A good breakfast is the ideal way to kick-start the day, helping us feel more alert and providing energy to see us through until lunchtime, according to the Warwickshire Waste Partnership.
But every day in the UK people end up throwing away nutritious food – including fruit, eggs, yoghurt and bread – that could’ve made tasty breakfast food.
UK households throw away 1.6 million whole untouched bananas, 4.4 million apples, 1.3 million yoghurts, 1.2 million sausages and nearly 1 million slices of ham a day.
One in eight adults do not eat breakfast, citing lack of time is the main reason. These quick and easy tips from the Love Food Hate Waste campaign will help all busy families – mums, dads, carers and children – survive the morning rush and get off on the right foot this new school term.
Preparing for the week ahead
- Handy hint: If you’ve bought fruit on offer and have more than you’ll eat immediately – such as berries – try storing a punnet in the freezer ready to use a handful at a time in smoothies. Simply blitz from frozen
- Bananas can also be frozen if they get too ripe or brown – peel before freezing and blend frozen with milk for a delicious healthy milkshake
- Why not make a tasty batch of homemade muesli by combining porridge oats, nuts, seeds and dried fruit? Add grated apple and serve with milk or any plain or flavoured yoghurt that might need using up
- Top Tip: We often run out of milk towards the end of the week, but milk freezes really well to keep for later use. Why not pop a pint in the freezer when unpacking the weekly shop and defrost in the fridge the day before it is needed? (It will go yellow while frozen – but defrosts back to normal!)
- Preparing fresh mango, oranges, melon, pineapple or grapefruit can be fiddly and time consuming when we’re in a rush. Preparing a big bowl or plate of sliced fruit the night before means everyone can dig in before they leave the house
Making the most of milk and yoghurt
Milk is a breakfast staple and yet every year we end up tipping lots away. Milk keeps best and lasts longest stored between 1-5ºC, but try not to leave it out on the counter-top: milk left out overnight loses a day of its shelf-life
- Don’t throw away slightly sour milk; it will make great scones and pancakes at the weekend
- Food on the run: yogurts, cheese and dairy desserts make ideal ‘take-out’ breakfast food when on the run. A good source of protein and calcium, and great for snacking at work or in school lunchboxes. 1.3 million unopened yoghurts are thrown out each day in the UK
- Don’t forget plain yogurt makes a great a salad dressing with chopped cucumber or mint, which you can take to work with a salad in your lunch box
Bruised or ripe bananas can be rather unappealing. Why not mash ripe ones and spread on toast with a sprinkling of cinnamon, or chop and stir into porridge as a natural sweetener
- Investing in a citrus juicer to make fruit juice is a handy way to help use up any clementines or oranges left sitting in the fruit bowl. Squeeze any leftover lemon halves into a lunchbox salad for a tangy dressing. Squeeze orange or lemon juice on sliced fruit to prevent it going brown
- Food on the run: Grab an apple or pear as you walk out the door and remember to keep fruit (except bananas) in the fridge to keep it fresh for longer. Apples can keep up to 14 days longer in the fridge rather than in the fruit bowl
Egg heads use their loaf
Every day we throw away the equivalent of 1 million whole loaves of bread. Pitta breads, sliced bread and bagels can be stored in the freezer to help them last longer, simply toast them straight from frozen at breakfast time
- Money saver: Understanding date labels helps us eat the food that needs eating first and saves waste. Never eat products after the end of their ‘use by’ date – but remember many foods can be eaten or frozen right up to the end of the ‘use by’ date. Foods like bread and fruit with a ‘best before’ date are safe to eat after the ‘best before’ date, but they may not be as fresh. One exception is eggs – never eat eggs after the ‘best before’ date. We can all ignore “sell by” and “display until” dates
- Every day we throw away over half a million whole, untouched eggs. If you have a spare four minutes, children love boiled eggs for breakfast – and don’t forget the soldiers!
- Eggs also make a great ‘use-up’ food – whip up a two minute omelette with some leftover cheese or ham.
Easy peasy ham and cheesy
Cuts of meat leftover from the night before, or from a Sunday lunch, are delicious eaten cold for breakfast. Why not try eating some with cheese or sliced melon for a quick and continental start to the day?
- We throw away 260,000 unopened packs of cheese every day. Why not pop some cheese and ham on toast under the grill for a quick and more indulgent breakfast
- Cheese is a nutritious addition to the children’s breakfast toast
- Lunch with leftovers: Alternatively, cold meat and cheese can be made into packed lunches with some sliced apple, chutney or pickle and a buttered roll or slice of bread. British workers spend £3-4 per day on shop brought lunches, so why not cut these costs during the working week by making your own packed lunch
Visit www.lovefoodhatewaste.com for lots of delicious breakfast recipes including French toast with honey, mushrooms with parsley on toast and scotch pancakes.
For more information on the campaign please contact the Waste Minimisation Team on 01926 412458.