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Food for Thought – February 2024 edition

Zero Waste LCR - Food for Thought blog

Hello and welcome to the February 2024 edition of the Zero Waste LCR Food for Thought blog.

This monthly round-up of food-related dates features tips, recipes and facts which aim to help Liverpool City Region residents cut down on food waste to protect our planet for future generations…

Food Waste in Liverpool City Region

According to the Waste Composition Analysis 2021/22 – Kerbside report produced by Merseyside Recycling & Waste Authority, food waste across the six districts of Liverpool City Region (Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral) makes up an average of 31.6% of all the kerbside collected residual waste collected, which equates to an estimated 134,107 tonnes per annum. Furthermore, it is estimated that 73.2% of all the food in the kerbside collected residual waste is classified as avoidable (meaning it is disposed of packaged or in a prepared but uneaten condition).

The Good News

The good news is that there are methods that residents across the region can introduce to reduce the amount of food waste. Generating less waste is a pivotal component in reducing the effects of climate change. Beyond creating a more sustainable environment, reducing food waste saves money and provides plenty of chances to get creative in the kitchen – even for those who wouldn’t usually dream of cooking.

So, without further ado, dig in and enjoy!

Yorkshire Pudding Day (4 February)

What better way to celebrate the first Sunday of February than making the most of your Sunday roast with a good old fashioned Yorkshire pud?

Well, what if we told you that there’s a gluten-free version which is simple to make and is a great way of utilising milk which needs to be used fast?

The best part: You’d never know they’re gluten free, due to how well they rise in the oven. PLUS, they can be frozen to use later!

Visit the Love Food Hate Waste website for the full recipe.

Chocolate Fondue Day (5 February)

Looking for ways to use up leftover Christmas chocolate? Or maybe you’re just in search of your next sweet treat?

Either way, Monday 5 February could provide the perfect excuse, as it marks the return of Chocolate Fondue Day!

Making a melted chocolate dip to enjoy with marshmallows, diced up cake, fresh fruit or even leftover Christmas pudding doesn’t sound too shabby to us!

There are plenty of chocolate fondue recipes to peruse online and try at home. While you’re here, here are some we have found:

International Frozen Yogurt Day (6 February)

If you’re worried that you won’t be able to use that store-bought yogurt sitting in your fridge in time, then fret no more…

International Frozen Yogurt Day takes place on Tuesday 6 February and is a great way to prevent yogurt from going to waste.

Thanks to this great range of 5-minute fro-yo recipes from Gemma Stafford (aka Gemma’s Bolder Baking), you don’t need to worry about owning an ice cream machine to make this tasty treat. Among the recipes on offer are Strawberry Frozen Yogurt, Pineapple and Coconut Frozen, Chocolate and Banana Frozen Yogurt and Cake Batter Frozen Yogurt. Bon appétit!

National Pizza Day (9 February)

For many, Fridays are always worth celebrating… But Friday 9 February takes it to another level, as it marks the welcome return of National Pizza Day!

Originally celebrated in USA, this annual food date is now renowned the world over, with many choosing to grab a slice of the action at local restaurants or takeaways.

Many others choose to celebrate by going homemade… If you fit within this group, then the Love Food Hate Waste website has several homemade pizza recipes which will top your tastebuds! Among the creative food-saving recipes on offer are Mini Party Pizzas, Quick Ciabatta Pizzas, Quick Pizza Tortilla Chips, Leek & Potato Pizza and Bread-End Crust Mini Pizzas. Bellissimo!

World Pulses Day (10 February)

For fans of peas, beans and lentils, Saturday 10 February is a date that will set pulses racing..

Bad pun aside, World Pulses Day is a designated United Nations global event which recognises the importance of pulses (chickpeas, dry beans, lentils, dry peas and lupins among others) as a global food.

Aside from that, it’s an opportunity to celebrate the versatility of this highly nutritional food group.

Rich in fibre, which can help lower the risk of heart disease, strokes and type 2 diabetes among other health benefits, pulses can be used in many different tasty dishes.

We’ve rounded up 10 recipes from Love Food Hate Waste which can help put certain ingredients to use and create a range of delicious meals:

Shrove Tuesday / Pancake Day (13 February)

Would you flippin’ believe it? It’s that time of year again!

Tuesday 13 February marks the return of Shrove Tuesday – aka Pancake Day – which is a much-loved food date in the UK.

Yes, they are a treat which can be enjoyed all year round, but that doesn’t stop us Brits going crazy for feasting on these flat flavoursome favourites on this dedicated day of pancake worship!

To mark the occasion, we’re delving into the vaults of Love Food Hate Waste via a blog (originally published last year) which can help you to let nothing go to waste this Pancake Day… Find out more here.

Making bread at home is a great way of reducing plastic waste.

