Reduce your food waste: Turn top 3 wasted foods into delicious snacks

Many of us are guilty of throwing out food when it starts looking a little sad or forgetting to use items before their use-by dates. Currently over 50% of waste in Merri-bek that goes to landfill is food organics, and when it breaks down in landfill it produces the harmful greenhouse gas methane, which contributes to climate change.

The 3 most common foods that end up in garbage bins, according to Oz Harvest, are:

1) Bread
2) Bagged Salad
3) Bananas

We love food and hate waste in Merri-bek, so we’ve compiled some recipe ideas to help you use your bread, bananas and bagged lettuce leftovers– the top three foods that most often go to waste in Australia.

Break bread

If you have a loaf of bread that's going stale there are many ways in which you can use it up, avoiding the bin.

As we head into the cooler months enjoy a sumptuous bread and butter pudding, which uses up to half a loaf of bread.

Bread crumbs are a great way to use stale bread. Blitz a couple of slices together with rosemary, or a herb from your garden, to create these arancini balls.

If you don’t like your crusts, mini-pizza’s is a great way to avoid throwing them out. Cover toasted crust in tomato sauce and vegies from your fridge, for an easy after-school snack.

Make friends with salad

Bagged salad mix is one of the top three food items thrown out, before they start looking sad, here are some fab new ways to use the mix.

Blitz up leftover spinach or salad mix into a refreshing pesto pasta.

This universal spinach and pumpkin frittata recipe can be eaten, breakfast, lunch or dinner! If you don’t have pumpkin, you can easily replace with another leftover veg from the fridge.

Go bananas

Overripe bananas are perfect for baking! Banana bread is always a crowd-pleaser and totally tastes better when you use bananas that are past their prime.

Brown and spotty looking bananas can also be chopped up and frozen to keep longer. Add the frozen chunks into a blender with milk of your choice and honey to make a refreshing smoothie. You can even toss in your leftover salad leaves or kale for a tasty green kick!

Find more nifty leftover recipes to reduce your food waste such as; grilled leftover sandwiches, fridge clear out pizza and more.

Smart food scraps

No matter how clever you get in the kitchen, there will always be some unavoidable food scraps, like peels or bones, that you can’t eat. You can now place food scraps (of many different shapes and varieties) in the kerbside food and garden organics bin (with the light green lid, previously called your green waste bin) alongside garden waste.

Through our partnership with Back to Earth all contents from the food and garden organics bin will be turned into compost. The compost is then used within community gardens and farms across the state.