A few days ago, I had the pleasure to cook a wonderful Rosh haShanah Dinner alongside my beautiful friend Shifrah. Together we prepared a simple yet delicious Vegan Dinner (well, almost vegan because we used honey!) and as I was prepping the ingredients for an apple crisp. I was left with a ton of apple peels so I said to myself: “how can I use this?” I figured I’d make and Apple Peel and Mint Chutney.
The food waste issue…
Maybe you are wondering ”why?”. Why to save trims or peels from fruits and veggies? Why even bother about making a cake with a fraction of apple crumble?
Well, 30% to 40% of all the food is wasted in the United States only! (that was 133 Billions Pounds equivalent to $161 Billion dollars worth of food in 2010 and 100 Billions in Europe in 2014). Last time I checked 1/3 of the world food production goes to waste and, on average, families in the USA throw away 25% of the foods they buy. That is simply insane!
Precious food that:
– Could have helped feed families in need.
– Could have being used to give you more for the money you already spent by, for example, using peels and veggies scraps, or repurposing leftovers.
– The resources used to put all that food to waste globally, could be use to end, or at least alleviate, world’s hunger problems.
– Resources used to waste that insane amount of food could be used to help the planet not endanger it.
When all the cooking madness finished in my kitchen, I process the apple peel into tiny pieces, added sugar, spices, mint and voilá! This “chutney” made a nice addition to our breakfast oatmeal, toasts, and crackers, for a couple of weeks. If you are left with more that you can eat, store in a glass jar and give away to your family and friends. It would certainly make a nice holiday gift. Win win!
Super simple, right?
Let’s look at some other ways you can reduce food waste?
1. Don’t buy so much food in the first place
Certainly, many people buy too much; more than they can eat in a reasonable amount of time, sometimes as a result of the “it-was-on-special-offer” syndrome. Buying less means you will take advantage of everything you buy before it goes to waste, and before you go and buy the same foods. You also will be showing some love to your pockets because wasting about 25% of your grocery budget is not funny.
2. Find ways to reuse the leftovers in your fridge
Instead of eating based on the “mood of the day”, check what you have in your fridge at least once a week, and build your meals of that day based on that (in my house that day is sunday, when we repurpose shabbath leftovers). After checking your fridge and realizing how much food you waste you will definitely be more mindful about the quantities you’ll buy next time, and you’ll learn more about it in the way. After a while, you might start having fun with the process and discover new ways of eating your leftovers.
After Rosh haShanah dinner, we had leftover apple crumble and the “crumble” was not crunchy anymore, so I was going to repurpose it, no question about it! I mixed the apple crumble with a few ingredients and I got a nice, perfectly sweet cake, which I served as snack and nobody noticed it was made from leftover apple crumble!
To make this LEFTOVER APPLE CRISP CAKE you’ll need:
The leftover: 350grs of apple crisp (including homemade apple filling and the crumble (made with oats, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, and almond flour)
50 gr sugar (the apple crisp is already sweet)
3 Eggs, separated
125 gr self rising flour
Splash of vanilla extract (optional)
A pinch of salt.
For this recipe I used a 6″ round cake pan, with detachable bottom, covered with baking paper.
To make the cake, I started by whipping up my egg whites, adding your sugar little by little as I whip, until I got soft peaks.
Then, to this I added the egg yolks, and keep beating for a couple more minutes until the ribbon stage (this is where the mixture is a pale yellow color and thick).
At this point, I added the flour, a third at a time, sifting it over the egg mixture, and mixing it with a folding motion with a rubber spatula. Finally, mixed in the leftover Apple Crisp, poured the batter into the prepared pan and baked at 350ºF (180ºC) for 25-30 minutes.
If you are using this recipe as a reference for other fruits leftovers, keep in mind that it may take more or less time in the oven. A good rule of thumb is check your cake with a toothpick inserted in the center after 25 minutes. If it is done, your toothpick will come out clean, and your cake should at least have some color on top and spring back when touched.
Take the cake out of the pan immediately and let cool completely in a wire rack before serving.
This simple cake was delicious and spongy, and not too sweet, so perfect for breakfast. The oatmeal, seeds and ground almonds of the crumble also gave a nice texture to this humble cake. I certainly loved the result and I hope you try it too!
3. Give away
If you have some foods you know you won’t eat (it happens!!) just give it away to your friends and family, or even random people. There are so many people in need, no matter the country where you live in.
One way you can do this is by cooking a meal with those ingredients and give it to the homeless. You can also, look for food sharing websites or Stop Food Waste initiatives on Facebook groups. They are plenty.
Hopefully now you see some ways for you to save money, take advantage of what you buy, waste less, help people in need and take care of the planet. It is important that we open our eyes about how much we waste in order to stop this madness, and our kitchens is a good place to start.
As we still have other big holidays coming; we can be more mindful this time and practice all we’ve learned. No excuse!
We have a dedicated Pinterest Board to collect all the excellent ideas and resources out there about food waste. If you want to be over there pining, just let us know by sending us an email to ka**********@gm***.com and we will add you as soon as possible.
Tizkú leshanim rabboth!