Changing food waste

waste

As we see the 5p plastic bag charge come into force in England this month we are more and more becoming aware of the countries problem of waste, specifically food waste!

We throw away roughly 7 million tonnes of food and drink from our homes every year costing £12.5billion a year, the most common items being fruit and veg, bakery items, dairy and meat. This costs the average household £470 a year, think about what you and your housemates could do with that money! However other than the cost to our pockets it also has a big impact on the environment, so much so that if every person did not throw away the food that could be eaten it would be equivalent to taking 1 in 4 cars off of the road; so be sure to follow these few steps to cut food waste and save money whilst you’re at it.

Get friendly with your freezer:
This may sound silly to the most of you but you’ll be shocked by how many people end up throwing away foods that the shelf life of could have been massively increased just by popping in the freezer. Almost all foods can be stored in the freezer, the best ones being meats and bakery items such as bread; this massively increases its shelf life leading to being used at any other opportunity. As a student the best thing to do would be freeze meat in portions that you are going to use it in, as when you get it out to defrost you’ll have to defrost it all if it’s still in one portion, this can lead to just as much waste before. Bread is also just as easy to freeze, it defrosts in a matter of minutes ready to be used, or it can be toasted directly from frozen!

Store cupboard ingredients:
Make sure you know your cupboard ingredients, don’t buy new tins and other items with long shelf life if you already have them in, let alone it being a waste of money you will end up wasting the items that are getting pushed to the back! Other than these make sure you use your store cupboard to the best of your ability such as using up spare fresh ingredients by bulking out with store cupboard ingredients like rice or pasta.

Best before or use by:
Now this one is very important, some people may not realise the difference between these two simple packaging terms but it may save you a lot of money in the long term! When a food item has a use by date that means it can be harmful to the consumer if they eat this item after this date. However if a food item has a best before date then it just means that it can be consumed after this date (as long as it’s not mouldy) it just might not be at the best it could be. You will find use by dates on items on foods like meats and dairy but will find best before dates on items such as fruit and veg, so do not be afraid to consume these items a few days after their best before date!

Carb portion control:
This is a big tip for people that tend to overestimate on their pasta or rice portions, other than this possible leading to weight gain, this tends to cause a lot of waste due to people not eating the full meal. The two best ways to combat this are either measuring out your portions in order to only cook as much as you will eat, or if you do over estimate then don’t dish out the full meal and save it for the next day and carbs like pasta and rice are lovely in salads for lunch.

Plan your shop:
This may sound obvious but when you go to the shop don’t buy extra of items just because they are on offer, this may result in you throwing them away eventually. So make sure you only buy exactly what you will need.

What to do when the waste cannot be eaten:
There is plenty of food waste or packaging waste that cannot be eaten such as bones and egg shells. However these items can be recycled so make sure that this is what happens as this will save money and the environment. There are many different ways you can recycle these goods such as composting or through recycling centres.

Super Student Snacking

We all know as students that we like to snack. Those long sleepless nights at the Library can leave us feeling lazy and refusing to cook a decent meal. However, snacking can sometimes turn bad and in turn make you unhealthy. Thus, depending on your exercise routine can make you gain weight and quickly! However, fear not my fellow students. There are a few companies which I have found that has managed to tackle some of those sweet tooth snacks for something else and with fewer calories – score!

PROPERCORN is popcorn “done properly” as they state from their website. They are passionate at creating the popular snack and turning it into something else with a twist, providing some great flavours to suit everyone’s tastes. Every pack of Propercorn is made using the best quality ingredients which can only be found within the home rather than sourcing from all over the place. The corn itself is GM-free and the only corn that is used is butterfly corn which explains its light and airy crunch and taste. The snack itself is gluten-free and is suitable for vegetarians made using the most natural ingredients, so all in all it suit’s everybody!

After reading about Propercorn from a review in a magazine, I set out to try their newest flavour ‘Smooth Peanut & Almond’ and I was not disappointed. Being a sweet tooth lover myself I could not wait to delve into the four packets in my box I was very grateful to receive.

The packaging first off is very bright and colourful and makes it look a lot more interesting than your bog standard packet of crisps. Secondly, the flavour is so intense that it left me craving more even after I had finished the very generous serving from within the bag! Thirdly, at only 120 calories from within the massive bag it made me feel a lot healthier than what I would do after a bag of crisps. They are non-greasy and light making you feel fuller for longer which is mainly what I liked about them, not to mention the mouth drooling smell and taste these were to die for!

