Wasting food is bad for the planet and the climate. Every year, approximately one third of the food which has used lots of fresh water, land and labour to produce for human consumption is wasted in the world... around 1.3 billion tonnes of food waste according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations.
We can feel individually powerless about this problem and it is easy to blame the food industry but together, small streams make the big rivers!
Being careful about food waste is also good for your wallet! It is estimated that each UK household throws out, on average, £60 worth of food per month! Imagine what you could do with £720 saved per year!
Let me share a few tips with you to avoid food waste:
- Plan your meals before doing your shopping and make a list
- Don't visit the supermarket whilst hungry: it's the easiest way to buy food in large quantities
- Don't be blinded by a big promotion: Do you really need 24 yoghurts?
- Buy the ugly fruit and vegetables; they taste the same and are cheaper!
- Buy loose food instead of larger pre-packed portions to only buy the quantity you need
- Check the use-by dates give you enough time to eat the product
- Store correctly and turn your stock at home: short use-by dates at the front and long-life behind
- Cook the right quantity of food (a small set of scales can help to quickly reduce waste)
- Freeze the food that you cannot eat before the use-by date whenever possible
- Be creative with recipes to use those odds and ends in your cupboards!
Today, I offer you a very classic French recipe to avoid bread waste: French toast!
In French, it's called "pain perdu" which literally means "lost bread". Traditionally made with hard bread or brioche it can be eaten at any time of the day: in a sweet version for an indulgent breakfast or dessert or a savoury version for breakfast, lunch or dinner!
For my recipe, I've used slices of white bread with sunflower and pumpkin seeds but you can use any bread: regular white bread, wholegrain, brown, sliced bread or rolls and even brioche!
You will find my French toast recipe below with some ideas on how you can personalise the dish to suit your taste.
For 3 slices of bread, you will need:
- 3 slices of bread (no way?!)
- 2 eggs
- 200ml of milk (skimmed for low fat, semi-skimmed for every day and whole milk for a treat)
- 20g of butter (unsalted for the sweet version)
- 30g of brown sugar (sweet toast) or a pinch of salt and pepper (savoury toast)
- spatula or fork
- oven tray
- silicon mat or greaseproof baking paper
Pre-heat the oven at 170C
Dip the bread slices in the milk first and then in the beaten eggs
Fry them in a hot pan with melted butter
Sprinkle the brown sugar on the both sides of the bread (Salt and Pepper for Savoury)
Leave the bread caramelise in the pan
Finish the baking by putting your French toasts on a tray in the oven for 6-8 minutes
For my first sweet French toast, I've simply spread a spot of homemade cherry jam on it and served with some fresh berries.
For my second sweet version, I've caramelised a sliced apple with a pinch of cinnamon in the pan after cooking the toast and placed the apple on the toast before serving. It's delicious as a dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream!
And for the savoury French toast I've put sliced tomato and mozzarella on the toast before putting it in the oven and added some basil before serving. For a stronger mediterranean taste, cook the toast with olive oil in the pan instead of butter.