Amazing Glazed Ham recipe here.
This might make me seem like a party-pooper.
I know it’s Christmas.
It’s a time for feasting.
But it’s also a time when it’s easy to get carried away.
And end up wasting more food than we should.
So before we get to the big day of deliciousness, I thought it would be helpful to talk about some strategies to keep Christmas Food Waste as small as possible…
7 Ways to Minimize Christmas Food Waste
1. Plan a simple menu
A simple menu mean there will be less types of food. Which means less for the cook to juggle, making it easier to cook the dishes you are serving to perfection.
And easier to get your quantities right.
2. Edit your plan
I love this quote from Coco Chanel because it can be applied to more than fashion…
“Before leaving the house, a lady should look in the mirror and remove one accessory.”
– Coco Chanel
So after you’ve decided on your menu, ask yourself ‘what can I remove?’
And do it.
Cross at least one dish off your list. Or more.
3. Don’t make extra for leftovers
If you’re anything like me and have tendency to over cater, resist the urge to make extra to have as leftovers.
Trust that there will naturally be leftovers. I did this last year and we still had plenty of food to eat in the days following Christmas.
If you have loads of leftover turkey, pie or cake, pack up a little gift bundle for your guests to take home. Then you’re not left with masses of unhealthy options and your guests go home happy.
5. Refrigerate leftovers ASAP
Once you’ve cooked all this amazing food, you want to make sure it is going to last to give yourself a comfortable window to eat it in.
The sooner you refrigerate or freeze your leftovers, the sooner bacteria growth will be slowed and the longer your leftovers will last. Simple.
Even if I’m not ready to tackle cleaning the whole kitchen, I have a personal rule of always refrigerating any leftovers as soon as I leave the table.
6. Cover food well
Another strategy for maximizing the life of your leftovers.
Food exposed to the air in your fridge or freezer will dry out surprisingly quickly. This isn’t a food safety issue but it does make leftovers less appealing.
I always transfer leftovers into containers with airtight lids. I love the glass ones from Pyrex with the blue coloured plastic lids.
For freezing, I either use the same pyrex containers or zip lock bags to prevent freezer burn.
7. DON’T throw away perfectly good food
Just because food has passed some arbitrary guideline of being in the fridge for ‘X’ days, you don’t need to toss it automatically.
If you know it’s been handled carefully and refrigerated promptly and it looks and smells fine, then in all likelihood it will be safe.
Or if you’re not sure see How to Know When Food is Still ‘Safe to Eat’?
More on Christmas Cooking
- 16 tips to for ‘stress-free’ cooking this Christmas
- Christmas in July
- 9 Christmas gifts to make at home
- A Very Fake Christmas
- Sausage & Macadamia Stuffing Loaf (low carb + gluten-free)
- My Number 1. Tip for Stress-Free Entertaining
What about you?
Have any ideas for reducing food waste? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below. :)
Have fun in your Christmas kitchen!