Other flavours include; Fiery Worchester Sauce & Sun-Dried Tomato, Sweet and Salty, Lightly Sea Salted, Sweet Coconut and Vanilla and Sour Cream & Black Pepper which are some of my flavours that I shall definitely be ticking off next to eat. The calories vary from pack to pack but all are lower than 130 cals and with the same amount of Propercorn in each bag I think this is great for those all-night student snackers. It’s A LOT healthier than a chocolate bar or a slice of pizza and I even have other people asking me where they can purchase them from as they are such an eye catcher of a snack.

Overall, Propercorn gives your brain the natural boosting energy to be able to study and work hard for longer hours without the sugar rush that a chocolate bar might.

EAT NATURAL CEREAL BARS are “bars made with love and care” and I could not agree more with their unique slogan. With three different flavours to choose from; peanuts and chocolate, almond and apricot and Brazil and sultana (with peanuts and almonds too) they are suited to everyone’s tastes. I specifically enjoy the peanuts and chocolate bar, as this is best suited after or before a healthy workout as it contains more protein than any of their other bars. It provides a combination of delicious crunch and blends that include peanuts, coconut, soya crispies, honey and dark chocolate chunks which is easy to devour in one gulp (although I wouldn’t recommend it!)

Better yet, all their bars are gluten free, perfect for veggies and of course sourced and branded within the UK so you can see that everything is quite locally produced. All their ingredients and information is based directly on their website within easy reach so if you are counting the calories all the information provided is a great way to keep tabs on what you’re eating without the worry.

I find that they are great to snack on during those long hours at the library because they give your brain the healthy natural fuel it needs rather than saturated fats that won’t do your body any good in the long run! Not only are they good for long nights in the library but they are also really well suited for those 9am lectures when you want to stay in bed that little bit longer and fancy breakfast on the go. It provides you with the ability to ‘grab and go’ making sure that you aren’t skipping the most important meal of the day too!

I have spent tons on these healthy little bars and they really keep me going when I need them. I just pop a few in my bag and then I have them there for when I need one throughout the week to give me that extra boost. At least as well it’s putting something healthy into your body rather than something we all know we should be avoiding like crisps, chocolate or fizzy drinks!

BELVITA BREAKFAST BISCUITS are the perfect breakfast snack for when “you’ve got a lot on your plate” (literally). They are the nicest and easiest grab and go breakfast I have come across and I already know a lot of students who are tucking into them on a daily basis, simply because sometimes there just isn’t time to make breakfast in the morning, or, let’s face it, you want that extra 15 minutes in bed.

Not only can they be a great start to the day I have also found that they can be another great snack for those long days full of lectures and study. They are a healthier option to snack on rather than the bad stuff and again, they give your brain the fuel it needs to keep going for longer which has been proven to provide an extra whopping 4 hours of sustained energy release…that’s enough to keep you going until lunch time!

These nifty little biscuits are made with five wholegrains which are rich in cereal meaning it’s a great source of fibre, with no added colours or preservatives and what’s more they have a low glycaemic index (GI). When I was at University I only discovered the milk & cereals flavour, however I have no discovered (through working those long post-graduate hours) they come in 5 other scrumptious flavours too and yes, I have tried them all! Belvita aim to provide you with a decent amount of biscuits per box, 6 wrapped portions with four biscuits in each so they can last up to a whole week and I find sometimes only two biscuits is enough to keep one going depending on how hungry you could be when you get up.

Again, with Belvita all their dietary information is stored directly on their website with easy to find access so you can always check to see what’s in each biscuit conveniently. They also provide information and tips on why breakfast is so important for your body, especially as a student where a life of study can over-rule eating properly and healthily at the right times!

These are just a few top snacks which I felt provided me with the energy at University to keep going. It’s sometimes hard to balance study, sleep and socialising at university, but making sure you maintain the right balance and feed your body the fuel it needs can keep you going for longer whilst still being able to live a happy and healthy lifestyle! Even now as a post-grad I am still using these snacks to keep me going through the longer hours of working life and exercise.

Happy Snacking students!

