Holidays are getting near! If you are doing the countdown (like me)… remember to take a look in the pantry before closing the house and leaving. You depart or not, remember that the summer heat is not a good helper of food storage and that there is some simple trick to avoid the risk of throwing away a lot of things when you return.
Here you can find some practical advice to reduce foodwaste:
1) As first you can do a survey in your fridge and pantry and bring out all the foods that have deadlines near or past. All the foods that are labeled “best before…” you can eat them for several months later. Before you eat them, however, verify that there is no mold, parasites or anything else strange or unwanted.
2) As far as possible try to use and finish during last weeks in the city all flour, baked products (e.g. cookies, toast bread) and all packaged product already opened.
3) If you have a vacuum machine keep all food like flours, pasta, rice and other grains in your pantry under vacuum-seal so that it does not become the set of Bugs Life 2. This is the only “remedy” really effective to avoid the development of parasites and for the better preservation of foods. You can keep every kind of food under vacuum-seal and in this way you extends their life of three times at least.
4) If you are leaving and have the fridge still full of vegetables and fruit, cut all of them into thin slices and dry in the dryer or in the oven. The ideal temperature drying food in order to preserve enzymes and thermolabile vitamins is 40 °C. Alternatively dry in an oven at a temperature as low as possible or at least using the sun, but only if you live in a place with intense solar radiation. In Milan, for example, I gave up to dry in the sun .. but the smog spices very well… Main benefits of drying are: extended life of food (e.g. until 1 year for vegetable and fruit), concentration of taste, crunchy texture. Some apples and carrots in the bottom of the fridge? If you dry them they become crispy chips and perfect for a healthy snack in your bag during your holiday.
5) If you have to much food in your pantry or fridge give them to those in need, there are some App helping you to share you food like BringTheFood.
If you love cherries make a final feast and try to use them 100%. Usually eating cherries we throw away pits and stems, but both have at least one good reason to be preserved and used.
Cherries stems must be kept aside and dried simply in the air or in the dryer. Then break up the dried stems and keep in a sealed jar. To do what? Nothing strange, but a purifying and diuretic herbal tea. You can buy this herbal tea in health food stores, but your home-made is much cheaper. Here’s how:
1 tablespoon chopped stems for each cup
If you like honey, sugar can, barley malt, nothing
Put the stems in a cup, pour over boiling water, cover and let stand for 15 minutes. Filter, sweeten if you like and enjoy, preferably between meals.
Go past the initial aversion you may have about cherry’s pits because it is absolutely worth it to keep them. Cherry’s pits have a peculiarity which makes them extremely valuable, they do not have a heart of gold but hollow, capable of storing heat and cold, and give them back very slowly. This means that if you put together some kernels you can make a pillow, perfect for treating joint pain, neck (hot), stomach ache, toothache and others (cold). You can buy the cherry’s pits pillow in herbalis’s shop but it costs much more than the home made version. How to make your super pillow?
at least 500g of cherry pits
1 small lining or others recycled fabrics
Keep the pits when you eat cherries. If you use the cherries in a recipe you can also use the lever-kernels. Another way to separate pits and fruit is to cook cherries with sugar to make a jam, once the fruit has softened it will be easy to remove pits using a sieve or a colander. In any case, wash them well, brushing them under the water. Dry them in the oven or in the dryer for at least an hour so that they lose all the moisture. Use them to fill a lining giving it the shape you want to the pillow. If you need some “cold” put the pillow in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before using it. If you need some “hot” put the pillow in the oven for 15 minutes at 60 ° or for a couple of minutes in the microwave, the apply on the painful area and enjoy benefits. You will be amply rewarded the effort to have them preserved.
Do not forget that as herbal tea as the pillow are two gorgeous gift ideas, super economical, ecological and anti-foodwaste!
This recipe is one of my favorite because it combines my must: homemade, reduction of foodwaste and cooking at zero impact in the dishwasher.
Homemade – the main ingredient is okara a byproduct of homemade soybean milk. Here you will find the recipe to make soy milk and okara with your hands.
Reduction of foodwaste – okara usually is discarded but in this recipe becomes the star of a dish of Lebanese cuisine, the tabulè (or tabbouleh), perfect during the summer. To keep okara for several months, sprinkle on a baking paper and put it on the grill of the dryer (or on the grill of the oven) and dry at 40-60 ° C for 4-6 hours. When he lost moisture put it in an airtight container and use it within 3 months. To make it last longer freeze it once dried.
Cooking in the dishwasher – use the dishwasher as you wash the dirty dishes to cook, so you’ll save water and energy, but above all you will have the opportunity to cook at low temperatures without having to buy professional tools. To cook safely in the dishwasher is extremely important to seal hermetically the food in glass jars or vacuum bags suitable for cooking. Why you should cook this dish in the dishwasher instead of a traditional technique:
Here’s the recipe of pea pods farinata: good, simple and economic, perfect for a summer dinner as well as for a sandwich in the office.
A few days ago I went to a wonderful dinner at the restaurant Alice in Eataly Smeraldo, MIlan. The two chef, stars of the evening were the chef Viviana Varese, chef of Alice restaurant and Daniela Cicioni, vegan and raw food chef.
I liked all the dishes on the menu, but in particular I was struck by these ravioli with sweet potato goodness and by the versatility of the preparation.
Here is the recipe of Daniela Cicioni that is completely raw food and vegetable.
What is OKARA? is the term used to denote the byproduct/foodscrap in the production of homemade soy milk and other vegetable milks (rice, almond). If you have ever self-produced a vegetable milk you’ll know what I’m talking about. Making homemade soy milk, rice, almond or other type is not complicated and does not require special tools. You can flavor it as you like or just leave it natural. The self-production of the soy milk allows you to select high quality ingredients, non-GMO, organic without additives and above all to save money. The savings in the production of soy milk is about 80%, a good reason to try.
If you try the homemade vegetable milk you will get too an interesting by-product: the okara, a grainy rich in fiber and nutrients. If not used immediately can be dried or freeze it so that it will last a long time, alternatively if you refrigerate use it within 3-4 days. This byproduct is an extremely versatile ingredient that can be used to make cookies, cakes, casseroles or simply sautéed with vegetables and curry as in this excellent dish.
300g okara (soy or other legumes, rice, almonds, oats)
5 dried shiitake mushrooms
The green part of 1 leek
1 clove of garlic
4 tablespoons sunflower seed oil cold pressed
1 heaping tablespoon of yellow curry powder
1 pinch of red pepper
A few chives
Keep the okara in the refrigerator until ready to use. In a wok put the curry with chili and toast for a few minutes. Then add the olive oil, chopped garlic and leek thinly sliced. Let dry for a few minutes then add the shiitake and carrots sliced thin and sauté for about 5 minutes on high heat. Then add the okara, salt and continue to cook for another 7-8 minutes. Complete with fresh chives and serve.
This dish is easy to prepare, healthy, protein (especially if you use the okara of soybean), cheap and extremely tasty, perfect for lunch at the office. Try!
I waited long time before deciding to try fava bean pods, but when I finally tried them, they were an absolute revelation. First, do not think of the white coating that covers them internally, because as soon you boil them in water will dissolve. The pod once blanched becomes fleshy and crunchy, with a flavor and texture similar to green beans and snow peas as well as similar nutritional content rich in vitamins and fiber.
This recipe is extremely easy to simply enhance taste, texture and fragrance of the fava bean pods that represent about 70% of fresh legumes and that are usually thrown away.