Mindful Nutrition: Busy Parents/Healthy Children – Wasted Food!

OK, so we have all done it. We spend our precious minutes at the grocery (sometimes multiple times a week – god bless you) and waste a ton of produce.

I get it! Time wasted! Money wasted! Big frustration. So, I have figured out a few things to do with “very ripe” produce to save time, money and the pain in throwing things away.

Remember – Zip lock freezer bags are your friends! Get them in a few sizes.

Here are a few ideas, share yours with us!

Bananas – never eat a “green” or bright yellow banana. They aren’t ripe, the nutrients haven’t all come in and they just aren’t great for the digestion. Wait until the freckles come! If you can’t finish them in the “window” between freckles and rotting, peel them and stick them in a zip lock freezer bag. Then, freeze them. Or cut them down the center, slather it with almond butter and freeze them. I always have frozen bananas on hand. I use them in smoothies. Kids love them!!! When they need a snack or a treat, break off a bit of the banana and nut butter sandwich and let them eat away. If you have a yonanas machine, you can make some major ice cream.

Grapes – freeze them. Use in smoothies or pop them in your mouth frozen.

Strawberries – These seem to turn in a day, right? Wash them, cut off the greens and put in ziplock bags and freeze. Use in smoothies or juices.

Lettuce – When I see them going bad, I cut off brown spots and put in smoothie. Lettuce does not freeze – bummer!!

Herbs – I love fresh herbs. In fact, I love them so much that I do get carried away at times at the store. They are so beautiful and aromatic, my mind goes into overdrive and I buy way too much to use. Wash them and lay them on paper towels. I usually turn them over daily just so that they dry evenly and there are no brown spots. Then, I crumble and put in baggies or jars.

Pineapple – de-skin it, cut it into chunks and stick in zip lock freezer bags.

Tomatoes – We can only get gorgeous, tasty tomatoes this time of year it seems. Did you know that tomatoes are bred for color not taste? Thus we have the “potato-y tomato” yuck!! So, what I do is buy a bunch, cut into chunks and freeze at is. I also make gazpacho and freeze. Not as delicious as fresh, but when I want a beautiful tomato taste, and it is winter, it beats getting the ones at the grocery store.

Fresh Juice – put it in ice cube trays and stick them frozen in club soda for the kids. They love this!! It is beautiful too!

Grains – any kind of rice or quinoa can be tossed into vegetables, made into a “burger” and cooked, put into soup or even added to eggs.

Oils – These MUST be thrown out. Always smell oil before you put it in your food. Even a hint of rancid oder means it is not suitable and must be tossed. Sorry. Rancid oils are highly toxic, especially to the little ones. This goes for nuts and seeds as well.

If you are busy, like me, then you know you need to make the most out of shopping, cooking and storing. Create “systems” to make it work. Don’t give up on preparing your own meals, but rather take baby steps to make it work better for you.

Got any ways to preserve the fresh food? Would love to hear them! Below is how I dry dill!

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About Ana Goldseker

I am a whole foods coach specializing in weight loss. I help people with food addictions and building a food plan that works for them. Please visit my website at www.mindfulnutrition.net for more information.
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5 Responses to Mindful Nutrition: Busy Parents/Healthy Children – Wasted Food!

  1. wartica says:

    I think as a society–primarily in the western part of the world–we waste too much food as is; your suggestions show that there is a practical way out of this, so we can keep getting good food into our systems:)

    http://jonwatersauthor.com/

  2. anagoldseker says:

    Thanks Jon. The western world has done a lot to separate themselves from the responsibility
    of their own health. I love to encourage people to take that back. One big way, is making the kitchen a functioning part of their world. be well!

  3. lizzy zinn says:

    I meal plan and shop multiple times a week to get fresh foods fresh. It’s not bother to me to pop in a store and get just a few items. I try to buy only what I am cooking for a few days. We only eat out for special occasions and frankly the food is better at home. It’s just to give me and the kitchen a break. You can also compost your old food and give growing herbs a try. They overcharge in the stores for Basil and dill and they are simple to grow. Can even do them in pots.

  4. I dehydrate things all the time to keep them from going bad. In fact, if I open a melon and it is under-ripe, it still tastes great after it is dehydrated.

    Also, it isn’t ideal for digestion, but un-ripe melon tastes great in a banana smoothie with almond butter.

    I dehydrate tomatoes at 110 degrees F overnight, then put the dry tomatoes into a baggie when they’re fully dry and put them in the freezer. After they’re dried they can go into a soup or be soaked to re-hydrate them and then use them in an array of raw sauce and patty recipes.

    With kale, if I see it starting to wilt I make kale chips. Dehydrate them overnight with a little oil, vinegar and sea salt. You can make fancy stuff to coat the kale, but oil, vinegar and sea salt is easiest.

    If I notice that an onion is going bad and reason I’ve had my onions too long I make a big pot full of onions with a little garlic. After it is done cooking to mush I add spices directly to my bowl and sometimes some fresh herbs.

    ~ Raederle
    http://www.raederle.com

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