To many of us the thought of Christmas leftovers can conjure up less-than-appetising memories of dried up cold meats being carted out for days after. But it needn’t be that way; we’ve put together our top tips so you can get creative with those leftovers, minimise unnecessary waste and most importantly, keep hungry mouths fed over the festive period!
Create a Leftover Meal Plan:
Before the Christmas feast, it’s wise to plan ahead creative recipes that incorporate potential leftovers. Whether it's turning turkey into a curry, making a stir-fry with leftover vegetables, or crafting a festive frittata, having a plan ensures that leftovers are repurposed into delicious meals - and avoids any last-minute dashes to the shops on Boxing Day!
Make Stock from Scraps:
Utilise vegetable peels, turkey bones, and other food scraps to create a flavourful homemade stock. Boil the scraps with water, herbs, and spices to make a base for soups, stews, and risottos. Homemade stock not only tastes better than shop-bought alternatives but is also a win for reducing waste!
Revitalise with Fresh Ingredients:
When reheating leftovers, add fresh ingredients to breathe new life into the dish. Toss in fresh herbs, a squeeze of citrus, or some crisp vegetables to enhance flavours and textures. This not only reduces monotony but also makes your leftovers feel less ‘leftover-y’.
Donate to Food Banks or Shelters:
With the cost of living crisis, food banks and shelters are in even greater need of donations. Don’t hesitate to package up your non-perishable leftovers and drop down to your local food bank or shelter. Make sure you check with your community organisations to find out their guidelines for accepting food donations.
Repurpose Bread into Croutons or Bread Pudding:
Stale bread can be transformed into homemade croutons for salads or soups. Alternatively, use it to make a decadent bread pudding by adding ingredients like dried fruits, nuts, and a custard base. Another fantastic way to use up old bread is to whiz it up in a blender to create homemade breadcrumbs that can be frozen for later use.
For food scraps that are not suitable for consumption or cooking, create a compost pile or use a compost bin. Composting things like potato peels, apple cores and banana skins and other organic waste will produce a wonderful nutrient-rich soil for your garden.
If you have more leftovers than you can consume over the following few days, consider freezing them. Portion meals into reusable containers and label them with the date (and what’s included in each one!). This not only prevents food waste but also provides quick and convenient meals in the future.