Too Good To Go Top Tips #2
When you buy a Too Good To Go bag from your local East of England Co-op, you’ll get a mixture of products. Your magic bag will contain only items which are shortly due to expire, so for this reason, it purely depends on what the store have left as to what you receive. But what can you do with anything you won't use immediately?
You might find you get a bag like this one;
Or this one;
The bags contain a real mixture of items, and probably more than most families can make use of in one sitting!
So, what can you do with anything you don’t eat immediately?
Fruit and vegetables
According to Love Food, Hate Waste most fruits and vegetables are suitable for freezing. Always check any packaging first for freezing instructions. Frozen fruit and veg can either be saved for use later or for making smoothies and desserts. You can even freeze slices of apple and orange for later. Simply slice up the fruits and use an ice cube tray to freeze them, before placing them in a container.
If you don’t fancy freezing your fruit and you own an air fryer, check to see if it has a ‘dehydration’ setting. If it does, you can use this to preserve your fruit by removing the moisture. It’s essential you only go down this route if your device has this setting, as otherwise you’ll cook your fruit. The dehydration process preserves all the vitamin, antioxidants and minerals in the fruit, it stops the fruit from spoiling and getting wasted, and makes delicious snacks.
Milk, cream, yoghurts, cheese, butter and even eggs can be frozen if you won’t get through them in time. Put them in a freezer in a suitable container, and don’t forget to check the label first. If you’re freezing a full bottle of unopened milk, it’s sensible to open it and use a little first, as otherwise the milk will expand as it freezes and will break the bottle. Get it out well in advance of using it and defrost it in the fridge.
If you’re freezing cream be aware that although you can freeze both double and single cream, double cream freezes better.
Cheese is best frozen if grated first, and butter and yoghurts can be frozen in their original containers. If you’re cooking with butter, you don’t even need to defrost it first, just add it straight to a hot pan. You can make a fun snack for the kids too out of yoghurt All you need is some ice lolly moulds. Put your unwanted yoghurt in a mould, place in the freezer and after a few hours you’ll have yoghurt ice lollies. A perfect after dinner treat!
Left over eggs? Yes, you can actually freeze these! You’ll need to crack these first in a suitable container and place in the freezer. It’s also possible to freeze the whites separate to the yolks. Just separate as normal and place in different containers.
Packets of herbs like rosemary, parsley and thyme are commonly found in our magic bags. You might not use much of these ingredients at a time (no pun intended!) so instead of letting the rest of what you don’t use go to waste, perhaps put it in the freezer for another day. If the bag is unopened, it’s reasonable to just place it straight in the freezer as it is.
Already opened the packet? Don't panic! Grab yourself an empty ice cube tray, like above, and fill with either water or olive oil. Then, chop your herbs up and place them in the ice cube tray and put in the freezer. If you’re cooking with them, you can add them to your recipe frozen, so no preparation time required.
As ever, it’s important to check the label first, but most baked goods, like bread, pastries, scones, and morning goods, can go in the freezer for use another day. So, if you find you get a whole loaf of bread in your magic bag, freeze it straight away and then remove from the freezer in advance of when you need it.
If your bread cannot be frozen, you can still make use of any leftover slices by making breadcrumbs for a recipe. If you’ve got a food processor with a blade attachment, throw a few slices of bread in and mix. These will keep in an airtight container for up to one week. Alternatively. dry your breadcrumbs by tearing bread up and heating on a low heat in the oven before mixing in a food processor. These can keep for up to two months in a fridge, or six months in a freezer.
You can freeze potatoes in any state. Just cook them first and then they’re good to keep in the freezer. Easy.
Check the label on the packaging, as this will tell you whether your food is suitable for freezing. If you’re running low on space in the freezer, you can always remove the product from the packaging first and dice into smaller portions, before putting in freezer bags.
You can also cook it immediately as part of a recipe and then freeze the meal you make. Then, defrost and reheat whenever you’re in need of a quick meal. For inspiration, check out Too Good To Go Top Tips #1!