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Shop Smart and Store Well

Shop Smart and Store Well

By Sian Porter, Merchant Gourmet Consultant Nutritionist and Registered Dietitian.

Shopping for food is something we all take for granted but that’s all changed in recent weeks. What is available is no longer a given, getting it is not straightforward and takes a lot more time and what you buy has to be thought out rather than grab and go. Shopping carefully, being creative and making what you have last as well as going as far as possible have never been more important. We’ve put together some tips which alongside our products and recipes should provide a helping hand:

  • Be aware of what you have in your fridge, freezer and cupboards and use it up. Being at home can be a good time to tidy up your food storage and you’ll be amazed at what you find. Christmas cheese biscuit anyone? Use as much as possible, donate to others or recycle.
  • Make a meal plan bearing in mind what you have in the fridge/freezer/cupboards and stick to it.
  • Try and eat together at the same time if possible and all eat the same thing.
  • Use up thing with the shortest shelf life up first to avoid waste.
  • Buy food with a long shelf life. For example swap fresh spinach for frozen, buy root veg such as parsnips, swede, carrots, potatoes but store in cool, dark place, canned fruit (in juice), pouches of beans and lentils, jars of peppers, tinned veg, long-life fruit juice.
  • Store food carefully, covered if necessary, at the right temperature and in the right place fridge/freezer/cupboard. Often it will tell you on the label or you can check online. This frees up space and makes food last longer.
  • Weigh and measure to avoid waste and serve appropriate portions e.g. standard portion or rice is 50g uncooked. Using products such as pre-cooked grain pouches can help with portion control and avoid waste.
  • Use all leftovers or odd bits and bobs. See our fantastic recipes for inspiration.
  • Involve children in cooking and preparation e.g. laying the table, washing fruit and veg.
  • Use positive language about the food you are serving and be appreciative of the cook who may be struggling with limited ingredients and time.
  • Take it in turns to cook but agree re. meal plan so no one is using the ingredients someone else has set aside.
  • Be realistic! Some people may use having more time at home to cook more elaborate dishes where many people may be time poor and stressed. Don’t make yourself feel bad if you are not serving up MasterChef worth food daily and get everyone helping.
  • Ignore food myths! Frozen, canned and long-life food can be just as nutritious as fresh.
  • Practice good food hygiene to avoid food poisoning and keep safe.
  • As a family everyone has their choice of dinner one night if possible but everyone has to respect others choice and eat their chosen dinner and vice versa.
  • Think of those who are vulnerable. Set aside a portion for them and leave on their doorstep safely or add their shopping list to yours.

Recipes

We have a range of ‘zotto’ recipes which are a quick take on a risotto made with lentils and or grains. Taking a fraction of the time to make, these recipes are perfect for getting creative in the kitchen and using up whatever ingredients you have in the fridge or your cupboard. A great way of getting veggies into the family, these ‘zottos’ are perfect for batch cooking and portioning out for dinners or lunches throughout the week

Check out our range of ‘zotto’ recipes here:

By Sian Porter, Merchant Gourmet Consultant Nutritionist and Registered Dietitian.