Ever buy certain foods you can never manage to finish before they go bad? Here are five of the most wasted foods likely in your fridge or cabinets right now - and what you can do about it.
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First, there's no need to stock up on sour cream. In most cases, recipes just call for a dollop or one to two tablespoons. And unlike other condiments, sour cream is dairy-based, so it won't last as long. Advice? Stick with smaller containers. "What's great about sour cream is that it comes in new smaller cups…also use light sour cream. You have half the fat and one-third fewer calories," says Lisa Gosselin, Editor In Chief at EatingWell.
Gosselin's tip: To use up sour cream fast make a quick dip using lemon, salt, and herbs. Or, substitute it for mayo in chicken or tuna salad.
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If you think dairy spoils fast, produce actually gets tossed more than any other food group. Celery is one of the worst offenders because many recipes just call for a few stalks at a time due to its strong flavor.
Another type of produce that goes to waste is one we tend to assume offers little value: fronds. "Fronds are those leafy tops to vegetables we often chop and throw out. Don't do that! We call them fronds with benefits," says Gosselin. She recommends using the flavorful tops of beets, radishes and fennel, which you can use like an herb, add to a gazpacho or spread over fresh fish.
Speaking of herbs, going through an entire batch of cilantro or parsley can be quite the challenge. "Often you go to the store and see huge bunches of herbs and you end up buying but just using a little bit," says Gosselin. "We like to treat them life flowers. Put them in little jar, tent them with a plastic bag and you can keep them in your fridge."
To use up your herbs fast, mash them into a soft cheese like cream cheese for a quick spread. Or, dry by hanging them up against a sunny windowsill.
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We use lemons all the time, but rarely in their entirety. To not let yours go to waste, freeze them in ice cubes for use in spontaneous cocktails.
Finally, bread is a staple that used to go bad in my household especially when left on the counter on a warm day. We began refrigerating and even freezing whole grain bread we didn't plan on consuming right away. Or, take it from EatingWell: "The simplest thing to do is just cut them and use croutons," says Gosselin. Just take any kind of stale bread, slice into one-inch cubes, coat with olive oil and seasonings. Then spread the cubes on a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
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What are some of your food-saving tricks? Connect with me on Twitter @Farnoosh and use the hashtag #FINFIT.