Make use of your food waste
Food waste is a massive concern for the environment and our bank balances.
You may think that you rarely waste food but you are probably throwing away some real hidden gems without even knowing it. It seems that the bits of ingredients we consider to be useless in the meals we prepare can actually take your cooking to a whole new level. I've outlined the most common waste mistakes we make below.
Onions are a key base ingredient in tons of recipes. But their skins are usually thrown away. However, onion skins can make a great addition to a stock. The colour will seep out into the stock liquid making it look delicious.
Unlike an apple in the fruit bowl, ginger will dry over where it has been cut and stay fresh for the rest of its shelf life. So if you have scraps of ginger that aren’t worth saving, make yourself a detox tea. Boil the ginger, some lemon and a teaspoon of honey. It’s antiseptic, antioxidant and yummy.
Remember those onion skins you kept from earlier? Add those to bones from your roast chicken or joint of meat and bring to the boil. You'll end up with such an awesome meat stock that you’ll never want to go back to powdered stock again.
Before you cut up your oranges and grapefruits, grate the skin off lightly without going into the bitter white pith. Then you can use this zest to garnish your dishes with a citrus punch.
Hard cheeses like parmesan often come with a rind. It's too tough to enjoy on its own, but once you add them to boiling water you can achieve a pleasant cheesy taste. If you use this water when making a stock, or cooking risotto or a sauce that would benefit from a nice hint of cheese, then this is a winner.
The skins of vegetables are often the best source of fibre and nutrients so its best to leave them on whenever possible. Just ensure you give your veg a good clean to remove all the dirt before chopping them up.
They also help the rest of the vegetable retain its nutrients during cooking. Adding a little oil, salt and spice over the vegetables gives the skin a great texture and flavour.
If you do remove the skins then you can add them to your liquid stock with your onion skins. They can also be used as a compost for your garden and plant pots.