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Reduce food waste in seven easy ways

Katy Beskow reveals how to make the most of f your food with top tips and easy recipes

1 Store your ingredients in the correct place to extend their shelf life and preserve quality. Keep root vegetables and onions in a cool, dark place. Store leafy green vegetables, apples, and grapes in the fridge between 1-4°C (34-39°F). Bread will become dry if stored in the fridge. However, if you plan on using it just for toast, it will certainly extend its life. Opened jars are best kept in a cool, dry place.

2 Before you start cooking, consider the quantity of ingredients you really need to use. An average portion size for uncooked rice is 80-90g (2¾-3¼oz) per person, and allow 80-100g (2¾-3½oz) dried pasta per person. Cooking a larger quantity than needed of these basic ingredients can be costly and wasteful. If you intentionally cook more than needed so you can save some for another time, make sure you plan when you are going to use it up – and stick to it!

3 Treat use-by dates on food labelling as guidelines and not rules. Imagine that your food doesn’t have packaging or a use-by date. Use your senses to determine if it is edible and, of course, use your common sense. If a vegetable appears a little limp, it can be chopped up and used in a cooked dish, but if there is visible mould or an odour, it shouldn’t be eaten in the interests of food safety.

4 Have a selection of stackable food storage boxes and labels to hand for storing leftovers. This will maximise the space in your freezer and allow you to recognise what is in each box (it’s harder than you might think when a meal is frozen!). Keep leftovers of sauces in clean glass jars in the fridge, again to make them easy to recognise and locate, and to keep them fresher for longer.

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About Vegan Food & Living Magazine

In the mood for a warming one pot? We've got plenty of delicious vegan options waiting for you in the February issue of Vegan Food & Living. Also this issue, we reveal how to take your new lifestyle into February and beyond for anyone who has been doing Veganuary, plus we show you how Bento boxes can transform your lunches. If that's not enough, you can discover how to reduce your food waste, uncover the truth behind the B vitamins and whip up a Friday night fakeaway. Plus check out the hot new vegan fabrics set to hit the high street and explore the common misconceptions of being vegan.