Food Waste Tips

Food Waste Tips

Yes, You Can Freeze Coconut Milk – Here’s How!

Can you freeze coconut milk? Yes, you can! Let me show you how to freeze coconut milk in a tin can, as well as the fresh stuff.

Food waste. How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways.

Well, for a start, food waste is a huge issue. In fact, food production is one of the biggest contributors to climate change. So much so, that horrifyingly about one-third of greenhouse emissions globally come from agriculture alone.

Despite this, both at the household level and at the manufacturing level, we are very wasteful when it comes to food. 30% of the food we produce is wasted. That is about 1.8 billion tonnes of food a year that goes to waste. So much so, that it has been estimated that if food waste was a country, it would be the third-highest emitter of greenhouse gases after the US and China.  Isn’t that terrifying?

When It Comes to Food Waste Every Little Helps

I’m of the firm belief that when it comes to food waste, every little action we can do to reduce food waste helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions. That’s why small steps, like using your freezer to freeze things like excess coconut milk all help to eliminate food waste, and are a great step forward.

Something I used to waste a lot was coconut milk. I use a bit of coconut milk in my cooking – like in this vegan lime and coconut curry (one of my favourites!). However, many recipes call for just half a tin can of coconut milk.

I had been decanting the leftover coconut milk into a glass jar and then popping that into the fridge. When we’re organised, there’s no waste. For example, I always plan to make something like this vegan macaro-no-cheese the next day to use up the remainder of the can of milk before it goes off. However, sometimes life happens, and the coconut milk doesn’t get used in time.

What to do? Freeze your leftover coconut milk! Yes, you can do that – here’s the full how-to!

How To Freeze Canned Coconut Milk

Can you freeze coconut milk? Turns out that yes, you can!  Here's how!

The good news is that is incredibly easy to freeze canned coconut milk.

There are two different methods, depending on how you tend to use canned coconut milk.

If you use canned coconut milk for cooking, and you have enough left over to make one of your favourite dishes that contain coconut milk, then you can put the leftover milk straight into a tub or jar. Then simply pop your tub or jar straight into the freezer.

If you’re worried about freezing glass, or are new to the concept, then here’s the best way to freeze food in glass jars to avoid breakages.

If you use coconut milk in smaller quantities, for example, for making a sauce or for adding to a smoothie, then I’ve got a more efficient technique for you.

Similar to my technique for freezing oat milk, I swear by the ice-cube tray method.

Here you simply pour the coconut milk into an ice-cube tray and then stick the tray in the freezer. Once frozen you can then decant the frozen ice cubes into a tub or bag in your freezer for when you need them. This frees up your ice cube tray for whatever you need to freeze next!

How To Use

You can use frozen coconut milk in a couple of different ways.

If your coconut milk is in a jar or a tub, then it’s best to defrost your milk before use. I defrost mine in the fridge about 24 hours before I plan to use it. You can then use the defrosted milk in your cooking, as you would if you had just opened up a can.

If you used the ice-cube tray method to freeze your coconut milk, then there’s no need to defrost the milk. Simply drop the desired number of frozen cubes directly into your cooking, or into your blender if you’re making a smoothie, and carry on preparing your meal as normal.

How Long Can You Freeze Canned Coconut Milk For?

Frozen canned coconut milk can last for quite some time – around 3 months in the freezer. I find labelling and dating your container before placing it in the freezer helps reduce food waste further. This means that you won’t be scratching your head over what the contents of your tub are, or be left wondering just how long that tub of coconut milk has been languishing in your freezer.

What About Cartons of Coconut Milk?

The good news is that you can freeze unfinished cartons of coconut milk too. For cartons of coconut milk, I prefer the ice cube tray method. This is because defrosted coconut milk can separate and have a grainy texture, so it’s not so great to drink or have on your cereal. Instead, I find defrosted coconut milk works best when cooking, such as in a soup, or whizzed up in a smoothie.

If you use the ice-cube method then, again, there’s no need to defrost the coconut milk. Simply drop the ice cubes into the sauce that you are making, or drop it straight into the blender, if you are making smoothies.

If you have picked up any more tips on freezing coconut milk then do let me know. I’ll be sure to add them to this article, for Moral Fibres readers to learn from.

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Image of a cut coconut and a glass of coconut milk, with a blue text box that says how to freeze canned and fresh coconut milk to avoid food waste
Food Waste Tips, Life & Style, Special Occasions

Food Waste at Christmas – Easy Ways To Reduce Waste

Christmas festive food

Looking for tips to reduce your food waste this Christmas? I’ve got all the tips for you right here to slim your food waste bin, to help save money and the environment.

