Let’s take a quick moment to recognise how lucky we are to have fridges and freezers in our homes… while we love the old-school preservation technique of fermentation (check out our fermented recipes on www.joeyandkatycook.co.uk) there’s only so much sauerkraut a girl can eat through the winter! Crisp curly kale, fresh yoghurt and of course chilled wine… what a culinary saviour they are.
A well organised and well-maintained fridge is fundamental to successful, vegcentric home cooking. It’ll save you money, minimise food waste, and offer up the freshest, tastiest and more nutritious ingredients each time you cook. In this respect, Liebherr Biofresh are the creme de la creme for keeping fruit and vegetables fresh for as long as possible.
The statistics around food waste are truly shocking. Of all food waste in the UK 70% occurs in the home; WRAP estimates that this equates to 6.6 million tonnes of food each year, of which 4.5 million tonnes is perfectly edible. It’s time to treat our fridges and their contents with a lot more organization and respect.
Here are our top five tips for getting the most out of your fridge and freezer, for less waste, and better cooking:
1) Organise. Let’s start with the basics!
The top shelf is best for all ‘ready to eat’ foods – left-overs, cooked meat, and deli style foods. Next down you’ve got dairy and eggs; the fridge door isn’t in fact the ideal spot for milk and yogurt as this is the area with the greatest fluctuations in temperature. The lowest shelf should be reserved for raw meat and fish to avoid any accidental contamination. Fruit and veg go in the BioFresh draws, ideally removed from any plastic first, to preserve their nutritional content, optimum texture and freshness of flavour. Lastly, long life condiments and preserves are perfect for the inside of the fridge door as these are very stable.
2) FIFO. The restaurant way.
FIFO stands for ‘first in, first out’ – a.k.a. organised stock rotation. Try implementing this system at home by checking your fridge before you go shopping, only purchasing what you need, restocking the fresh produce at the back, and moving the older produce to the front. This way you’ll naturally reach for the ingredients which need using up first.
3) Label, label, label! Even masking tape will do.
All too often we’ve whacked some left-overs in a tupperware and popped it in the freezer certain we’ll remember it… The tricky thing is, the appearance of food changes significantly once frozen. Without popping a label on each container you’ll be left scratching your head in front of an open freezer, as warm air rushes in. Organised and accessible left-overs are much easier to make delicious use out of.
4) Love your bread. The art of pre-slicing.
We’re never without good bread in the freezer… With a little imagination a slice of sourdough toast is the grounds of a fantastic dinner; see all our ‘toast toppers’ recipe collection on joeyandkatycook.co.uk! Great sourdough isn’t cheap and ought to be treated with respect; pre-slicing and freezing bread on day one avoids any bread going stale. Simply ‘pop’ off a slice (it separates easily enough!) and toast from frozen. Should you find yourself with stale bread? Whizz it into breadcrumbs and stick them in the freezer. Labelled first of course. Try olive oil sourdough bread crumbs on top of our cauli carbonara with roquefort, preserved lime and chilli.
5) Love your left-overs. Beeswax is the bee’s knees.
So so often left-overs form the base of the tastiest meals. There’s scientific evidence to support the notion that flavour is often improved on day two. Cover your leftovers with beeswax food wrap, store them at the front of your fridge where they’ll catch your eye, and they’ll serve you very well the next day. With a little imagination, and a few flavour hacks you’ve got yourself something stunning for free! One portion of left-over curry? Defrost, add in a squidge of tomato paste, a teaspoon of sugar and a tin of cannellini beans and you’ve got yourself curried baked beans for a jacket potato.
Thank you for reading. If you’ve got any tips to share with us please get in touch @joeyandkatycook.