Some of us might be watching our waist, but we should all definitely be watching our waste!
The annual cost of food waste global is estimated to be up to the value of $1 trillion a year and weighs in at over 1 billion tonnes. 25% of the worlds water supply is used to grow food that will eventually end up in the bin. For the average UK family, wasted food will cost them around £800 every year.
But it's not all doom, gloom and eye-watering numbers. Education on this issue means individuals are becoming increasingly aware of their responsibility at a domestic level and nationally and globally, efforts to curb food waste have been stepped up. Initiatives like Foodcycle, The Real Junk Food Project and similar such food waste operations are very much reasons to be cheerful.
With all this in mind, here at Lo-Dough, we've always tried hard to make the most of leftovers. We certainly don't want you wasting any of your Lo-Dough products, but the same goes for all other ingredients. Meat, veg, fruit, dairy and more have all been painstakingly reared, grown and produced for us to eat and enjoy, so allowing any of it to go to waste just seems plain wrong from a moral point of view - long before we get into the environmental and economic cost of it all.
Here are a few tips to help you get the most of out your Lo-Dough and some other common ingredients.
Lo-Dough - Store correctly to avoid waste
Though preservative-free, unopened Lo-Dough has an incredibly long shelf life - 6 months. As soon as you open the pack and use the first piece, that shelf life quickly diminishes. If you plan to use the second piece within 3 days of opening, then fold it in half, place back in the pack, fold the pack over and store in the fridge.
If not, then you will need to freeze the second piece. Just place flat in a freezer bag and put it in the freezer. Alternatively, make up a pizza and instead of cooking it, wrap it up in cling film and freeze, ready to cook from frozen (just add an extra minute or so onto the standard cooking time and ensure any previously frozen meats are piping hot before eating).
We think nothing of eating a couple of low-calorie pizzas a week, but if in doubt on that second piece, follow the freezing/crumbing advice above to ensure no Lo-Dough goes to waste.
Tips to make the most of other commonly wasted ingredients...
One of the prime candidates to end up in the bin is that half-eaten bag of salad sat in the fridge drawer. After a day or two opened, it can start to look a little tired. At this point, we suggest you cook with it! Cooking with salad is not as strange as it sounds... the French have been doing it for years - the delicious 'Petits pois à la Française' being a prime example of a world-beating side dish. Otherwise, lettuce can be added to soups or alternatively, a whole baby gem that's not as fresh as it once was can be cut into wedges and griddled or barbecued - the slight char adding a delicious flavour to any plate.
Another commonly wasted item is herbs. The easiest solution is to freeze anything you don't use fresh in a bag and then use them directly from the freezer - this works perfectly with woody herbs, but we've also had success with softer herbs like tarragon and parsley too.
We tend to keep a Tupperware box of all veg off-cuts (and occasionally bits of ham/chorizo) in the freezer. Once cut into a fine dice, it's great for topping pizzas, adding to pasta sauces and making super speedy soups, with the fine dice cutting the cooking time down dramatically. Just break up with a fork when you take it out the freezer.
Another great tip - white/sweet potato peelings make great baked crisps. Seriously! Why waste what is the most nutritious and arguably tastiest part of the vegetable?! Simply toss in oil, season and bake at 180°C for approx 20-25 mins or until golden and crispy... Delicious!
Lo-Dough is the perfect vehicle for meat and veg leftovers. We've got stacks of recipes that would work perfectly with leftovers - our incredible fridge-raid pizza is a great example of this.
Pizzas will obviously work well with any veg/cooked meats you've got in the fridge and quiches are great for using up Sunday roast leftovers in the form of meats and vegetables. Any berries that are leftover from another recipe and are now going a little soft can be frozen and used in either a Lo-Dough flan/tart or a mug cake at a later date.
In this day and age, its time to love your leftovers and waste nothing!