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Ideas for old food – How to limit the food waste

Not only during the holidays, but more likely, people buy a lot of food to make it through the festive season. Quite often lots of the food ends up in the bin, uneaten, untouched. The reason is that we buy too much and in some cases that we don’t like to eat the food anymore because it is not super fresh anymore. Of course, when you take a handful of salad greens and it’s not fresh anymore, it doesn’t look tasty in the salad bowl. When you’ve carrots at home and they are not as crunchy as the really fresh ones anymore, we’re less likely to snack on them during the day. But there are ways to use all the old vegetables and fruits instead of throwing them away because they’re a week old.

Athletes often face this problem. Not so much because they buy too much food (although I am sure some of them do too), but because they travel and leave food in the fridge or in the pantry. When they come back home, they find old food at home – not super fresh anymore but still good to eat and use for a nice nutritious meal. There are athletes who would like to use the vegetables they have at home but they lack the recipe ideas what to do with old vegetables. After a competition, when training load is reduced and it’s time to boost your immune health, vegetables and fruits would be the way to go. Why not take the following ideas into account when we find some old vegetables in our pantry or fridge:

  • Soup: clean, wash and chop your vegetables. Squash, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, beets, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, garlic…all can be used for a nice, warm soup. Add some more spices and herbs (ginger, nutmeg…) and you have a perfect bowl of soup for lunch or dinner. You may find some rice cakes, spelt crackers in your shelves or you cooks some quinoa and add it to the soup! When you go for a vegetable soup but have some potatoes at home, cook two small potatoes and add enjoy them with the soup.
  • Vegetable stew: clean, wash and chop your vegetables. Take your pan and make yourself a nice vegetable based meal. Sprinkle with extra verging olive oil, add some spices & herbs, top with a table spoon of nuts. If you’ve eggs at home, enjoy them with scrambled eggs or add the eggs to the vegetable mix. If you don’t have eggs, maybe you’ve a emergency-back-up-canned-tuna at home? Then simply add this one to your vegetable stew! And if you’ve a training day coming up, prepare some quinoa and mix it with the veggies. Store in a lunch box and bring it to your workout the following day!
  • Vegetable chili: clean, wash and chop your vegetables. Cook your beans and combine your old veggies and the beans (Or use your canned beans if you’ve those at home)! It’s easy to make a nice chili with old vegetables. You can store it in the fridge and have it also the following day. Saves you some time!
  • Oven baked vegetables: clean and wash your vegetables, cut them in half! Tomatoes, peppers, squash and also starchy potatoes can be used for this recipe. Remove the flesh from squash, potatoes and stuff with tuna, tofu, lentils, beans or quark. Sprinkle with a spoon of grated parmesan, herbs and spices and put into the oven. Bake and remove and enjoy your vegetables with an easy filling!
  • Smoothie: people keep talking about smoothies – blend your vegetables and make yourself a veggie smoothie. It’s much better than grabbing a smoothie in the grocery store. Less preservatives, fresher and cheaper too! Why not use spinach, carrots, beets or celery in a blender? Or grab your old apples and bananas? It works too! Add a spoon of nut butter to give it some special touch and enjoy a glas of your smoothie!
  • Compote: it almost disappeared from our recipes lists but it’s a simple way to use our cherries, apples, pears, plums and to make a nice snack or dessert out of them. Peel your fruits, cut them, cook them, add some cinnamon or cloves and enjoy the compote! Top with some yogurt for some protein if you like. Again, it’s a much healthier alternative to fruit in sweet syrup you buy in the grocery store, and it’s cheaper too!