Earlier this year, acclaimed US chef Dan Barber held a food waste pop-up at Selfridges. Burgers made from the leftover pulp from juicing, cucumber cores dressed for a salad: wastED was a provocative display of the clever ways we can deal with the food waste problem.
And it is a problem.
According to statistics from the UK Food Standards Agency, we now throw away 7 million tonnes of food and drink from our homes every year – the majority of which could have been eaten.
It’s not only about the waste itself, either – statistics show that this massive throw-out spree costs the average UK household almost £500 per year.
To save cash and make your mornings that bit better, here’s how to turn those leftover odds and ends into breakfast.
Apple crumble into stewed apples with granola
Leftover pudding sounds like an oxymoron. But if you do have some extra stewed apples (or plums, rhubarb or pears) from a cooked dessert, give them a fresh lease of life.
In a wide-brimmed glass, layer some fruit, top with Icelandic-style Arla Skyr yogurt and then granola. Keep on going with this procedure, until your glass is full.
Roasted veg into a frittata
Don’t leave those lovely, garlicky roasted vegetables from Wednesday’s dinner sitting in the fridge. Release their goodness by arranging them in a heavy-based pan and pouring over whisked egg, with an extra pinch of salt and pepper. Fry over a medium heat until the egg starts to cook, and sprinkle some grated cheese in for extra melted goodness.
Flip to cook the other side, or finish under the grill, and then leave to cool briefly before chopping into wedges or folding over.
Beaten eggs into a Dutch baby
If you didn’t need all of your beaten egg mix from your frittata, use them in this riff on a pancake instead.
Lavishly blown-up and baked in a skillet, Dutch babies just need three eggs along with 80g of caster sugar, 175ml of whole milk, 100g of plain flour and a pinch of sea salt, all blended together. Add in some grated orange or lemon zest, a little nutmeg or some vanilla bean paste, if you fancy. Swirl butter around a pan and pour in the batter to coat.
Pop the pan into an oven that you’ve pre-heated to 220°C and bake for around 20 minutes, at which point your baby should be all puffed up. Remove from the oven and add flaked almonds, a dollop of yoghurt and mixed fruit – finish with sieved icing sugar and cut into slices to serve.
Bottom-of-the-bag oats into breakfast bars
Dusty porridge oats aren’t destined to be chucked. Use them as a sprinkling for (healthy) breakfast cookies, instead.
Take 200g of spelt flour, one peeled and grated ripe pear, 100ml of melted coconut oil, 100g of chopped walnuts, 50g of pumpkin seeds, 100ml of honey or maple syrup and half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda. Mix, shape into rounds, scatter with the oats and bake for 15 minutes, or until a toasted, golden shade.
Salad into a smoothie
Spinach that is starting to smell like wet grass is the plague of many a fridge. Take the raw greens that went on the side of last night’s dinner (rocket, watercress, avocado chunks...) and blitz up with yoghurt or a little whole milk, a spoon of nut butter and a slice of apple for sweetness.