Hacks & Tips for a More Sustainable Kitchen
Tried and tested ideas from our country cookery school kitchen garden to avoid food waste.
Whether you’d love to make a batch of homemade baked beans from scratch. Or, following the Sunday roast, to create a flavoursome stock for soups and sauces. Making the most of your fresh ingredients is comforting as well as rewarding.
Root vegetable greens
Delicate spring carrot fronds make great pesto. Whizz together with a little extra parsley, hard cheese, flavoursome olive oil, plenty of garlic and either pine nuts, cashews, walnuts or almonds.
Beetroot ‘greens’ for a stir fry or side.
Wash thoroughly in cold, salted water. This will kill any bugs. Pat the leaves dry, roughly chop and stir fry. Finish with a little tahini and toasted cashews. Serve with beetroot rosti and hummus.
Zest fruit before juicing then freeze to add to biscuits and cakes.
Create flavoured butters for topping fish and steaks. Roll into a sausage shape and freeze.
Or simply freeze citrus shells to defrost quickly and stuff into poultry carcass before roasting.
Trimmings – wash in salted water. Add to the stockpot or roasting tin, beneath free-range chicken.
White parts – cook gently in butter, without browning and serve with béchamel or risotto.
Green parts – cook slowly in olive oil to soften. Then whizz in the blender for soup or add to pasta or pies.
Once separated, freeze whites in bulk. Defrost for meringue or macarons. Allow 30 g for each egg white. Blitz together in food processor, to create a ‘pourable’, easy to measure liquid.
Beat 4 yolks with 300 ml of whole milk, cream or dairy free alternative and freeze. Defrost for to fill savoury quiche & custard tarts. Line two pastry cases when you only need one, freeze second for another time.
Double cream – close to use by date?
Make scones with double cream & turn clotted cream into fudge or shortbread.
Grate and freeze for soups, to combine with breadcrumbs for gratin or blend into dough for savoury bakes and nibbles.
Add to risotto when toasting rice or throw into soups & stews when sweating base vegetables.
Roughly tear sourdough. Drizzle with olive oil and bake in a low oven. Store in an airtight tin or Kilner jar.
Remove crusts and whizz into breadcrumbs. Use to fill a treacle tart or pecan pie.
Combine with slow cooked, melting onions and cheese and stuff peppers or aubergine.
Create your own traditional stuffing with minced pork and fresh herbs.
Toast rye or rich malty and combined with fermented cream or cashew butter. Whip in the ice cream machine or freeze for ‘brown bread’ ice cream.
Whizz into breadcrumbs and slowly crisp in a cool oven. Combine with parmesan to top a gratin dish.
Make homemade goujons and fishcakes. Use to butter and line a dish before filling with savoury bakes of macaroni cheese or moussaka.
Puddings made with day old sliced, buttered or crumbed bread: Apple Charlotte, Summer Pudding, Bread & Butter Pudding or Plum Pudding.
Coffee Grinds & Egg Shells
Every cook who loves their garden will need a compost heap! Ideally garden waste should be 60 % green matter (or nitrogen holding) combined with approximately 40 % brown matter for the carbon.
Try creating a corner in the garden with disused pallets. To help build heat in the core as well as protect from rain, keep heap covered to keep out the rain. Garden waste will break down into nutrient rich compost.
Decompose kitchen waste (but not cooked food or bones) in a secure lidded container with a little compost. This will help to prevent unwanted visitors attracted to egg shells and peelings. Once unpalatable safely mix into heap.
Stocks & Bone Broth
Chicken carcass – after roasting a chicken, strip remaining meat for a risotto, sandwich or to combine with mushrooms or leek for a soup.
The remaining carcass can be wrapped and labelled for the freezer. When you have five or six gathered together, defrost overnight in the fridge and make a flavoursome broth.
Master the skill of jointing poultry. This is far more cost-effective than buying portions. Each joint can be frozen to create a midweek tray bake, casserole or curry. The raw carcass can be added to the stock pot.