It may surprise you to learn, that £20 billion (yes £20 billion) worth of food is binned annually in the UK.
Contributing to this staggering figure, is consumer confusion around food labelling. The sooner you get to grips with “use by”, “sell by” and “best before” dates, the less waste you’ll produce and the more money you will save. Ka-ching! Display until/sell by: Is aimed at the retailer, not you. It simply indicates (to them) the date by which the product should be sold or removed from the shelves. However, this is not an indication of when the product should be consumed. Typically, one-third of a products shelf-life remains for the customer to consume safely at home. Best before: Use your common sense on this one and decide when a product is no longer fit to eat. “Best before” dates are more of a guide, rather than a recommendation. It’s about quality, not safety. Use by: Now this is the important one and a label not to be ignored. Unlike “best before”, “use by” dates are about safety and food hygiene. NEVER consume a food product that is past its “use by’ date even if it smells okay – I’m talking to you milk carton sniffers. Just because the product smells safe, doesn’t mean it isn’t crawling with harmful bacteria. Bin it or try and consumer it before the “use by” date.
That being said, do you still find yourself pouring whole pints of milk down the sink? Well, you’re not the only one. £150m worth of milk is wasted every year with 90 percent of it coming from the home – eep! But there’s no use crying over spilt milk, instead I’m going to let you in on my secret to using up this everyday staple before it turns sour. Pancakes! Not only are they easy, versatile and fun to make, but most batters require at least, half a pint of milk. Savoury, sweet, baked or fried, there is a plethora of recipes out there to experiment with, from Dutch babies to cheesy galettes, plant milks to different flours – doesn’t always have to a sugary lemon treat. In my house, I opt for savoury drop scones, not only are they easy to make but they’re also a great way of using up any surplus veg. Win, win!
Savoury green drop scones:
Serve for breakfast with chilli jam or for lunch with a green salad.
175g flour (whatever you have) 200ml milk 1 egg ½ tsp baking powder 1 tsp oil 3 springs onions, finely chopped 1 large handful of greens (you can use any chopped greens you like for this recipe – I use a mixture of savoy cabbage and kale but spinach, cavolo nero, chard or even brussels sprouts would work. You can also use grated root vegetables such as carrots or parsnips) 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 50g grated cheese ½ tsp sea salt METHOD
1. Preheat an oven to 100°C/80°C fan/210F/gas mark 1. Put a large plate in the oven.
2. Weigh out the flour and the baking powder and combine in a large bowl. Add 200ml of milk to a jug and crack in 1 egg. Whisk the egg in the jug with the milk until fully incorporated. Put to one side.
3. Finely chop the spring onions, garlic and your selection of greens. Grate the cheese and put to one side.
4. Add the salt and the baking powder to the flour and mix before making a well in the middle and pouring in the milk bit by bit, whisking continuously. Once you have a smooth batter, add the other ingredients until fully incorporated.
5. Put a large non-stick frying pan over a medium to high heat and add a tsp of oil. Once hot, drop a heaped tablespoon of mixture into the pan and push down with the back of the spoon to create a round-dish shape. Repeat this process making sure the drop scones are not too close together. After a couple of minutes, flip the scones over and press down on them with the back of a spatula to help them cook through – feel free to flip them over a couple more time to insure they are cooked all the way through.
6. Remove the warm plate from the oven and turn the scones out onto it. Cover loosely with foil and place back in the warm oven while you make your second batch of scones. Repeat this process until you have no batter left. Serve warm with a simple salad, a good crack of black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.
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