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Making your food go further

As most of us are spending much more time at home than ever before, we’re cooking at home more, too.

Making our food go further is not always easy, but helps us to reduce waste which is better for the environment and for our pockets.

We’ve pulled together some top tips for making your food go further this summer – including banana bread, beeswax wraps and making the most of fresh local produce.

Batch cooking

Batch cooking is one of the best ways to use up perishable ingredients and make your life easier on those days where you don’t always have time to cook a meal from scratch.

Set aside some time at the weekend to batch cook some meals for the week ahead, portion up into some reusable containers. Instead of using clingfilm or freezer bags for storing, covering and transporting food, try some reusable beeswax wraps, like those from Aberdeenshire-based Bee Wrapped by Claire.

Shop local for fresh produce

Many of the fresh products we buy have a shelf life of a matter of days, and we need to use them up quickly. Buying local produce helps you to get the freshest produce, support local businesses and reduce your carbon footprint.

Get fresh fruit and vegetables from the Vegetable Cooperative at nearby Aberdeen University or the Artisan Grower in rural Aberdeenshire, meat from HS Milne butcher and eggs from Katy’s Eggs.

Be creative with your meals

Using up your fresh and cupboard ingredients can sometimes be difficult and so you’ve got to get creative. Write down a list of all of your ingredients and see what you can make – searching for all of the ingredients together online can bring up some new and unique recipes to try out.

To bulk out staple meals like spaghetti bolognese and incorporate more vegetables into your meals, try adding lentils or grated carrot, which soak up excess water and make dishes more filling.

Get baking

A lockdown staple for many has been banana bread – a great way to use up over-ripe bananas, keep yourself occupied and try out some easy baking. And if you have bread that has gone slightly stale, why not try a bread pudding?

And remember, it’s really easy to freeze the remainder of a loaf while it’s still fresh – cut the loaf into slices and put in the freezer, ready to be used to make toast.

Buy only what you need

It is easy to buy too much – but to reduce waste and make your food go further, the key is to only buy what is needed. Reduce excess packaging and get the right quantities of what you need from local stores like JK Fine Foods, Jack Taylor, and newly-opened Refillosophy.

Grow your own

Ensure fruit and vegetables are as fresh as can be by growing your own – cutting down on waste and food shopping trips. Lettuce, carrots and radishes are quick and easy to grow and look after during the summer months, while courgettes and runner beans are easy to grow if space is limited. Find out more about how you can make the most of your garden and how to grow your own produce this summer. 

Live sustainably

Making your food last longer and reducing waste are key steps to living sustainably. For more tips on how to be sustainable, and local businesses that can help, visit Sustainable Aberdeen’s website.