Until recently, repurposing and reusing were not words often associated with the food industry but the tables are turning. It’s scary to think that over one third of all produce never reaches our plates but there is a growing emphasis on social responsibility for food and beverage businesses, and we love it.
Our top favourite repurposing brands at the moment include: Sustainable delicatessen Bean & Wheat owner Adam Handling, who aims to make his restaurant The Frog completely zero waste by selling off-cuts, by-products and delicious leftovers. We really love Rubies in the Rubble, a company turning supermarket rejected fruits and vegetables into jams and chutneys. And deserving a mention is food retailer, Pod with its range of ‘wonky’ fruit juices,.
From America, we found a company making snack bars from used brewing grains called ReGrained flavours include Honey Cinnamon IPA and Coffee Chocolate Stout – (YUM!). We also like the idea behind Pulp Pantry a company that uses leftover fruit and vegetable pulp from juice makers to great a grain-free granola.
What are the by-products of your business and could you be using them? Could the left over fruit pulp become health bars? Could any discarded vegetables be made into chutney? Can the waste potato peelings be made into crisps?
Inspired by these wonderful stories we decided to give it a go ourselves and tackle the enormous cherry tree at the foot of our garden. Suddenly, I feel guilty that this beautiful tree is churning out incredible fruit year after year and we’re not doing anything with it.
The easiest recipe so far is that same one for Cherry vodka, Cherry Brandy and Cherry Gin.
The recipe is super easy.
¼ – sugar (300g sugar)
¼ – fruit (300g cherries)
½ – spirit (600ml gin/vodka/brandy)
Simply combine your washed fruit, sugar and spirit in a large Kilner jar and keep it in a dark cupboard for the next 3 months. If you remember it is good to turn the jar every day. Our friend’s mother keeps her infusing sloe gin under a blanket in the boot of her Volvo for a several months; she says the constant movement creates the best flavour.
After 3 months, strain it and bottle it and keep it for a further 3 months. The longer you leave it the better the flavour.