By including vegetables in our daily diet, we ensure a large amount of minerals, trace elements, vitamins, carotene and fiber. However, it often happens that, like other products, we store and use vegetables irresponsibly: we leave them uncut, let them rot, using only certain parts. Very often, the journey of such leftovers will be a waste, but by doing this, we not only contribute to food waste, but also harm ourselves by giving up part of the vitamins and spending more money.
The entire supply chain is important
According to Ernesta Dapkienė, director of Maxima’s Communication and Image Department, the problem of food waste is very relevant worldwide – in Lithuania alone, one resident statistically discards more than 60 kg of food per year, and vegetables make up about a third of this amount. To prevent food waste, the responsibility lies not only with the consumer, but also with all participants in the food supply chain.
E. Dapkienė noted that the store chain takes the problem of food waste seriously, and uses the most modern technologies and methods to solve the problem.
“To reduce the amount of food waste, we are constantly improving the efficiency of the supply and storage process of products, we use intelligent systems that help us predict more accurately and order the amount of products we need. It is important that the entire supply chain runs smoothly. Not only storage, but also transportation, storage conditions in the store windows are important, – said E. Dapkienė. – We also constantly implement the initiative “I don’t spend – pay less”: we apply discounts for products with a shorter shelf life so that customers see and buy while it still works.
For many years, the shopping chain has given food products suitable for consumption to “Maisto bankus” for half a million euros. in 2021 the amount of support is almost 600 thousand. euros. “By donating food to the organization, we are not only fighting food waste, but also contributing to the solution of social challenges by supporting people whose lives are more difficult”, emphasized E. Dapkienė.
He said that some food products that are not suitable for consumption – vegetables, fruits, bread – are collected by farmers all over Lithuania, who feed animals, birds or make compost with products that are not suitable for human consumption.
Other food products that are not suitable for consumption are collected by the Horeca Sprendiami company in the Maxima retail network. The company processes these products and extracts biogas that produces electricity and heat energy. Biogas, according to E. Dapkienė, is an excellent example of a circular economy, when food waste is transformed into a sustainable renewable energy source, thus reducing the negative impact on the environment and climate.
Use common sense: use stems and leaves
Considering food waste, especially vegetables, Brigita Baratinskaitė, head of the Food Production Department at Maxima, advises to follow certain rules.
According to him, the best solution is freezing leftover food. For example, the ends of onions, leeks, carrots, turnips and ginger, or even skins and skins, from normal production can be frozen together and then used to cook broth. Celery, tomato and garlic tips can also be frozen together, and all legumes can be frozen separately. According to B. Baratinskaitė, a good sauce can be made from them later. He also advises to go to the freezer for herbs that are a little tired or that have not yet found a dish: dill, basil, mint, parsley and others. When crushed, they can be frozen in ice cubes with water or oil, and later this box is convenient for flavoring various dishes or green cocktails.
“We also noticed that some people do not know all the properties of vegetables and only use the parts that are “showing off”, but without mercy throw away stalks, leaves or stems. You should only throw away discolored, watery, shriveled vegetables and their parts , if not, even the best vegetables can still be used. Broccoli, for example, can be eaten well from the flower to the stem. The latter can be safely added to the curd soup, because after cooking for a longer time, it not only spreads its aroma, but also adds taste and texture. The same applies to beets – all the edible parts: the root itself, the stem and the leaves. These are the stems and leaves that are suitable for making soups, salads, and green cocktails and are supplemented with vitamins,” said Maxima’s representative.
This time, B. Baratinskaitė suggests trying some recipes for production that can use leftover vegetables, parts, tips or less aesthetically-looking vegetables.
Fragrant vegetable broth
You will need: yellow onion skin and especially blue, pumpkin, carrot and / or parsnip skin, leek stalks, parsley roots, celery bulbs, cauliflower and / or broccoli stalks, wrapped in herbs *, water.
* There are no exact proportions – as many vegetables as you have are suitable. You can mix frozen and fresh vegetables.
We produce: in a larger pot, pour 2/3 volume of water for about 1/3 volume of vegetables and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat and cook for 30-50 minutes. After that, strain the broth. Season with salt, pepper and your favorite dry spices. You can use the broth prepared in this way as a base for various soups, sauces, and freezes. Delicious!
Beetroot Pesto Sauce
“If you find unused young beetroot leaves in the fridge, make pesto, you can use it to flavor almost anything, from sandwiches to fish steaks. If you don’t have beets, but you find spinach, parsley or dill, they will also make a great pesto sauce”, said B. Baratinskaitė.
It is necessarys: about 3 handfuls of young chopped beetroot leaves, 3 tablespoons of roasted pumpkin seeds, a dash of pumpkin seed oil, juice of half a lemon, 50 g of hard cheese, a pinch of salt and pepper.
We produce: Grind the beetroot leaves, grated cheese, and pumpkin seeds with the help of a chopper. Add a little oil, add salt, pepper, add lemon juice and rub everything again until smooth. If you want the sauce to be more runny, add more oil. This pesto sauce is perfect for seasoning fish, pasta, poultry and salads, and can also be stored safely in the fridge. Try it out!
Carrot puree cake
You will need: 1.5 cups of carrot pulp (made after juicing), 80 ml of oil, 3 teaspoons of liquid honey, 2 eggs, 150 g of wheat flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 100 g of walnuts, 100 g of prunes .
We produce: eggs are beaten together with honey and oil until smooth. Mix flour with baking powder and cinnamon, sift, pour into the mass prepared from eggs, honey and oil. Add carrot pulp, chopped nuts, and chopped plums to it, mix well. Lubricate the baking tray with oil, pour the prepared dough and put it in the oven heated to 180 degrees. Bake for about 40 minutes until the cake is golden. Sekeca!