Are you pretty good at doing everything you can to cut food waste, or do you find that a lot of what you buy with good intentions ends up in the bin?
Take this quiz in partnership with Love Food Hate Waste to find out whether your superhero anti-food-wasting skills could do with a brush up.
How much food does the average UK household throw away EVERY MONTH?
- £20 worth
- £40 worth
- £60 worth
Amazingly OVER £700 A YEAR per household goes on food that we never eat – a huge portion of which could go in the freezer rather than the bin.
How much time can
Freezing food means something that was going to be thrown away in a few days can be safely stored for months before use. It’s basically like having a superpower in the corner of your kitchen.
It’s impossible to know what the brown mush in a container at the back of the freezer is
- You can send it to a lab
- You can date and label things
- There’s no way of knowing
By dating and labelling everything, you not only know what it is at a glance, but if it’s still safe to eat. No more mystery dishes!
Freezing bread dough will make it rise poorly
- It makes no difference
- Yes, you end up with pancakes
- It won’t be as good as fresh
Unlike the oven,
Soup has to be frozen litres at a time in a giant container
- There’s no other way
- The soup gods demand it
- You can freeze smaller amounts
Rather than letting a giant container of soup sit in the freezer forever because you don’t have enough people to finish it off in one go, pour into a muffin tray first, then transfer to a bag once frozen for more manageable portions you can dip into whenever you like.
Does poor planning make warm white wine unavoidable?
- I can move to the Antarctic
- You can quickly chill white wine
- Only a time machine can help
Grapes always seem to threaten to go off as soon as you turn your back, but they needn’t fester until they need to go in the bin. Why? Because they make far superior wine coolers than ice cubes because they don’t dilute the drink. They cool it down just as quickly and look great. You can also throw the grapes into smoothies, of course – double win!
Is making a packed lunch every day too much hassle?
- Yes, not enough time
- It can be ready to go in under a minute
- Yes, not enough energy
By making a batch of sandwiches ahead of time and freezing them you can always have one ready to go. Throw some leafy greens, veg or meat in a storage container in the morning for a different meal every day.
So next time you have bread about to go stale, instead of leaving it to grow mould or chucking it in the bin, make friends with your freezer and turn yourself into a lunchtime superhero instead!
Will freezing cooked chicken make it too dry?
- A little dry
- Drier than the desert
- Still just as juicy
Again, a muffin tray is a great way to freeze leftover cooked chicken before transferring individual portions to a bag, and freezing doesn’t ruin the taste at all.
Placing frozen chicken in boiling water for ten minutes prior to cooking will plump it back up fantastically, or you can add it to soups and stews straight away.
It’s also delicious cooked in the oven with a little oil and salt to make crispy shredded chicken.
Do fresh herbs lose their flavour if they’re frozen?
- They taste pretty much the same
- You can tell when it’s been frozen
- They taste completely different
Fresh herbs are wonderful, but we all know that they wilt FAST once they’re cut from the plant. For herbs you’re not going to use in time, try freezing them in oil which will protect them from being exposed to oxygen, meaning the freezing process has a negligible effect on their taste and they’ll still be generally superior to dried herbs. Plus you can chuck the cubes straight into your cooking. Awesome!
Does it take ages to defrost butter and cheese?
- It can take weeks
- It’s an overnight job
- Under an hour
Freezing butter or cheese might sound weird, but dairy has a short life in the fridge, so it’s well worth it.
And why won’t it mean hours waiting for it to defrost? It’s all down to how you freeze it. By grating it first you’re drastically increasing the total surface, so you have your butter go from frozen to ready to use in under an hour!
A frozen cake is weird and should be thoroughly defrosted first
- It’s amazing
- You can power through it
- Yes, of course it’s weird
It’s amazing. If you’ve never tried
Frozen fruit becomes too mushy to be useful
- It has tons of uses
- It’s useful for ice packs only
- It’s no good for anything
Frozen fruit can change consistency in the freezer, yes, but it remains packed with flavour, so it’s perfect for using in baking or when making cool, thick, refreshing smoothies.
Nuts keep their flavour better when frozen compared to when stored in the cupboard
- It’s the best way to store them
- They lose a bit of flavour
- Freezing makes them lose flavour
The oils in nuts start to break down very quickly once they’re out of the packet and in an uncontrolled environment. By freezing them you don’t just make them last longer, you make them taste better for longer too.
The following can be frozen…
- Tomato puree
- Cooking wine
- All of the above
All true! Freezing individual cubes of your favourite herbs and flavourings is a brilliant way to avoid wasting leftovers, and they’re so convenient to use in cooking straight from the freezer.
Does forgetting to buy milk
- You can freeze a backup plan
- Yes, I refuse to acknowledge black tea exists
- Yes, I refuse to drink black tea
If your milk is near to going off, freezing it for emergency morning milk is a fantastic idea. No milk in the fridge? Pop one frozen milk cube out, place it in a mug and microwave for a few seconds and boom, you’ve just saved your morning.
Are ice lollies only for the summer months?
- Only nice in summer
- Only good for hot weather
- Tasty all year round
Ice lollies are a great treat whatever the weather, and a bit of snow shouldn’t stand in the way of deliciousness, especially if you’re wrapped cosily indoors. So instead of chucking out the last of the juice as soon as it reaches it’s use by date, make lollies!
Want some bonus tips for using the freezer to reduce food waste?
- Bread: Cut baguettes, bagels etc in half and freeze them in reverse, separate a loaf of bread into sections with freezer paper so you can pull them apart. If you know you’re not going to get through a whole loaf of bread freeze half of it as soon as you get it home and take it out when you’re running low. Wraps go stale quickly after opening, so freeze them with a little freezer paper between them. They can be defrosted in minutes in an oven or pan.
- Ice cube trays: We’ve covered milk, herbs and seasoning, but you can freeze a whole host of other things into practical portions so that they don’t go to waste, including stock, yoghurt (perfect for curries), and even baby food.
- Muffin trays: Likewise, muffin trays are handy not just for soup, but also for eggs (crack in raw!), leftover mash and even pancake batter.
Watch this video for even more inspiration, and make sure to visit the Love Your Freezer section of the Love Food Hate Waste website for even more freezer tips.
And remember, Love Food Hate Waste!
This is a commissioned post in partnership with Love Food Hate Waste