Our relationship with food is changing amidst the current situation we find ourselves in.
According to new research by environmental charity Hubbub, 57 per cent of people said they value food more now, since restrictions were placed on the UK.
Almost half of the respondents in Hubbub’s survey (48 per cent) said they are throwing away less food, with 41 per cent saying that they are getting better at using leftovers1. To support this, Hotpoint is sharing its Mindful Kitchen Guide; creative tricks that anyone can use at home to spice up their food-related routines.
We are all being encouraged to shop less, to minimise the time spent away from home. Therefore, it is important to create a meal plan before doing a food shop. Think about what you have to buy and how much of it. Can you use an ingredient for more than one meal? Creating a meal plan not only saves a lot of food from going in the bin, but also saves you time and money.
Many households tend to buy too much food or buy unnecessary ingredients. This often results in food getting forgotten in the fridge or cupboard. With a meal plan, you avoid buying things you don’t need and might even end up buying healthier groceries.
When making your meal plan, think twice about the parts of fruits and vegetables that you might normally throw away. Often the stalks, leaves, stems and skins are discarded, as many don’t know the culinary or nutritional value of them. However, it’s often the case that these parts of fresh produce have their own distinct textures and tastes that can add something special to your meal.
For example, carrots, beets, radishes, cauliflower, tomatoes, asparagus, celery, chard, and fennel are just a few ingredients where far more of the plant can be used than you might think.
For some inspiration and to see just how versatile root-to-stem cooking can be, check out these recipes and additional tips:
Stay in season
Eating seasonally is a great way to cook not only creatively, but mindfully too, as well as adding variety to your meals. Each season produces tasty fruit and vegetables that can be eaten from root-to-stem. Eating seasonally, and buying locally, reduces the distance in which food has to travel to reach you, which has a positive effect on the environment.
Lettuce, new potatoes, rhubarb, spring greens and watercress are among the foods in season in May, so perhaps consider integrating some of these items into your next meal plan. Rhubarb is not only great in cakes, try cooking rhubarb peels together with some water, sugar and a spoonful of lemon juice to create a delicious syrup to enliven a refreshing beverage.
Check your dates
It’s important to know the difference between ‘Use By’ and ‘Best Before’ dates on your packaged food.
‘Use By’ dates indicate the date after which the product may no longer be safe to eat. After this date, the product should not be eaten, cooked, or frozen, even if it looks or smells fine. ‘Best Before’ dates, on the other hand, are an indication of quality, rather than safety, and often have greater flexibility.
The confusion between the food labels can lead to groceries ending up in the bin, even though they may be completely safe to eat. Food items such as eggs, butter and certain vegetables, for example, often last longer than their ‘Best Before’ date, if stored correctly. Being mindful of food labels, and expiration dates, is a great way to cut back on waste at home4.
Shopping once a week is more convenient and it is encouraged even more so at the moment. A weekly shop means you need to store your food correctly to avoid it spoiling and going to waste. Food must be stored correctly inside the fridge or freezer to stay fresh longer.
Some cooling appliances also allow you to customise the space inside to your personal preference. Take advantage of flexible door balconies and height adjustable shelves for maximum convenience. It’s important to keep your fridge freezer organised so you can keep track of all the groceries you’ve purchased.
For more information on any Hotpoint appliances or for more recipe inspiration to reduce food waste in your home, please visit the website at www.hotpoint.co.uk