Prevent Food Waste (Our Staff's Favorite Ideas)
Whether you’re cleaning out your pantry before Passover or looking for a way to use up all those wrinkly tomatoes, we have some advice for you.
DON’T THROW IT AWAY!
Here at Kosher.com, we are very passionate about salvaging “older” foods. Especially with inflated prices, there’s really no better time to be more mindful about using up everything in your kitchen.
Below, our staff shares our favorite ideas for salvaging foods like grapes, wilted greens, or old cereal.
We know it’s easier said than done (especially with little ones), but we hope the ideas below help your creative juices so you can save a little more.
Esty Wolbe (Host of Easy Does It):
When you're left with an empty nut butter or Nutella jar, fill it with warm milk, seal, and shake. Add to your coffee for a fun flavored latte.
If you've got wilting spinach but no desire to use it immediately, make smoothie bombs. Blend with an avocado and some milk (dairy or parve) and freeze in an ice cube tray. Then just pop a few cubes into the blender when you're making your next smoothie. Helps keep smoothies cold and creamy and adds loads of nutrients.
Naomi Nachman (Host of Sunny Side Up):
When tomatoes go soft, I roast them and turn them into a roasted tomato soup.
Carrie Beylus (Kosherdotcom Director, General Manager):
You can make a simple jam out of older grapes (and berries). I like to stew them with a drop of water and sugar. I then strain them to remove the skins and use them as a base for meatball sauce - just add some chili and tomato sauce and your favorite meatball recipe.
Chanie Nayman (Kosherdotcom Editor-in-Chief):
This past week, I had a few things I was trying to use up. One was a cranberry sauce that was made with fresh cranberries and stevia instead of sugar or any other sweetener, and it was just too stevia tasting for me. So I smeared it into a whole chicken that I roasted and it was absolutely delicious!!
The other was a box of Near East brown rice pilaf that no one touched for months. I combined it with lots of sautéed onions and traditional farfel, and it was delicious!
In general, my two places to hide produce that's getting mushy is in roasted chicken (especially for fruit, because it gives it a great taste) or in a soup (especially for vegetables).
Leah Gottheim (Kosherdotcom Vice President):
If your bananas are getting mushy, bake Rivka Golombeck's oatmeal banana cookies! Also peel them, break into pieces, and freeze to add to your next smoothie.
Rachel Kor (Kosherdotcom Managing Lifestyle Editor):
Just last week I was putting together sweet potato burgers for dinner and realized I didn’t have bread crumbs in the pantry (I guess we cleaned it out too soon before Passover). I saw an older sleeve of plain crackers in the pantry and decided to crush them up. They added the perfect buttery taste and were a welcomed twist! You can also use old cereal for recipes like fish cakes or meatballs!
When watermelon is mealy or mushy (still fresh, of course) and no one wants to eat it, I juice it! My family loves drinking watermelon juice and it’s perfect for keeping kids hydrated!
Chumy Herman (Kosherdotcom Video Production Assistant):
I make shakshuka with all my veggies that are going soft. I also make it into a sauce to put over rice or pasta!
Raquel Malul (Kosherdotcom Marketing Assistant):
If I have grape tomatoes that are starting to get a little wrinkly and are no longer ideal for a salad, I love mixing them with garlic and olive oil. When they cook together, they create a delicious garlic confit dip. It is incredible with warm challah on Shabbat!
Renee Schwartz (Kosherdotcom Recipe Editor):
Greens that are slightly wilted, meaning they've lost their crispness but are not yet curled or browning, can be revived by soaking in cold water for 20 minutes.
I also like to get creative with what I have on hand for substitutions. The other week, I had a handful of cereal left in a box, not enough for a full bowl, so I crushed it and added it into a batch of granola bars for crunch.
Shana Halpert (Kosherdotcom Editorial Assistant):
OK this might be an obvious one, but when I see my mangos, blueberries, or strawberries going bad, I freeze them to use later in smoothies. I'll also crumble up two-or-three-day-old challah into crumbs and bake in the oven to make homemade bread crumbs (which happens to be a delicious coating on chicken or fish).
Nechama Fink (Kosherdotcom Back End Management Assistant):
In my house, we really like having spreads and dips at our Shabbat table. When tomatoes start getting overripe, they can still be used! They are perfect to make matbucha from.
Leftover challah is great for French toast!