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Holidays without food waste

July 28, 2014

lavagna-avanziHolidays 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. vasetti-scadenzaI’m putting it into practice all this things in these days in my kitchen. It became a ritual that precedes the fateful moment of departure. This year I found several things near to deadline and decided to give me one last mission before enjoy my holiday: to use all of them in a week before my departure.   My challenge: Here are the ingredients that I have 1 week to use: 2 kg of corn flour  sottovuoto-scadenza2 kg of wheat flour 2 bottles of tomato sauce (actually expired a few months ago but still good) 4 liters of soy milk 500g of quinoa Some jars of mustard and jam   Do you have any recipe that you would recommend to any of these ingredients? Write to me on info@ecocucina.org or as a comment in this post. In one week I will be back to you with a post of all the recipes. Lisa

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