Create your #awesometoastie with the Cuisinart Awesome Toastie Challenge

 

Toastie

We all love a toastie… but sometimes we can get a bit stuck in our ways, think ham, cheese, or ham and cheese toasties – not very exciting is it?

Cuisinart is asking you to create your awesome toastie by launching their Awesome Toastie Challenge! They want to know what combination of fillings you think makes the most awesome toastie ever. Need some inspiration..?

How about tomato, mozzarella & rocket focaccia, or spiced apricot French toastie with vanilla and jersey ice cream, or even broad bean, pea and prosciutto frittata?! The possibilities are endless. But those are our ideas, and we want yours!

The Cusinart Sandwich Maker is the perfect machine for quick and easy omelettes, calzones, quesadillas, pastries and much more (yes you can cook an omelette in it!).

Designed with extra deep pockets for all your favourite fillings, simply prepare your recipe and pop it in the Sandwich Maker. When you’re finished, the removable, non-stick plates can be placed in the dishwasher for easy cleaning. To find out more about the Cuisinart Sandwich Maker visit http://www.cuisinart.co.uk/sandwich-maker.html where you’ll find loads of delicious recipes and how to videos.

We’re giving you the chance to win a Cuisinart Sandwich Maker and have your awesome toastie featured on the website. We have FIVE Cuisinart Sandwich Makers to give away!

To enter simply follow @cuisinartUK + @studentrecipes + tweet us both your #awesometoastie filling!


 

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The rise of Craft Beer clubs

So there has been a shift in recent times, a shift that is no more visible than down at your local boozer. Amongst all the unrelenting negative press surrounding binge drinking, cheep supermarket alcohol deals and the like, there is a new trend forming surrounding ‘Craft Beer’.

Craft Beer; noun; A beer made in a traditional or non-mechanised way by a small brewery.

As popularity has grown, respective Craft Beer clubs are cropping up. Where upon a subscription, they will send you a selection of small batch beers each month. Its a great solution for those of us who like to try new beers frequently and get tired of drinking the same old Stella/Carlsberg/Guinness/etc.

One of which, Beer52 sent us a crate of their finest expertly selected Craft Beers to try out. We thought, well, why not?

For £10 off your first box, use the discount code: STUDENT10

selection
Our expertly selected craft beers.

 

box
First impressions 🙂
Pouring guide, for that perfect head!
Pouring guide, for that perfect head!
Well packaged!
Nicely packaged. No breakages to report.

On to the beers. Whilst I’m a keen drinker, I’m no connoisseur. I like light, refreshing beers that you can enjoy without feeling like you’ve had enough after your first pint. Some of the below fit the bill perfectly, others, less so. A few nice surprises too.

6° North

6DegNorth
6° North

6.6% Belgian IPA. Brewed in Scotland (6 degrees north of Brussels).

Layman’s thoughts: Strong, full, heavy beer. Type that after a pint would want to go home. Drink slowly to enjoy to fullest.

Bronher

Bronher
Bronher

4.7% Large Lager. Spanish.

Layman’s thoughts: A lighter, more enjoyable beer. Almost sweet. Again one to drink slowly to fully enjoy.

Gosnells

Gosnells
Gosnells

5.5% Mead. Brewed in London.

Layman’s thoughts: This one came as a bit of a surprise. Not had a mead before. Brewed with honey and water. Sweet like a dessert wine but more drinkable. Lovely taste for those with a sweet tooth.

Cloudwater

Cloudwater
Cloudwater

5.5%.

Layman’s thoughts: Light, refreshing, summertime beer. My favourite amongst the selection. Very ‘drinkable’. Would recommend and will definitely be having again.

Dark Sister

DarkSister
Dark Sister

6.66%.

Layman’s thoughts: Strong but sweet after taste. Despite what the name suggests, I found it much more drinkable than typical strong ale. One to try again if I can find it!

Caterpillar Pale Ale

Caterpillar
Caterpillar Pale Ale

5.8%.

Layman’s thoughts: Strong and but more enjoyable than 6°n. Would recommend and will enjoy this again.

Lucky Jack

LuckyJack
Lucky Jack

4.7%.

Layman’s thoughts: American pale ale. Nothing too spectacular about this one I found. Whilst enjoyable, it wasn’t memorable.

Heart & Soul

HeartSoul
Heart & Soul

4.4%.

Layman’s thoughts: Very enjoyable.