Stretching Your Food

Stretching Your Food

At the moment, we are all digging deep and trying to make our food stretch further then ever and last for as long as possible. Although we are living through some tough, uncertain and unsettling times, we can learn a lot from this experience when it comes to food waste.

You may find you have a cupboard or pantry stocked with tins and dry good and now is this time to get creative with them. Don’t know where to start or what to do with them? Below are my top tips for making your food stretch and being resourceful.

  1. Use the whole vegetable/fruit

Using the whole vegetable, including stems, skins and outer leaves stretches the vegetables and introduces more fibre, vitamins and minerals into your diet. This may also introduce new tastes and textures into the diet too.

Examples include:

  • Roasting cauliflower leaves with the florets (they go extra crispy and yummy)
  • Chopping up the broccoli stem and using it as a vegetable crudité
  • If you buy carrots with the tops on, using them to make a pesto
  • If you peel your potatoes before cooking, save them and add some olive oil and make crisps in the oven
  • Eat the whole apple – the core contains lots of fibre so just discard the pips but challenge yourself to see if you can eat all the way through
  • Eat fruits such as kiwi with the skin on
  • Use overripe bananas for making banana bread or muffins
  • Pop any fresh fruit or veg that you won’t use by the sell by date into the freeze
  1. Make curries and stews

Get inventive and experiment with curries and stews. They are a great meal option for using up the last odd bits and bobs from the fridge or cupboard. All you really need for a curry is some spices such as paprika, cumin, curry powder, cayenne pepper, ground coriander, some coconut milk, tomato puree and your vegetables of choice. Adding a tin of chickpeas or kidney beans to this will add some fibre and protein and make the curry a more nutritionally balanced meal.

  1. Versatile oats

Oats are a great cupboard staple and can be used in many ways.

  • Porridge (sweet or savoury)
  • Overnight oats (combine your oats with some milk, spice such as cinnamon, fruit and some chia/flax seeds and let this set in a contained in the fridge overnight)
  • Blend them up (if you have a good quality blender) and use as flour for baking or making pancakes
  • Use them as a coating for homemade chicken nuggets (just add some herbs/spices such as ground garlic and paprika)
  • Add some to your smoothie for added fibre and complex carbohydrate
  • Make some flapjacks with oats, honey, dried fruit and nut butter
  1. Make the most of your frozen produce

Although frozen fruit and vegetables may get tricky to get your hands on at the moment, you may already have a variety of different fruits/vegetables in the freezer than can come in handy now! It’s common to view frozen fruit and veg as inferior to fresh, but this is one of the biggest nutrition myths! As the produce is frozen soon after its sourced and picked, it can often contain more nutrients that its fresh counterpart.

Tips for using frozen fruit and veg:

  • Add frozen spinach to soups, curries and smoothies
  • Use frozen berries with breakfast in the morning (take some out the night before and leave to defrost in the fridge)
  • Use frozen banana and avocado in smoothies to give them a luxurious creamy texture
  • Use frozen peppers in stir fry’s and rice dishes
  • Add some frozen peas and carrots to meat dishes such as bolognese or cottage pie mixes
  1. Batch cook soups

Soups are glorious at times like this as you can add a range and variety of vegetables and get a great outcome every time! Soups are warming, easy on the digestive system, and are a good way to increase hydration levels too.

Use some garlic and onions as a base, then make up your soup combo! My favourites are:

  • Spiced cauliflower (roast the WHOLE cauliflower including the leaves, then add to water and stock with spices such as cumin, then blend)
  • Spiced carrot
  • Carrot and coriander
  • Butternut Squash and celeriac
  • Roasted tomato and red onion
  • Pea and mint
  • Lentil and pea
  • Mixed vegetable (a real fridge clearer)

Soup are great as they can be batch cooked and then either stored in the fridge or frozen for another time!

I hope this has given you some inspiration and motivation to make the most of the food you already have. Please email me with any questions you may have.

I am currently offering one-off consultations to help you out during this time. I have availability for 15, 30 or 60 minutes. Please get in touch if you would like to book in and discuss your health, diet and lifestyle goals with me.

Stay well and safe.

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