As you prepare for the holiday gatherings, one of your main concerns is ensuring everyone will have satisfying meals. Sometimes you don’t expect people to bring food over, or you’ve prepared more than you’ve consumed. After the holidays, what could you do with all the leftover food?
The proactive measure is making sure you don’t cook too much; but in case of the inevitable, it’s worth knowing the best use of your extras. Here are some ways you can deal with leftovers and achieve a zero food waste holiday.
#1 Turn them into a new dish
If you’re sure your leftovers are still good for consumption, think of recreating them into a new dish as an alternative to simply reheating food until you finally finish them off. Meat like chicken and pork should be stored properly so you can eventually whip them up into these Christmas leftover dishes. A sample way to recreate meat is to make sandwiches with pork and chicken as fillings. Fruits and veggies will have to be refrigerated to avoid getting spoiled; then, consider creating a salad out of them.
#2 Serve them for next days’ meals
Once you’ve stored and turned your leftovers to something new, try to space them out, creating portions, and serving them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner for your family. It will not only save you money—or give you your full money’s worth—as it will also give you a chance to help the environment with less waste. This more eco-conscious mindset makes for a great New Year’s resolution too!
#3 Donate them to charity
Another option to maximise these blessings is to pay it forward. Your excess food can be donated to charities which can help you distribute them and put a smile on the beneficiaries’ faces. Check out organisations like Food from the Heart and Food Bank to see if they have holiday programmes which can accept your food donation.
#4 Share with your neighbours
Sharing is caring, as they say. Why don’t you spread the holiday cheer to your neighbours and give them a taste of your holiday feast? If you’re feeling more generous and have enough leftovers, you can also open up your home and invite a few of them for a post-holiday meal.
#5 Try home composting
For vegetables you can no longer serve, try using them as compost for your plants. The same goes for fruit wastes and meat leftovers. This way, you’re being extra-friendly to the environment by reducing household waste. To do this, make sure you have a compost pail where you can store all food wastes until ready for composting. Caution though: make sure home composting is something you are allowed to do in your local village or community.