Welcome to my Green Kitchen, we are now in 2023 and my aim is still the same to cook chemical-free food, in season grown either by myself or purchased locally in season…it is also to minimise waste…the figures on waste particularly food waste really bother me and with rising food costs we can’t afford to waste anything…
Today is National Potato Day…
Most people love a potato and there are many ways to cook and eat the potato my favourites are Jersey Royal Potatoes but unfortunately I live many thousands of miles away from where they are grown…They are only grown on the island of Jersey hence the name…
The birth of the world-famous Jersey Royal can be traced back to 1878 when many different varieties were being grown on the island. A local farmer, Hugh de la Haye, found two enormous potatoes displayed on the counter in a local store, which he bought and showed to his friends. One of them had 15 of the ‘eyes’ from which new plants sprout, so they cut the potato into sixteen pieces that they planted on a ‘côtil’ above Bellozanne valley.
The following spring, they produced a large and early crop. This produced a crop of round potatoes, although one plant produced nothing but unique kidney-shaped potatoes. This was the beginning of the truly distinguished Jersey Royal potato.
Food Waste in the Home…
I really hate food waste…in the home the top 5 foods wasted are…
In January’s Green Kitchen, I looked at bread waste and I think most of us agreed there was no reason at all to waste a crumb of bread…Today I am looking at Milk waste in the home…
Milk waste in the home is by far the largest contributor, accounting for nearly 90% of UK milk waste with 290,000 tonnes thrown away every year. This equates to more than 490 million pints of milk as a nation – or eighteen and a half pints per household.
Research shows that more than anything else, keeping milk at the right temperature is essential to stop it from spoiling early, and the typical UK fridge at home is operating at 2°C warmer than the recommended Food Standards Agency guideline of between 0-5 degrees. Moreover, many people don’t know what temperature their fridge is running at or have any easy way of knowing how to set it to the right temperature.
First, check the manufacturer’s guidelines on the optimum temperature your fridge should be…Then use a fridge thermometer to determine the temperature of your fridge. If you don’t have a fridge thermometer you can also measure your fridge’s temperature by putting a standard thermometer in a glass of water and leaving it in the fridge…Simple!
Reducing the temperature of our fridges to below 5°C could stop more than 50,000 tonnes of milk waste every year, saving shoppers £25 million…
Finally, let’s explore just what you can do to extend the life of your milk and what you can do to use excess milk…
- Store milk correctly …the shelves of your fridge are colder than the door just be careful of leaks and storing near strongly flavoured foods…Use up the last of a pint by stirring it into soup for a creamy finish or make a delicious chocolate mousse.
- Make friends with your freezer…Some milk freezes better than others – whole milk freezes less well than semi-skimmed due to its higher fat content, though it can still be frozen. Freeze as soon as possible once opened, and ensure it’s well within the ‘use by’ date. Try turning your leftover milk into ice cream. Make sure you use a suitable container, too: milk will expand when frozen. All milk will turn yellow when frozen, so don’t panic! Defrost overnight in the fridge, and shake well before using. Pour a glug into rich mashed potatoes or a creamy vegetable gratin,
- Whisk up a white sauce…Flour, butter and milk are all you need for a rich white sauce. This staple pops up in a wide variety of recipes and is a great way to use up large quantities of milk at once. Add cheese for the base of homemade macaroni cheese, or keep it plain for the layers of your family’s favourite lasagne.
- Treat yourself to a pudding…a baked rice pudding, a pannacotta, Pancakes or these lovely
Portuguese Milk Tarts…
- 2 cups of sugar
- 2 cups of warm milk, microwave 30 seconds
- 2 tbsp melted butter
- 3 eggs at room temperature
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour.
- Preheat oven to 350°F/190C. Generously grease muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray (the recipe will fill 18 cups of a muffin tin) mine only made 12 as my tin was slightly bigger…
- In a large bowl beat the eggs, sugar and melted butter with a fork or whisk until smooth.
- Add in the flour and mix until smooth.
- Add in the warm milk and mix until smooth. The batter will be very thin and runny.
- Pour into the greased muffin tins filling each cup 3/4 of the way full.
- Bake 20 – 30 minutes, or until golden brown, on the middle rack of the oven.
- Note: while baking the tarts will puff up and while cooling they will sink.
- Remove from oven.
- Sprinkle cinnamon on top of each tart (optional).
- Allow tarts to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes and then carefully remove them from the pan. Use a knife or cake spatula to loosen the edges of the tart from the pan to remove them.
Our verdict…they tasted better than they looked I was expecting something like the custard tart texture that I make… these were sweeter and had a different texture sugary on top but so was the picture of the recipe I used so guessing they are as they should be…I made these as they have no pastry case which means fewer calories-smile…
If the milk does not have any off-putting smell or taste, you can still use it. If milk has gone a little sour, it is still safe for consumption.
First, let’s clarify something: Just because milk is past the sell-by date on the milk carton, it does not mean that it needs to be poured down the drain. If the milk has been properly refrigerated, it may be drinkable for up to a week after the date on the label…however if you don’t wish to pour it on your cereals then “bake with it”
As long as your milk is not spoiled and is just sour…Don’t toss that milk that has gone just a bit sour — it can be used in a variety of ways:
Scones and Biscuits
Sour milk is great for scones and biscuits. In combination with baking soda, it acts as a leavening agent and gives them a slight tang. Note that for sour milk to have this rising effect, the recipe must contain baking soda, not baking powder, which already contains acids.
The same applies to pancakes: adding sour milk makes them fluffier but again, baking soda is required so the acid in the sour milk can have its full effect.
Cakes and Muffins
If you have a cake or muffin recipe that calls for buttermilk, you can use sour milk instead. Again, be sure it contains baking soda.
Like bread, we should not be throwing away milk…
I only have to go online and everywhere I see that prices are rising ...utilities are rising, Fuel prices are rising, interest rates are rising and what gets hit first is the food budget…However, with a few changes, it is really easy to save money on the food budget and still eat well…
Let’s start with chicken its low fat, quick to cook, healthier than red meat and easy to cut the cost…everyone wants chicken breasts and of course retailers double the cost the legs and thighs often get ignored they are cheaper, more flavourful if you slow cook a couple of chicken legs then when cooked pull the meat from the bone to get a pulled pork effect… it’s great for making tacos and one chicken leg should fill 2-3 tacos…
Secondly, plan ahead…it helps eliminate waste especially when you are on a budget. If you are heading for the special offer aisle and just picking things up you won’t save you must have a plan…If you buy six of something and only use three it’s a false economy…if you go shopping without a plan it will cost you more money and you will be contributing to the waste statistics as you are likely to produce more waste…
Update on Green Manilla Tamarind…
Having read up on this beautiful seed pod…which when fully ripe is a beautiful shade of pink I am still also enjoying a few pods every day and those seeds although they look black and hard they germinate within a few days my little seedlings are shooting up it is a fast-growing tree so hopefully, within a few months I’ll have a sturdy little tree…Those of you who know me just know I will look for recipes and this fruit is popular in India where it is used in curries it also belongs to the pea family…will I try it in a curry not sure as apart from myself and Aston no one else really eats this lovely fruit…Have you come across this fruit and do you eat it, or cook with it? Please let me know …
Thank you for joining me today in my Green Kitchen as always I look forward to your comments and thank you for any shares xx