing away food or the remains of it is absolutely a sin.
Here are 10 Waste Reducing Cooking Tips you need to follow
1) Keep a check on your milk
It is very common for us to buy more than we need. We do the same in the case of milk also. However, you should not let the milk go bad because it becomes inedible. It is always a better option to make cottage cheese (paneer) out of it to avoid the wastage.
2) Reuse your tea leaves after straining them
Do not throw away the tea leaves left in the sieve after straining the tea from them. These tea leaves or ‘chai patti’ are a very good source of nutrition for your plants. They act as the perfect manure for potted plants. Just keep them in the sun for 2-3 days, and mix them with soil.
3) Use overripe bananas for baking
If not consumed fast, bananas go bad in no time. However, they should not be thrown away. If they have become too soft and soggy with dark patches, there is no problem in backing them into great banana bread. They can also be used in shakes and smoothies. This saves money and prevents wastage.
4) Reuse your old chips
If you open a packet of chips and find all of them soggy and not crispy, you don’t need to throw them away. Just put the chips in a microwave on full power for 10-15 seconds, and they will be good to go in no time.
5) Make good use of leftover bread
If you have an old and dry bread lying at the back of your fridge, don’t throw it away. As long as it is not expired or unfit for consumption, they can be chopped up, sautéed with spices to make croutons for salads or soup.
6) Don’t throw away vegetable trimmings or meat bones
Vegetable trimmings and bones can be stored in a stock bag and stored in the freezer for quite some time. When the bag is full, you can easily be able to turn these trimmings into a delicious and appetizing homemade stock.
7) Reuse broccoli stems and stalks
Broccoli stems and stalks taste like broccoli too. They can be saved for stock, chopped up for soups, stews or as a side dish. If you are blending your stalks, you don’t need to peel them. If you’re eating them chopped into chunks, you should peel them as the outside of the stalk can be tough and fibrous.
8) Use beet greens, radish greens, turnip greens and carrot tops
These nutritious greens should not be tossed into the compost or trash. Rather, they must be incorporated into your cooking. Since they can be bitter, you should not eat them raw. But they work wonderfully when cooked, or when paired with acidity, salt and a pinch of sweetness in a pesto recipe.
9) Utilize the freezer
Freezing is an age-old method to store food. If you have leftovers that you suspect you won’t be able to eat before they go bad, you can pop them into the freezer. Same goes for most ingredients, as most of them freeze just as well.
10) Cook ingredients with a shorter shelf life first
Leafy vegetables or vegetables having high water content have a shorter shelf life, so you should cook them earlier in the week. On the other hand, hard vegetables like broccoli, carrots, and potatoes can hold out longer, so you can save them for later in the week.