We already know how to plan a more sustainable Christmas. What if there are still food leftovers?
Putting into practice the knowledge on how to plan a more sustainable Christmas, it is possible that the amount of food purchased and prepared this year is more adequate to the number and appetite of the guests than in previous years. Still, cooking a traditional holiday meal for a larger than usual group of people is no easy task, and there may likely be a need to deal with some leftovers.
How can we best manage these leftovers?
1.Sharing with guests
- Distribute food leftovers to family and friends who have joined for the celebration
- Remind guests of the possibility of having leftovers and encourage them to bring a container where they can carry some portions for the following days.
2. Consuming in the following days or freezing
- Leftovers in the fridge mean free day in the kitchen. Enjoy what's left for the next day's meals;
- If you do not expect to consume immediately (up to 3 days) choose to freeze;
Suggestion: Freeze for individual servings, mark the container with the freezing date and, for palatability reasons, consume them within 3 months. The most suitable way to defrost food is to transfer it from freezing to refrigeration (fridge) and let it thaw gradually. Consider the need for defrosting time depending on the meal you want to compose with the leftovers placed to defrost!
3.Using food for different recipes
- Turn leftovers into different meals by incorporating foods into new recipes.
Source: Alimentação Inteligente - coma melhor, poupe mais. Direção-Geral da Saúde and Edenred Portugal. 2012.
For recipe ideas, we suggest checking out these e-books:
Healthy Christmas with zero waste
Recipes with waste and leftovers from Christmas dinner
Donating to those who can benefit
- Share food leftovers with friends, neighbors, or charitable institutions that, in your local community, provide support to those who may benefit.
- Refood is an example of a movement that works to combat food waste, through the collection of food and meals and their subsequent distribution. Consult here the center closest to you.