Did you know that in the UK, 24 million slices of bread are thrown away every single day?
I’m engaged to a Pettigrew Bakery addict so as much as this stat baffles me, 24 million slices is a seriously shocking amount of food waste. To tackle this, the latest campaign from Love Food Hate Waste (#MakeToastNotWaste) aims to encourage people to freeze more bread and use it straight from the freezer – something so simple that could save so much food from the bin.
The most shocking thing about the amount of bread wasted in the UK is the fact that it’s so easy to avoid. Bread products do have a “best before date”, but this refers to the quality and bouncy freshness of the bread, rather than food safety. Bread can definitely still be eaten after this date, but may no longer be at its very best. An easy way to get around this is to freeze the bread whilst it’s still relatively fresh, and then defrost it in the toaster as and when you need it – something we’ve gotten used to doing in our house all the time.
How to get the most out of freezing bread:
- When freezing sliced bread, give the bottom of the loaf a little tap on a hard surface to separate the bread so that the slices don’t end up stuck together; do the same when removing slices from the freezer individually.
- Toast straight from frozen – just leave the slices in for a little longer to make sure the bread is fully defrosted.
- Use slightly stale, harder bread and leftover crusts to make breadcrumbs for other recipes by whizzing them up in a food processor – these can also be bagged up and stored in the freezer – just shake up the bag when you’re ready to use them.
Three of my favourite “On Toast” recipes
Love Food Hate Waste asked me to share a few of my favourite mid-week meals that show off how good the humble slice of toast can be when you’re prepared to get a little bit creative. These are the three veggie meals we eat quite regularly when we want a comforting, easy meal and are a way to use toasted bread straight from the freezer for something more exciting than a dry cheese sarnie!
1. Homemade BBQ beans on toast
These homemade BBQ beans are quick and simple to make, vegan-friendly, and will have you shunning bland baked beans from a tin forever more. Get the full recipe here: Homemade BBQ Baked Beans.
2. Mushrooms with thyme & garlic on toast
This is such a tasty little meal: fry off some white mushrooms in butter and garlic. Once soft and brown, add a handful of fresh thyme leaves (or more, to taste) then stir-through three tablespoons of full-fat creme fraiche. Season with salt & pepper, and scoff.
3. Cheesy leeks on toast with English mustard
Another easy-peasy one: Fry off a couple of leeks in a knob of butter. At the same time, toast your bread, and once ready, spread each slice thinly with English mustard. Top with the soft, caramelised leeks, and grate / slice some of your favourite cheese on top, then melt under the grill. Finish with cracked back pepper.
For more inspiration for fab meals on toast, grab a copy of Emily Kidd’s recipe book, Posh Toast – a hard back containing more than 70 recipes for every time of day, covering breakfast, lunch, snacks and supper. Recipes include brioche toast with peaches and cream, and thyme-buttered mushrooms with whipped gorgonzola, rocket, and honey. I love this book! Buy it here: Posh Toast: Over 70 recipes for glorious things on toast.