Storage Tips: Waste Less Food

April 15, 2020

We waste so much food and so many of use DO feel bad about it.  Plus, it hurts our wallets too. Here are some tricks:

What can you freeze? (Label & Date)
Store nuts, bread, butter, meat, fish, poultry, and blocks of hard cheese in the freezer.
Freeze milk.  Shake thawed milk if the fat separated. 
Freeze chicken/vegetable stock in ice cubes, then store in zip lock bags. 
Blanch vegetables before freezing to preserve their flavor.
Peel ripe bananas before freezing.  Toss frozen chunks in smoothies, or thaw for cooking/baking.
Freeze berries on a tray so they don’t stick together.  Transfer them to airtight container.
Chop peaches, melon, mangoes, pineapple, and other fruits before freezing.
Freeze lightly beaten eggs in airtight container and thaw in fridge to use as scrambled eggs or cooking.
Pack ice cube trays half full with fresh herbs (oregano, thyme, basic, etc) then top with olive oil.  Transfer frozen cubes to airtight container/bag.

Reduce Restaurant Wastes & Calories:
Don’t eat more to waste less. Most entrees are over 1,000 calories.  Bring your own to-go box for leftovers or split an entree with a friend but definitely pass on the buffets. 

Reduce Shopping Waste:
3 avocados for $5?  You probably don’t need to buy them all to get the promotional price.  Plan meals ahead to avoid overbuying.  Buy frozen fruit for smoothies.

Waste-Free Kitchen Tips
Greens (kale, spinach, beet greens, etc.) on the verge of going bad?  Saute or steam them to give them new life.
Revive wilted greens by putting them in ice water for 5 minutes
Soft apples/pears?  Peel, core and place in a pot with a little water, then heat and mash for apple sauce.
Leftover herbs.  Add to salads, sandwiches, garnish in soups or make pesto.
Need to clean out your vegetables?  Create a stir-fry.
Eat up the pantry and use up grains and canned goods quarterly.
Before traveling, eat up your perishables, give them to friends or take them along.
Keep container in freezer for scraps (carrots, onions, celery, herbs, garlic, poultry bones, etc.) and make stock. 

Storage Tips
“Eat First” area in your fridge where you’re most likely to see leftovers
Store fresh herbs (parsley/cilantro) in a glass of water like cut flowers.
Store mushrooms in paper bag or in open container
Onions can make potatoes sprout.  Keep them apart.
Bananas and apples can make other fruits ripen.  Separate them.
Store oils you use often (olive) in cool, dark place.
Keep oils you use infrequently (sesame or walnut) in the fridge.
Store leftovers in clear containers o you can see what they are.
“Best by” dates are for food quality not safety. Judge by look/smell before tossing. 

Compost
You can compost fruit, vegetable scraps, pasta, bread, cereal, egg shells, coffee grounds, paper plates, and more.  Go to EPA link for more help:  https://www.epa.gov/recycle/composting-home

(Above information shared from Nutrition Action, Center for Science in the Public Interest)

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~ Samantha Hua, Nutrition & Holistic Health Coach, San Diego, CA