What to do with Christmas leftovers

Christmas is just around the corner and we don’t know about you, but we are already drooling just thinking of that Christmas Day feast! Whilst we are very much looking forward to the festivities, every year, more often than not there is still a huge amount of food left on the table. Read on to learn some top tips and tricks on what to do with your leftovers this year.

Globally, one third of all food produced goes to waste. The Food and Agriculture Organisation found that if food waste were a country, it would be the 3rd biggest emitter of carbon emissions after China and the USA 1!

Even in the UK over the festive period on average 10% of every Christmas meal gets wasted in the UK. This amounts to £64 million worth of food!

This is damaging to the environment and to our bank balances! This year, we want to focus on reducing our food waste over the Christmas period so, we have put together our top tips to so you can spend a little less, waste a little less and still have plenty of food on the table.

Ahead of the big day

Plan your meals. Unilever’s poll 2 showed that Christmas lunch costs on average £112 - that’s a lot of food! So our first tip would be, before you head out to the supermarkets, check what you have at home already to save buying duplicate ingredients. Love Food Hate Waste have some great resources for this including menus, shopping lists and meal plans for varying party sizes and dietary requirements. They even have a portion calculator that allows you to work out how much you’ll need based on how many you’re cooking for!

Make sure you’re buying food you enjoy and don’t let tradition determine your menu. Did you know that 1 in 5 people admit to buying traditional Christmas food they don’t even like? It’s easy to be tempted by festive goodies and but making a shopping list and sticking to it can help you resist the urge to impulse buy. We suggest getting the family involved by asking what they want to eat this year and double check if anyone actually enjoys brussels sprouts!

Check the sell-by date. Make sure the food you’re buying doesn’t go off before the 25th! It sounds obvious we know, but how many times have you filled your fridge full of Christmas family favs and forgotten about the food items right at the back?! Easily done!

If you’ve got food that’s going to go out of date before you have the chance to eat it then maybe consider freezing it for a later date. More foods that you might think can be frozen: check out Love Food Hate Waste’s freezer friendly foods list.

What to do with your leftovers

On Christmas day, we end up wasting the equivalent of 1000 wheelie bins of brussels sprouts, enough carrots to stretch from London to Munich and enough gravy to fill and Olympic-sized swimming pool 3. Eating leftovers can at first seem a bit boring but fear no more, we have come up with a few creative ways enjoy your leftovers and make them go even further…

We asked you guys how you use your Quorn Roast leftovers and here’s what you came up with…

From the classic roast sandwiches and bubble and squeak, to a quick stir-fry or salad, there are an abundance of recipes that can reinvent your leftover Quorn Roast into a tasty meal!

If the last thing you want to do is even more cooking, here are a few ways you can put those leftovers to good use:

  • Put on a spread! Prepare a spread of all the delicious leftovers that need using up and let people help themselves.
  • Pop your Christmas Day leftovers in an airtight container, freeze them or send your friends and family home with their arms full!
  • Foods that you didn’t get around to even opening could be donated to your local foodbank or download a community sharing app such as Olio to give or even swap something you don’t need.

Planning something a little less traditional? Check out our Sustainable Eats tool that we created in partnership with the British Dietetic Association. The free and interactive tool allows you to explore all of the nutritional and environmental considerations from fully meat-based recipes, to 50/50, all the way to those based exclusively on Quorn. The best part is that every recipe comes with a ‘reinvention’ recipe that shows you how to create a whole different meal out of your leftovers. Zero Waste – Maximum Taste!

1 http://www.fao.org/3/i3347e/i3347e.pdf
2 https://www.unilever.co.uk/news/press-releases/2012/74-million-mince-pies-thrown-away-every-christmas.html
3 http://www.rur3.co.uk/christmas-food-waste/

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