Real Bread Week (17 – 25 February)

Saturday 17 – Sunday 25 February welcomes the return of Real Bread Week.

Created by the Real Bread Campaign and beginning life in 2010, #RealBreadWeek encourages and helps people to buy real bread from local, independent bakeries – and to also bake their own real bread at home.

Buying local and baking at home

Buying local bread has several benefits – chief among them is the use of responsibly sourced ingredients, less miles travelled (which is a great way to shrink your carbon footprint) and supporting business within your community.

As for baking bread at home, the main advantage lies in the fact that you are in control of the ingredients you are putting in. This is a healthy way to break away from additives which exist in many pre-packaged store-bought breads. Plus, making your own also saves money!

Using bread makers

Real Bread Week also encourages people to consider using bread makers. As cited on their official web page:

According to research carried out in 2023 for independent not-for-profit organisation Recycle Your Electricals, there might be around 1.4 million bread machines going unused in UK homes. Rather than asking anyone to shell out for a new machine, the Real Bread Campaign suggests people find a second-hand one from a trusted source, such as some charity shops or a reputable dealer that tests used electricals before selling.

As the cost of basic ingredients and energy to run a bread maker are pence, and the skill required to use one is minimal, adopting one is a very affordable and accessible way of more people being able to enjoy Real Bread.

Slow cooker bread

Aside from using a bread-maker, another option which we have championed several times in previous Food for Thought issues is baking bread in a slow cooker*.

Coming in at 15 minutes prep and between 2 hours – 2 hours, 40 minutes cook time, this recipe will provide the perfect bread for your afternoon tea sandwiches. With a springy consistency straight from the slow cooker, or the option to bolster you crust via an extra 5 minutes in the oven, you can customise the bread to your liking.

Visit here to view the slow cooker bread recipe:

If you’re stuck for ideas on what sandwiches to make for your afternoon tea selection, then this list of recipes may help!

*We have opted to share a slow cooker bread, as this is a more energy-efficient way to bake, meaning that it’s less carbon-intensive and therefore less of a contributor towards climate change. However, if you do not have access to a slow cooker at home, there are plenty of oven cooker homemade bread recipes online to explore via a search engine of your choosing! BBC Good Food is generally a good place to start – although, if you’re looking to introduce a twist to your afternoon tea sandwiches, this list of zero waste sourdough discard recipes from the Zero Waste Chef is also handy!

Other bread recipes and storage guidance

Love Food Hate Waste features a whole host of bread recipes which help you to use up ingredients and prevent waste.

They also have a handy guide on how to store, freeze and defrost bread.

Visit here for more information.

Find out more about the Real Bread Week campaign

If you’re keen to find out more about the benefits of real bread and ways you can get involved with #RealBreadWeek, visit

Cherry Pie Day (20 February)

Cherry Pie Day takes place on Tuesday 20 February. Aside from being a tasty dessert option, cherry pies offer an avenue to use up cherries and stop them from going to waste.

While many opt to use frozen cherries when baking cherry pies at home, this recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction uses real ones, with cherry-pitting advice included!

Cook a Sweet Potato Day (22 February)

Although widely celebrated in the United States, Cook A Sweet Potato Day – which takes place on Thursday 22 February – is a good opportunity to celebrate this highly nutritious and versatile root vegetable.

Roast them, mash them, make fries, make a pie! The opportunities are endless – so much so that you can use them for recipes you’ve possibly may not have even heard of before.

Take this courgette and sweet potato loaf from Love Food Hate Waste, for example. As stated on the website, “a loaf like this is a delicious way to use up eggs and veg and is perfect for sharing”. What’s more, it’s gluten free and can be stored for up to two days in an airtight container in the fridge.

National Toast Day (23 February)

Start your weekend by raising a toast on Friday 23 February…

National Toast Day is back for 2024 and, once again, our friends at Love Food Hate Waste have a range of innovative recipes which are a great way to use up leftover bread.

Among the recipes on offer are Honey French Toast, Garlic Veggies on Toast, Olive Tapenade Toast, Savoury French Toast, and Mushrooms & Tarragon on Buttery Toast.

National Strawberry Day (27 February)

National Strawberry Day takes place on Tuesday 27 February.

A nutritious fruit, rich in antioxidants and great for cooking, making smoothies and juicing, it’s hardly any wonder why strawberries are so popular.

To make sure your strawberries don’t go to waste, we’re sharing Love Food Hate Waste’s guide on how to store berries and save them from going to waste.

The Love Food Hate Waste website also features a delicious strawberry jam recipe which you can try at home. Sounds like a sweet deal to us!

That’s a wrap!

Thank you for taking the time to read our Food for Thought blog – we hope you’ve enjoyed it!

Please note, with the exception of MRWA-published documents, external links feature within this article are not officially endorsed by MRWA and are for reference and information purposes only.