Christmas is the perfect time to relax with a glass of something nice and to treat yourself to a host of culinary delights.  A festive dinner with all the trimmings. Christmas cake. Mince pies. These are just some of the goodies you can expect at this time of year.

With around 4.2 million Christmas dinner servings binned each year in the UK, it makes good environmental and financial sense to reduce our food waste at this time of year. Thankfully, while some leftovers are inevitable, a little bit of preparation can mean you waste less food this festive season.

5 Easy Ways to Reduce Food Waste at Christmas

Image of festive biscuits and cookies with a blue text box that says how to reduce food waste this Christmas to help save money and the environment

Here are our top five ways to reduce your food waste this Christmas:

1. Know Who You’re Cooking For

If you’re preparing Christmas dinner this year then it can be tempting to cook far too much out of fear someone will go hungry.  This can lead to an awful lot of uneaten food.

While you don’t want your guests to starve, it’s important to think carefully about who is coming and work out roughly how much they will eat.  As a general rule of thumb, cook enough food to make up one spare dinner. This is just in case somebody is particularly hungry. However, there’s no need to go over the top. With all the extras on offer at Christmas, it’s unlikely many people will be asking for an extra portion!

This is also a good time to think about what people actually like to eat. Whilst it may be traditional to eat sprouts at Christmas, do you and your family actually like sprouts? If not, it’s perfectly acceptable to leave them off the menu. Traditions may be traditions. However, if they lead to food waste, then it’s time to make your own new traditions!

2. Use Your Freezer to Avoid Food Waste This Christmas

Fresh produce is highly perishable and must be eaten up before its use-by-date to avoid food poisoning. Frozen food, on the other hand, lasts for a long time. The good thing is that it can be whipped out whenever you have unexpected visitors that need feeding.  

Freeze fresh food that you might need at Christmas. And by stocking up on such items you won’t have to worry about running out of food. Nor will you need to throw away things that have gone off in the fridge. Using this approach also means you can stock up well in advance of the big day. This handily also allows you to spread your budget.

You can also utilise your freezer to store freezable leftovers. Freshly made soup that you have too much of, for example, can be frozen to be enjoyed later.

3. Buy Fresh Produce Daily

Instead of buying vast quantities of fresh produce that might not get used and consequently end up in the food waste bin this Christmas, try purchasing fresh produce such as milk, yoghurt, or cream on a daily basis.  Depending on where you live, your local shop may only close on Christmas Day itself, so there really isn’t any need to bulk buy short-dated foodstuff.

If you do prefer buying products in bulk, look for items with long use-by-dates such as long-life milk. Or alternatively, opt for powdered alternatives, like packet sauces, instead.  What’s more, make sure you store all food correctly so it doesn’t go off.  While avocados, for instance, must be kept in the fridge, garlic and potatoes will last longer in a cool dark cupboard.

4. Be Careful of Supermarket Deals

At this time of year, you can expect to see all kinds of buy-one-get-one-free deals and other bargains in the supermarkets. Whilst these deals are tempting, the golden tip to avoid food waste at Christmas is not to buy anything you don’t need.  

It’s easy to say “sod it, it’s Christmas”, before placing the items in your shopping trolley. However, if you buy things in bulk that you’d never normally eat at any other time of the year, these might end up in the bin.  

If you do find yourself with unopened packets in the cupboards that you’re never going to consume post-Christmas, consider taking them to a soup kitchen or your local food bank. This is with the caveat that the items are in date and you’re sure it’s something that can be used by the food bank or soup kitchen. If in doubt, do phone up to ask before turning up with donations.

5. Make the Most of Leftovers

For my last tip on how to reduce food waste at Christmas, whatever you do, don’t throw away those Christmas dinner leftovers.  Everything from carrots and broccoli to cauliflower and roast potatoes can be made into a delicious chunky broth or soup. And any leftover Christmas dinner will be mouth-wateringly delicious the next day when served in a hot bread roll.  

Some aspects of Christmas Dinner can also form part of a Boxing Day buffet. Meanwhile, if you peel too many spuds and decide not to cook them all, save them for a stew or curry sometime over the Christmas period.  Many seasonal types of meat and veg can be easily thrown into a slow cooker and turned into a scrumptious meal.

Christmas is a great time to socialise with friends and family enjoying a wide range of delicious foods. And while it wouldn’t be the holiday season without good food, with these handy food waste tips you can help reduce your food waste whilst having fun.

ps: don’t forget to check out my vegetarian Christmas dinner ideas, or my full guide on how to have an eco-friendly Christmas.