Do you ever find yourselves throwing away food because it's not getting eaten? Those of you with a bigger family or teenagers probably don't have this problem. We have a smaller family, includuing a toddler who has become a picky eater. Recently my husband and I have been noticing how much food we're throwing away because it's just not getting eaten.
We try to cook most dinners at home, and, when I'm working, I'll take what I cooked the previous night to work the next day. Even with that, we're still throwing away food each week. I'm not a big fan of leftovers. I can eat it for dinner and lunch once. After that, it's the same thing too many times.
We've started to be more conscious of the quantity of food we're using for a meal, either buying less or even just freezing half of the uncooked ingredients for use at a later time. I made navy bean soup the other week and cut the recipe in half, freezing half of all the ingredients in a ziplock. Now, I just need to remember to cook it in the next month or so! Likewise, this afternoon, I felt like cookies (what pregnant woman doesn't crave sweets now and then?!?). I realized that I could make a half recipe. Why it took me 20 years to figure this out, I don't know.
I've also started finding creative uses for vegetables that are nearing their shelf life. Soup. Soup is not a new thing for us, but the concept of just throwing "whatever" in a pot, letting it cook for a little while and blending it together is a new concept. We usually have an onion, a few carrots, and other odds and ends at the end of the week. Soup is a perfect remedy. Tonight, I'm making mashed potatoes for a meal. I'm pretty sure we won't eat all the potatoes and they will make a perfect soup base later this week.
We also make a lot of fruit smoothies. Liam loves fruit, so we try to sneak a bit of spinach into his smoothies. I find that there's always a little bit of a smoothie left over that doesn't quite fit in the glass. The last time I made a smoothie, I froze the leftovers in small dixie cups. They're a perfect size to use in new smoothies and easily substitute for ice. No more waste.
And, bread . . . for the most part, I bake our bread. Sometimes there's leftovers and the loaf has grown too stale to eat. I'll cut it up into cubes and freeze the cubes. Frequently, we'll use them for croutons and sometimes grind them up to use as bread crumbs. Homemade croutons from homemade bread is delicious.
How do you find ways to use up your extra food?