Storage & Cooking
Kitchen Gadgets to Help Fight Food Waste
In households across the country, elaborate pieces of domestic equipment gather dust. Anybody else bought a heavy duty juicer in the January sales and never used it because it takes too long to wash? A small number of simple domestic items and appliances will be useful to help you prevent food waste at home. Before you buy anything, here are some tips:
The Ice Cube Tray
If you are cutting a lemon or lime and you don’t need all of it, why not cut the rest into small slices and freeze with water in an ice cube tray? That way, you will have ice cubes and lemon slices at the ready whenever you need a cool refreshing drink. Ice cube trays are also useful when using up leftover herbs. Blend herbs with olive oil to form a paste. Freeze these herby flavour cubes for use in soups and stews. The same can be done for stocks, sauces and wine.
The Hand Blender
Useful for blitzing soup or making hummus from scratch, you can also blend leftover vegetables from the night before with some water to make a handy soup. Blend brown bananas using the hand blender for banana cake or pancakes. If you chop and freeze them first you can make dairy free, banana ice-cream. Smoothies can be whizzed up in no time and are a great way to use up older fruit and the last of the yoghurt pot. The hand blender will produce a smooth textured pasta sauce, which may help to incorporate healthy vegetables into the diet of picky eaters. Spare herbs can be combined with some olive oil to create a delicious herby oil to drizzle over soup, salad or veggies.
The Slow Cooker
Imagine if you browned the meat for an Irish Stew, put the remaining ingredients into a pot to be cooked overnight and 7 hours later you had a dinner ready for that evening. Well, it’s that easy. Slow cookers save you time and labour. The slow cooking brings great flavour to your food. Though they vary in price, you can buy a slow cooker for less than €30. They are commonly for sale in charity shops so keep an eye out for a bargain there too. A slow cooker with a clear lid is advantageous as you can look into it without taking off the lid. Look for a size that suits the size of your household. Slow Cookers are useful for making dishes such as soups, stews, curries, casseroles, tagines, tomato sauce or apple puree.
Freezer to Oven Dishes
These dishes are often made of glass and have a snap on plastic lid that can be removed before the dish goes into the oven. If you’re making something time consuming like a lasagne, shepherd’s pie, or a fish pie, why not make a double batch and freeze half for another day?