Shopping and storage

Versatile Vegetables – How to make the most of your veggies!

Versatile Vegetables – How to make the most of your veggies!

We buy delicious and nutritious vegetables to eat with most meals, yet they often end up going to waste in a lot of Irish households. In fact, according to the 2022 EPA survey, veggies rank as the fourth most commonly thrown out food item in the home.

Think back to the last time you bought veggies, did you use them all up? Or did some go to waste? Veggies are so versatile there is always something you can do to use them up, even limp veggies or those passed their Best Before Date.

Taking simple steps to Stop Veggie Waste

If vegetables often end up not eaten and thrown out in your home, don’t worry! We’re here to help you take simple actions to change that. We’ll show you how to make the most of vegetables with tips and advice on how best to buy, store, freeze and use up veggies.

Every small step you take to stop food waste will have a positive impact on the environment AND it can make a big difference in your food bill, helping you to save money!

Top Tips to make the most of your veggies.

When you buy:

  • Buy Less – know the veggies you plan to eat and buy the amount you need.
  • Buy broccoli that will last for longer by choosing firm, dark green heads with compact florets.
  • Pre-packed potatoes come in lots of different sizes, so think about how many you plan to use before you choose.
  • Buying a net of onions? Check the onions are free from cuts and blemishes.
  • Pre-cut carrots have a much shorter shelf-life than whole carrots and cost more, consider buying whole ones instead.
  • Consider choosing frozen spinach instead of fresh, it’s great for adding just what you need when cooking or making smoothies.
  • Try to buy mushrooms in a perforated container so they have air flow which helps them to last longer.

How you store:

  • Store right – keep your veggies for longer by storing them the right way.
  • Store broccoli in the vegetable drawer of your fridge. If it came in plastic, leave it wrapped. Poke a few holes in the film to allow air to circulate.
  • Remove carrots from plastic packaging to avoid the ‘sweating’ that can make them go mouldy.
  • Store potatoes in a cool, dark and dry place. A cloth potato sack in a dark cupboard works well.
  • Store fresh spinach in a hard plastic container in the fridge to stop it getting squashed.
  • Store mushrooms in a paper bag or their original container in the fridge.

When you eat:

  • Look up new ways to use up and eat your veggies. Limp veggies or those passed their Best Before Date are still ok to eat.
  • Use onions with ‘thick necks’ first as these are the oldest and will not last as long as the younger smaller ones. If you have onions to use up, check out this onion bhajis recipe from Tesco!
  • Leftover spinach can make great savoury pancakes. Try this super recipe from Jamie Oliver.
  • Did you know cauliflower can make great buffalo wings? Check out this recipe from BBC Good Food.
  • Fritters are a tasty way to use up leftover cooked carrots and a favourite with kids too! We love this Irish Examiner recipe.
  • Did you know potatoes are a good flour substitute and can be used to make gluten-free cakes? Try this mashed potato chocolate cake recipe from the Happy Foodie.

How you freeze:

  • Lots of different fresh veggies can be frozen and then eaten when you need them. Check out our A-Z Guide for freezing tips on everything from apples to zucchini.
  • Broccoli freezes well. Immerse in boiling water for 2 minutes, drain, cool and place in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 year.
  • You can freeze grated carrots for up to 1 year – a handy ingredient for cakes or carrot muffins!
  • Cooked spuds freeze very well, but don’t freeze raw as they’ll lose their taste.
  • Freeze chopped, raw onions for a super handy midweek meal ingredient!
  • Spinach can be frozen once it has been blanched in boiling water for 30 seconds.


Will you take action to stop wasting vegetables?

By trying any of these simple steps to use up veggies, you’ll reduce your food waste and save money on your food shop!

And if you want to learn more about other veggies, check out our A – Z Guide which is jam-packed with top tips on how to make the most of your veggies.

We’d love to hear about the steps you’re taking to stop wasting vegetables. Maybe you have your own top tips to share with us using #StopVeggieWaste on social media?


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