Wasted vegetable guilt is real, and creeps over you when you discover a soft zucchini, or a caved-in avocado left to die alone at the back of the fridge. To add insult to injury, wasted food breaks down to form methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.
Here, we’re sharing eight easy and feel-good ways you can proudly let your produce fulfill their life’s purpose, minimize your environmental impact, and make full use of your veggie haul.
1. Make a vegetable broth
Don’t throw away your extra veg, scraps, and vegetable tops just yet. Collect them in a freezer bag every time you prepare food. When the bag is full, you can throw them into a pot to thaw on medium heat, and sauté for five minutes with some oil. Pour enough water to cover vegetables, then add salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low heat for one hour. Strain broth and cool. Now you’re ready to make cozy stews and soups!
2. Blend your vegetables into soup
Chop up leftover vegetables, and sauté in oil on medium heat with onions and garlic until soft. Add enough vegetable broth to cover vegetables, bring to a boil, and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. Blend soup using a blender, until you get your ideal consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Freeze vegetables for later
Chop up vegetables you know you can’t get to this week. Blanch them in boiling water for two minutes, dry with a towel, then arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet before putting them in the freezer. When they’re frozen, store them in a freezer bag or container.
4. Roast them with EVOO
Roasting brings out the flavour in your vegetables like no other method of cooking. It’s quite easy: cube your vegetables, toss them in a bowl with extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), salt, pepper, herbs, and arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place them in an oven pre-heated to 425º for 35 to 40 minutes. Roast until toasted and cooked through, flipping once or twice.
5. Blend vegetables into a smoothie
Aside from leafy greens, these veggies are great for popping into your blender for your smoothie, adding texture, flavour, thickness and colour.
- Bok choy
- Snow Peas
- Sweet Potato
6. Stir–fry with spices
A big veggie stir–fry is a great base for a comforting dinner, which is great on its own, over a bowl of grains or noodles, or in a curry. All you need is some high heat, a bit of oil, a good tossing, and your favorite spices and seasonings.
7. Share vegetables with your neighbours
A wonderful practice we learned from some of our team members at Nature’s Path: If you’re going away or you ended up buying more than you needed, put vegetables in a bag and bring it over next door. Another great idea: place vegetables in a box in a communal area in your building or neighbourhood, and leave a note offering vegetables to your community for free.
8. Buy only what you need
Be specific about how much produce you need for each dish you’re going to cook, even if it gets tempting to stock up when produce is on sale. Besides, going back to the produce store for this weekend’s meals means you get to go offline, go outside, and move your body for some much-needed fresh air.