5 Things You Can Do With Your Leftover Xmas Food
With Christmas just around the corner, many are preparing extravagant feasts to celebrate the festive season. Mouth-watering festive celebrations aside, the reality of large amounts of food waste is troubling. According to a study by Unilever, festive food waste that was thrown away in 2014 was equivalent to 4.2 million Christmas dinners. This consists of 263,000 turkeys, 7.5 million mince pies, 740,000 slices of Christmas pudding, 17.2 million Brussels sprouts, 11.9 million carrots and 11.3 million roast potatoes — all of which were thrown away despite being perfectly edible.
One of the reasons for over preparing and cooking might be due to the host, feeling uncertain of whether the amount is sufficient for all the guests. Afterall, having leftovers is better than not having enough when hosting a get together.
This is when a huge amount of food waste is generated during this seasonal period! If you face this problem as well, don’t fret as here are 5 things you can do with your Christmas leftovers!
1.Freeze your leftovers
Your standard Christmas fare like turkey and ham can be frozen for up till 3 months, and up to 9 months for cooked vegetables. Try to freeze your leftovers as soon as possible, as freezing it when it is still fresh allows it to taste as good when it is defrosted.
Whether you decide to use a wrap, ziplock bag, plastic container, aluminium pan, glass/mason jar or even a vacuum sealer, the best type of packaging to use for freezing depends on the amount of space in the freezer, the type of food and how you’re planning to reheat it in the future.
When it’s time to reheat the food, simply thaw it by placing it in the refrigerator, cold water or a microwave oven. Bored of eating the same few dishes? Look at the next pointer for tips on repurposing your leftovers!
2.Repurpose them into new recipes
If you have some leftover turkey in your freezer, why not try making some roast turkey pie or turkey ramen? For leftover ham, consider switching things up with mac ’n’ cheese or ham, spinach and mozzarella lasagna. While toastie recipes have their own specific filling, the best thing about them is just how versatile they are. No turkey at home? Just substitute turkey with something you have at home!
Looking for something related? You can also check out our previous blogpost on 11 Innovative Ways To “Re-Purpose” Leftover Food At Home here.
3.Make a stock
Instead of throwing away the ‘unwanted’ vegetable scraps like stalks, peels and offcuts from preparing the Christmas feast, you can save them to make soup stocks. One tip would be to avoid using scraps from Brussel sprouts, cauliflower or broccoli, as they could add a tinge of bitterness to your stock.
To make veggie stock, add the various scraps into a ziplock bag and when the bag is full, transfer its contents into a pot. Next, add water before bringing it to a boil, then let it simmer for a while. Finally, strain the stock and you’re done! You can choose to freeze the stock for up to 3 months or refrigerate it up to 4 days.
4.Try making eco-enzymes
Eco-enzymes are a type of liquid that can be used as a natural floor and kitchen cleaners, dishwashing liquid, pesticide and fertilisers for those with green thumbs, and even as an insect repellent! Moreover, they are cultivated from organic waste like fruit peels and vegetable waste, which means you can put the leftovers from your Christmas feasts to good use.
To make your own eco-enzyme, all you need to do is add fruit peels, sugar and water into an airtight container, and let it ferment for 3 months.
For more details on what you need and the steps to make your very own eco-enzyme, check out Savour!’s latest Sustainability Webinar here!
5.Give it away
’Tis the season of giving, and nothing compares to the joy we get from sharing it with our loved ones. Indulge in the community spirit this Christmas by sharing excess food from your festive feasts with your neighbours, friends and extended family. Not only do you play a part in reducing food waste, this is a great way to show your loved ones that you are thinking about them!
You can give away your excess food at a discount or for free to our members in Savour!’s Community Telegram group now.
While it might be impossible to completely abstain from feasting during Christmas, we can all do our part to reduce the amount of food waste thrown into landfills. Say goodbye to the guilt from throwing away unfinished food. All it takes are a few simple steps for a more sustainable Christmas!
Written by Darlene Loh
Darlene Loh is a Marketing and Communications Intern at Savour!