In my busy household of 6, plus my cooking school, the trips to the grocery store are a plenty. With the cost of food steadily rising, I absolutely hate to throw out food. Of course, when we also consider the number of people that don’t have the abundance of food that many of us have, it also pulls at the heart strings.

In Canada, $31 Billion of food every year is wasted.* Globally, 1/3 of food produced for human consumption or 1.3 Billion tons per year is wasted.* What can each of us do? Start small… in your own kitchen.

Leftovers! There is sometimes a negative connotation associated with leftovers. Well one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!  I love leftovers… I always make plenty of food so there are always leftovers. I will repurpose leftovers into a completely new dish. It is a great opportunity to stretch your imagination and just use what you have on hand. Think “ingredient box” from a popular cooking show. Sometimes it even becomes a favourite dish…

Fresh produce! Let’s face it, fresh fruits and vegetables don’t last forever and if you buy lots to save a trip to the grocery store you are sometimes left with unrecognizable items in the crisper. Every couple of weeks I like to do a clean sweep of the crispers….Those old apples? Apple crisp, applesauce, apple cake, caramelized apples to top pancakes…Those wrinkly carrots, peppers, celery, zucchini? Stir fry or soup. I always feel good when I divert something from the waste basket. In the off chance that something does get missed and ends up at the back of the fridge and inedible it goes in the backyard compost heap so it is at least returned to the earth.

This is a simple Applesauce recipe I use to make use of those wrinkly, old apples. If I put those apples in my kid’s lunches they would just keep coming back…. so instead a container of homemade applesauce goes in made from the same apples…shhhh!

Natalina’s 2nd Hand, Chunky Applesauce!

12 wrinkled, bruised apples/1 cup of water/sugar to taste/cinnamon to taste/pinch ground nutmeg

Peel, core and quarter the apples making sure to remove blemishes, bruises etc. Add them to a large pot with the cup of water. (less water if using watery apples such as macintosh) Place the lid on the pot and bring to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, reduce to medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the apples are cooked thoroughly. Remove the lid and using a potato masher mash the apples. If there is a lot of liquid, continue to simmer and reduce the liquid. Add sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg to taste. Viola! Chunky applesauce in minutes and no wasted apples! I enjoy this on oatmeal, ice cream or pancakes…Yum!

Ciao for now! Natalina

*Hunger Facts/Second Harvest


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