How do you fill yours?
Remember that superhero in your kitchen, the one we introduced you to 2 weeks ago? This week we want you have another look and see if you can increase its hero status.
The members of our Waste Minimisation Team all have quite big fridge freezers. The one pictured here belongs to Sam. A few weeks ago when she moved house she ended up throwing away a couple of burgers that were several years old and had been buried under everything else in it. Even with a brand new start it doesn’t take long to fill it back up again though!
But how does this relate to reducing food waste you ask? Whilst we can eat food after 5 years in the freezer without needing to worry about food poisoning, the longer something remains in there the more the way it tastes changes.
Using meals from the freezer as a regular part of our plans prevents our freezers becoming overstocked with food that we then forget is in there. It also means that we use our frozen food whilst its quality is high. So what we’d like you to do this week is to have as many meals using food from your freezer as you can fit in. You could start by going through and making a list of everything you have in there. Use our 7 day meal planner (1884 downloads) to work out what you’ll be eating and stick that on your fridge alongside the list of what’s in there.
Both Roger and Sarah went on holidays recently andin an effort to avoid food waste and save some money both decided to see how long their households could eat just using the freezer content combined with food in the cupboards and minimum buying of more fresh veg. At Sarah’s they managed a week without buying anything at all and a further week only buying small amounts of fresh veg (and a couple of ready meals for lunch time). At Roger’s there was almost a full 2 weeks of buying nothing except milk and bread. Having dinner from other family members also helped and there were a couple of takeaway meals.
Fill the gaps
So now your freezer is looking a little emptier, you can fill it up again! Freezers are more efficient if they are full because it reduces the circulation of the warm air that’s let in when you open the door. You don’t need to fill it with food though, you could just put in empty boxes to fill the drawers. But if you want to add food here are a few items you might not have realised you can freeze.
Eggs – take them out of their shells, put them in an airtight plastic box and freeze. You can separate them into yolks and whites or whisk it together. Just make sure you write the number on the box. To defrost put in the fridge for 24 hours and then cook with them. Alternatively, make cake and freeze that in a double layer of cling film and then foil.
Rice – once it’s cooked cool it quickly (put in a plastic container in a bowl of cold water or surround by an ice pack), then divide it in to portions and freeze. Write on the container how many portions and the date you froze it. Check out this Love Food Hate Waste video for how to freeze your rice.
Milk – put milk in an ice cube tray to create cup of tea sized portions but if you’ve got a bit more to freeze use the plastic bottle it came in or tip into a clean bottle you’ve reused. Make sure the bottle isn’t full because milk expands when it freezes and could split the bottle. The milk will go yellowish when frozen but don’t worry as it turns white again when it thaws. Just leave it in the fridge for a couple of days to defrost.
Keep an eye on foods in your fridge that are coming up to their use-by date and move them into the freezer if you are not going to use them in time.
Keeping a list of what’s in the freezer stuck on the door to avoid having to search through to come up with dinner ideas. It will help remind you if you need to buy bread or not too!