Tuesday, 8 August 2017

No Banana Gets Left Behind...



The UK throws away £13 billion worth of food each year, including around 1.4 million bananas each day.

With around 8.4 million families in the UK struggling to feed themselves, this is such a huge issue, and so unnecessary. We're trapped in the confines of judging fruits and veg by appearance. We've all been guilty of throwing out bananas that are a little too brown, or a bit too soft for our taste. But unless you've got a compost heap, all that wastes is off to a landfill and adding to the growing issue of food waste as the gov failed to meet their targets.

The UK's household waste and recycling systems are pretty far behind. We're so stuck in our ways of just chucking stuff in the kitchen bin when we could be recycling more, and helping the environment through compost, or becoming more aware and trying to buy biodegradable packaging. Although the gov tried, launching voluntary contracts with supermarkets to avoid waste and send unsalable food to food banks, their target was missed as most shops still only sell the 'pretty' fruits and veg, and chuck food as soon as it goes past sell by. So it's up to us to try and do our part, starting at home.

A quick google and you can find recipes to use up pretty much every fruit and veg possible when it's a little past it's best. It's so quick and easy, and gives a new life to food you might have been temped to just throw out before. Enter the banana bread, the banana pancakes, the banana porridge.

I love bananas, but when you're a student, cooking and eating for yourself, it can be hard to eat them all before they get a bit too soft for my liking. So I always, always, always take to baking. It takes max 40 mins, and you've turned brown bananas into a cake to share. No waste, and a treat, WIN.

Here's the recipe I follow. It using mainly items you'll just have in the cupboard, and is vegan so you can lick the spoon to your hearts content.


You'll need...

225g of plain flour - or if you only have self-raising, you only need to use 2tsp of baking powder)
3tsp of baking powder.
100g of brown sugar.
3tsp of spices - I like to use 2tsp of cinnamon, 0.5 of ginger, and 0.5 of nutmeg.
3 super ripe bananas.
75g of vegetable oil.

How to make it

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees.
2.Mash up the bananas and mix in the oil and sugar.
3.. Add the flour, baking powder, and spices.
4. Add anything else you want - it's good with dried fruit, walnuts, or choc chips.
5. Slop it into a loaf tin.
6. Leave it to bake for around 20 mins, then stab a knife into the middle to check.

Literally so easy, and you've saved some bananas from waste. But I'm not done.

Then, when the cake is starting to get a little hard and everyones bored of eating it, there's no need to waste. Turn that banana bread into some banana bread french toast. Unfortunately this isn't vegan, but it's a good way to use up those left over eggs wasting in the fridge.


You'll need...

Left over banana bread
1 egg - add more depending on how many people you're serving.
A splash of milk.
A sprinkle of cinnamon and a drop of vanilla extract - this is optional, but it makes it taste 10/10.

How to make it...

1. Put a little oil in a frying pan to heat up.
2. Whisk together the egg and milk, add the cinnamon and vanilla if you want.
3. Cut the banana bread into thick slices, and soak them in the mixture.
4. Fry it up in a pan.

I served mine with some left over mango. But it's amazing with some natural yogurt, berries and syrup. This is so good, like insanely good. Make it, please. You deserve this.

But that's just the bananas. Find some ways to save all the fruits and veggies from waste; start at home then start considering your buying habits and how you could recycle more.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

August Aims...


August has crept up on us, and honestly I'm glad. In short I haven't been doing so great lately so I decided to adopt the new month as a new start, as an opportunity to introduce new and healthy habits into my life, and work on areas to change. The 1st of a month is always a time to set new aims, so here are mine for August to help pick me up and power home.

Read everyday

At the start of July I set myself the challenge to finish Anna Karenina by the time uni started, and yeah it's not going great. I know when I sit and read for a while I instantly feel calmer, but I find it hard to just sit down and chill. But in August I'm going to try and take some time out of everyday to chill and work on my brain. 

Don't go on my phone before 9am

Lately I've become so aware that the instant I wake up, I go on my phone for like an hour in bed and while I eat breakfast. That's so bad, like I know how bad that is and this is the month I will stop. I'm going to try and avoid my phone until after breakfast, and stop instantly bombarding myself with social media and stress in the morning. I'm also going to get the Five Minute journal app, so when I do go on my phone I can start my day thinking about goals and thinks I'm thankful for. 

Release an issue of Kiloran

Issue 5 of the magazine I edit is on the way, expected to be released on the 13th August! So I gotta work work work.

Don't stress about exercise
Eat healthy but don't restrict

I struggle quite a lot with my relationship with exercise and food. I have such an obsessive personality, so the second I start exercising or thinking about body image or what I'm eating, it becomes a huge thing. I start to obsess over working out and what I'm eating. I need to stop that this month, I want to learn how to exercise and make better choices without it becoming toxic.
Say only positive things about others

This is a forever goal of mine and I'm still on it. Trying to have positive vibes on both the inhale and the exhale.

Plan ahead

I've been getting myself down watch other people travel and experience things, while I'm just at home working. So I'm trying to plan ahead; think about the future and plan trips and holidays to look forward to. I'm trying to let that motivate me through this month of work, and try and fight off the jealousy.

Be happy with where I am

This is both physically and mentally. I want to enjoy this last month or so at home, make the most of my hometown and soak up the downtime. But mentally, I want to learn to stress about the future and next steps less. I want to learn to celebrate present achievements and victories, rather than brushing them off too quickly to focus on the next move. And I want to learn to be okay with having sad days and down moments rather than self-bullying and causing myself to spiral. BIG GOALS, lets try.

Find joy in simple pleasures

Pretty similar from before, while I'm at home I want to try and find happiness in myself and in simple things, like morning coffee, and going out for breakfast, and doing my nails. I'm struggling to not sink into a pit of sadness and jealousy of everyone else on hols, so to combat that I'll find joy in little things and look forward.

Go on at least 2 trips

While I can't jet off on hols, I can take myself away for a day. So the aim for this month is to go on at least 2 trips, even if it's just a day out to another northern city, and even if I go alone. It's little, but it's something.

Fingers crossed I manage, and fingers crossed it boosts my mood. But I'm feeling positive for the new start, we got this.