10 Most Wasted Foods in Britain and How to Turn Them into Spectacular Dishes

Don’t let perfectly good ingredients sit at the back of your fridge or on the bottom of your fruit bowl. We’ve teamed up with our friends at Sainsbury's to give you the lowdown on the most wasted foods in Britain and what you can do to cut down on food waste at home. Their Food Rescue tool was created to help you waste less food and make savings by not having to replace ingredients thrown away.

1. Tomatoes

Too many? Make a vat of tomato soup, pasta, pizza or curry sauce and stow individual portions away in the freezer.

Just a few? Heat a little olive oil and garlic in a pan and quickly cook your chunky chopped tomatoes with a spoonful of wholegrain mustard for delicious tomatoes on toast. Top with crumbled feta and balsamic.

2. Potatoes

Too many? Mash, mash and more mash. It freezes wonderfully and is perfect for topping off pies. Try using an ice cream scoop to make individual portions, place on a parchment-lined tray and freeze until solid, then pop into sandwich bags for easy defrosting later.

Just a few? A boiled, mashed potato is the ultimate way to thicken the sauce for a stew or chilli. Another great tip is to add cubes of raw potato to a dish if you’ve accidentally over-salted it.

3. Onions

Too many? Cook down sliced onions and make a cheese and baguette-topped French Onion Soup for dinner.

Just a few? Whip up a quick lentil daal with chopped onion, dried red lentils, garlic, ginger, chilli, a fresh tomato and half a tin of coconut milk. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir through, season, add a teaspoon of garam masala and finish with chopped coriander. Simple.

4. Eggs

Too many? Rustle up a hearty brunch of Shakshouka - Tunisian eggs poached in tomatoes, cumin, chilli and onions. It’s incredible with a sprinkling of crumbled feta, chopped herbs and a chunk of crusty bread.

Just a few? Make Cheesy Bacon Egg-in-a-Hole, of course!

5. Apples

Too many? There’s nothing quite as good as a classic Apple Tarte Tatin. Before layering in apple slices or chunks, add a little bit of sea salt and lemon juice to your caramel for big, bold flavours. Top with shortcrust pastry and bake until golden.

Just a few? Make microwave apple pie in a mug. It has a crunchy biscuit topping and takes five minutes from start to finish. If you can’t find cinnamon-flavoured sweets, try adding a pinch of ground cinnamon.

6. Sweet Potatoes

Too many? For a fail-safe option that will ensure all your sweet potatoes get eaten up, make sweet potato wedges seasoned with paprika, salt and garlic. If you dare to be different, try marshmallow-topped sweet potato muffins.

Just a few? Wafer-thin slices of sweet potato are amazing on top of crispy pizzas, baked mac and cheese and layered in dauphinoise potatoes.

7. Avocados

Too many? Well we’d be lying if we suggested you make anything other than guacamole here. Mash them up, add a squeeze of lime, garlic, chilli and scoop it all up with tortilla chips. Heaven.

Just a few? Whip two blended avocados into brownie batter and reduce the butter or oil in the recipe by half. They’re rich, creamy and full of good oils to give your brownies the perfect texture.

8. Spaghetti

Too much? Try making baked spaghetti in the same way you’d make lasagne.

Just a little? Boil a handful of spaghetti, leave it to cool and then add it to frittata mixture before cooking. It will add texture and body, turning a raid-the-fridge dish into something substantial for dinner.

9. Baguette

Too much? Make easy French bread pizzas – split in half lengthways, top with pizza sauce, add topping and grill until the cheese is bubbly and golden. A blast from the past.

Just a little? Whizz it up and sizzle it up in olive oil along with dried herbs to make a delicious topping for pasta bakes and vegetable casseroles.

10. Bags of Salad

Too much? It might sound crazy but try braising the salad in stock to serve alongside roast chicken. A handful of frozen peas will make it go a long way.

Just a little? Add it to your morning smoothie along with spinach and strawberries, then blend away.

If you're looking for brilliant ways to reduce food waste, take a peek at Food Rescue. It's an interactive website created by Sainsbury's and Google to give you practical help and inspiration on using up ingredients that can often lay forgotten at the back of your fridge or cupboard. They’ve got loads of recipe inspiration to get stuck in to.

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