This year why not start a new tradition? Celebrate the season by ensuring none of the delicious food you take time to prepare goes uneaten. Here are some easy tips to make the most of your holiday feast, without eating turkey sandwiches every day for a month!
The Christmas holiday season is a time for feasting – across cultures and around the globe. But, the best of intentions, coupled with our desire to ensure there’s enough for everyone, makes it easy to go overboard – ending up with a lot of food that never gets eaten. Did you know the average Metro Vancouver household throws out $700 worth of food annually? This time of year can be hard on the wallet as it is. Cooking food just to throw it away is not the way you want to finish up the year.
Make Just Enough
When you are cooking for a big group, it helps to know just how much food you have to prepare. The Love Food Hate Waste portion planner at lovefoodhatewaste.ca can help. Simply enter the number of people for whom you’re cooking and the portion planner will calculate the quantities of ingredients such as poultry, vegetables, and grains, to ensure you don’t cook too much. You may still have some leftovers, so don’t forget to ask your guests to bring a reusable container. You can send them home with the excess, so you aren’t risking throwing away perfectly good food because you forgot to eat it in time.
Have A Plan
Create your dinner menu with the days ahead in mind. How will you be using what doesn’t get eaten on the big day? A little creativity, coupled with a bit of planning, can eliminate the likelihood you’ll have to throw out uneaten food. Did you know mashed potatoes will keep for up to 2 months in the freezer? Check out the Freezer Guide at lovefoodhatewaste.ca for more advice on how to ensure any leftovers you have at the end of the night can be saved for a later date.
Don’t forget, we haven’t always had the easy access to food we enjoy today, so people around the world have been finding solutions to leftovers for centuries. Traditional ‘use-up-what’s-left recipes’ include stir-fries, curries, pot pies, jambalaya, paella, and many more. You can find more suggestions for leftovers in the ‘Ideas’ section of our website: http://www.lovefoodhatewaste.ca/ideas
Use What You Have
Take a look in your cupboard, fridge and freezer before you head to the grocery store. A quick inventory before you shop is a great way to stretch your food budget – by ensuring nothing ends up unused because you’ve bought too much or doubled up on perishables. And you can repurpose some of the foods you probably already have. For example, if you start saving bread loaf ends now, you’ll have plenty to use as bread crumbs when it comes time to make stuffing. Leftover rice is another potential stuffing ingredient that can use up leftovers. Apples that have lost their crunch? Overripe bananas? Both are perfect ingredients for a delicious pie.
Embrace the Spirit of Giving
Part of the #nofoodwasted approach is recognizing how blessed we are when it comes to food. British Columbia’s climate and geography make it easy to access great food… for most people. Unfortunately, not every home has the luxury of preparing a Christmas dinner with all the trimmings. What better way to show your thanks for the food we eat than with a donation to your local food bank? They’ll accept commercially canned and non-perishable food items, but cash donations are even better, allowing them to use bulk purchasing power to maximize the good they can do. Please consider giving what you can, so that one and all can celebrate the holidays with a warm heart and a full belly.
Christmas comes but once a year, but reducing food waste is something we can share in every day. That’s why we also want to hear from you! Please share your #nofoodwasted ideas at http://www.lovefoodhatewaste.ca/ and tell us what tips and techniques you’re using to reduce food waste and stretch your grocery budget.