‘Dogs, worm farms and Freshkeeper’ – How one Auckland mum is reducing her family’s fruit and vege waste

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We met Lotte in the last blog post.

Because she knows she’s wasting almost $10 a week on fruit and vege a week – that’s a whopping $520 a year – she is trying hard to make some changes.

Lotte, tell us all about what you’re doing.

 

Dog’s Dinner tactics

 I toss any old veges lying around – old cauliflower, browning broccoli, old spuds – into a big pot and add them to the dog’s food. Loki is a labrador so he pretty much eats everything. When we had two dogs, it was even better – absolutely nothing got wasted! The health benefits are great too – throwing in pumpkin, for example, is great for adding extra fibre to Loki’s diet and the oils found in the pumpkin seeds help support his urinary health.

 

Easy Freezy

Instead of letting bananas and pears go soft and brown in the fruit bowl I chop them up and freeze them to use in fresh juices – same with vegetables like carrots, kale, spinach. Frozen bananas are also great for smoothies, baking banana bread  – and wrapped in tin foil with a bit of lemon juice, they make great low fat, creamy popsicles.

 

Herbs – it’s a wrap

I use the old chef’s trick of wrapping my herbs in a damp paper towel if I buy them from the supermarket. They tend to stay pretty fresh. However, I prefer to keep pots of fresh herbs on my windowsill and just snip off what I need, when I need – much less waste!

 

Chimichurri!

So I buy a big bag of coriander every week but I’m lucky if I use half. If I have a spare moment, I’ll turn it into a chimichurri  – a delicious Argentian sauce that’s perfect with steak, sausages, grilled eggplant. I just keep it in the fridge until we’re ready to barbecue. Traditionally made with parsley, I think coriander gives the sauce a new twist. If I have extra time, I might whizz the coriander up in the blender with cashew nuts and mint to make a pesto.

 

Use a Freshkeeper

These little sachets are so handy – and a no brainer – for keeping everything fresher for longer. I just tuck one into the fruit bowl and another into the fridge crisper drawer every month.

 

Worm farm

OK, so this is still a goal! But I’m going to set up a worm farm in my backyard – it’s easy and great for the environment! I’ll chuck any wasted fruit and veges, plus peelings and scraps in there – the idea is that the worm tea and castings will create a super fertiliser for my garden where – of course – I’m planning to grow salad ingredients this summer. That way I can pick what I need, give the surplus away to neighbours –  and hopefully save a little money!

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