Approximately 1/3 or more of all the food produced around the world is wasted. North Americans discard up to 40% of the food they buy, according to mashable.com. That is amazing, considering there are so many who go hungry every single day. So, what can we do about this when buying and preparing meals for ourselves and our families? Let’s explore a few simple ideas.
Plan and Shop Smartly
One of the most efficient things to do is to plan your meals ahead of time and shop for only what you need. Using the bulk aisle of your grocery can help with purchasing only the amount of dry goods you need. This is also true for bulk produce, such as celery sticks, carrots, onions, potatoes and more.For the meat and seafood aisle, keep an eye out for single serve portions.
Plan your recipes and write down the ingredient amounts you will need next to the items on your shopping list. The key is to purchase only what you need to consume.
Repurpose your Scraps and Bones
A great tip from the renowned chef, Jacques Pepin, is to keep a container or a sealable bag in your refrigerator that you can place vegetable ends, fruit cores, roasted chicken bones, shrimp shells – basically anything you are likely to discard. When the bag is full, use these tasty bits to make a slow simmering soup stock or bone broth that is full of vitamins and nutrients.
For unused scraps, start a composting bin. Composted vegetable matter imparts terrific nutrients for all types of gardens.
Use your Freezer
Have you ever bought a giant bag of grapes or too many blueberries? You can freeze fresh fruits in small bags for use in smoothies and baking. Frozen grapes are a great snack.
The same goes for vegetables. Just blanch extra vegetables, shock them in cold water, and freeze in meal size portions. Here is a helpful guide for freezing vegetables at home .
Economize by buying a whole chicken and cutting it into freezable portions. A whole chicken is generally less expensive than portioned chicken and will keep in the freezer for a couple of months.
Every once in a while, go through your pantry and see what is in there that you haven’t eaten, such as canned goods and unopened boxes of pasta. These can be donated to your local food pantry.
At Famous Foods, it is important to us to cater to our customer’s needs. Whether you are shopping for one or for a family, you will find the right serving size that will fit your lifestyle and help you to reduce food waste.
Jackfruit is one of the latest vegan health trends and is becoming increasingly popular as a meat alternative. Here is some information for those who are new to jackfruit:
Jackfruit is a member of the same family as the common edible fig tree, but the two are very dissimilar. A tropical tree native to southwest India, jackfruit produces up to 200 fruits a year. Individual fruits are very large and can weigh up to 80 pounds. Both ripe and unripe fruits are used as food.
Unripe jackfruit has a meaty taste that is compared to poultry and is often used as a meat substitute. Jackfruit has a subtle, naturally sweet flavor when ripe. Most people say the taste includes flavors of pineapple, mango, banana and apple. The fruit has a distinctive aroma described as a combination of pineapple and banana. The seeds are edible and their flavor is often compared to Brazil nuts – sweet and milky. Roasted seeds produce a chocolate aroma.
Jackfruit is consumed throughout Asia in a variety of ways. Indonesians mix the fruit with shaved ice, while in India, the fruit is steamed with rice wrapped in jackfruit leaves. Seeds are also used in curries. Ripe fruit is sliced and eaten alone, dried for storage or and deep fried to make a kind of cracker. When ground and made into a paste, it is spread thin and dried in the sun for use as a candy. Jackfruit is typically canned or eaten fresh, and sometimes juiced.
Jackfruit is high in carbohydrates, especially when ripe, but contains only a small amount of protein. A 3.5-ounce serving has about 95 calories. The two major vitamins in jackfruit are vitamin C and folate, but it also contains several other B vitamins such as niacin and riboflavin, as well as vitamin E. Jackfruit provides only small amounts of calcium, iron, magnesium and phosphorus, but is a good source of potassium. Although jackfruit is low in protein, it is the meaty texture has been described to mimic pulled pork.
Opening jackfruit is very different compared to other fruits. To open a jackfruit, begin by oiling your hands, cutting surface and knife with vegetable oil – jackfruit sap is very sticky. Cut the fruit in half and then into quarters. Remove and discard any excessively soft or rotting parts (the rest of the fruit is still safe). Cut out the inedible core and discard. Pull apart or slice the flesh.
Now that you’ve been introduced to jackfruit, try using it as a meat substitute in your next recipe! Visit us at Famous Foods to try a variety of jackfruit products including canned organic young jackfruit and flavoured jackfruit.
To develop your green thumb, grow an herb garden. Herbs are easy to grow and troubled by few pests. You can plant them in pots or directly in the soil depending on your location. Either way, select a sunny location near your kitchen because you’ll want quick access to snip leaves while you’re cooking.
Plants or Seeds?
Small potted herbs are readily available at garden centres. Beginners leery of starting plants from seed might prefer to buy plants.
To grow herbs from seed, prepare small starter pots with seed-starting potting soil. Keep them moist at all times and place them in a sunny window or under a grow light. Seeds will need a humid and warm environment. To create this environment, cover the starter pots with a clear cover. If using a grow light, make sure to position it close to the seedlings so they don’t become spindly. Transplant the seedlings to permanent pots once their root systems fill the starter pots. When the weather warms up, transfer them to their outside location.
Pots and Drainage
Products such as plastic window boxes, plastic pots, grow bags, and terracotta pots are all appropriate choices. They have reservoirs or holes that allow excess water to drain away so that roots don’t suffocate. If you select terracotta pots, stay attentive to them on hot days. They could heat up and dry out plants quickly.
To prepare a loose and nutrient-rich soil, add coarse compost and gravel to potting soil. If you’re concerned about chemical fertilizers, choose organic potting soil mixes.
When it comes to choosing herbs, allow your preferences to guide you.
For beginners, basil, mint, cilantro, dill, and oregano will offer easy success, even if you’re starting them from seed. If you’re looking to expand your horizons, choose herbs that you’d like to experiment with.
Care and Harvest
Potted plants benefit from daily watering. Applying water in the evening usually works best. Put plates or trays underneath your pots to catch excess water and allow the roots to soak it up later.
You’ll want to trim herbs often. This will discourage plants from bolting into flower, which will alter the quality of the leaf flavour. To harvest, trim with scissors or break off leaves and stems with your fingers.
Growing fresh herbs not only enhances your cooking but also connects you to nature. To shop for herb seeds and natural bulk food supplies, visit Famous Foods in Vancouver.