There was a time in our nation's history, not so very long ago, when the act of letting perfectly good food spoil was seen as a character flaw. Any mother worth her salt would stretch her family's food dollars by using up every little bit of whatever it was she had. That was certainly the case for my grandmother and mother. Somewhere along the line, we have become a very wasteful people. Canadians waste almost $28 billion worth of food each year, at about 183 kg per person.
That's a cryin' shame in a world where people still starve to death.
So, what do we do about it? Well, let's start with a few basics ...
1. Make a meal plan. At the risk of becoming a bore, they really do help. You only buy what you plan to eat, and you have a plan to use the stuff up. Learn how to make a meal plan HERE.
2. Keep an eye on the stuff in your fridge. Each week, give your fridge a wipe out and make note of anything approaching expiry. Make a plan to use it up in time. If your fruit or vegetables are getting to the end of the line, quickly wash and freeze them for later.
3. For those things that don't freeze so well, cook them up into something. For example, last week I found myself with about a dozen or so apples and a pineapple that were just at that point ... you know the point ... when they are still edible, but your kids won't touch them because they a little soft and bruisy. Ya, that point.
So I made some Pineapple/Apple Sauce. It used up all the fruit and made a lovely dessert for us for several days. The girls even took some to school.
I just cut everything up (12 apples and 1 pineapple) and put them in a large pot with about 1/2 cup of water. I cooked them over medium heat for about 20 minutes, until everything was super-soft.
I then took my awesome immersion blender (you've met her before, just about every time I make soup), and blended up the applesauce. My kids hate lumpy applesauce, so I have to do this for a while, making sure to pulverize every last bit of the stuff.
I then added about 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 1 heaping teaspoon of cinnamon and a teaspoon of vanilla. You could add more or less sugar depending on how sweet you want it to be.
And there you have it! A delicious dessert and a whole lot less waste!
Do you have any go-to recipes to use up food that's about to spoil?