WRAP has launched its Love Food, Hate Waste campaign, aimed at reducing the amount of food we end up throwing away on a regular basis.
Christmas is a time when we enjoy indulging in treats and normally cater for bigger numbers, which can add to the issue of food waste – last Christmas we threw away 23,000 tonnes of food. Research undertaken earlier this year by WRAP (the Waste & Resources Action Programme), showed that for every three bags of shopping we bring home, we effectively put one straight in the bin. WRAP has launched its Love Food, Hate Waste campaign, aimed at reducing the amount of food we end up throwing away on a regular basis. Use WRAP’s tips below on how to avoid wasting food at Christmas. **Christmas Revival Tips **
- Heat small amounts of leftover mincemeat in a pan and spoon over ice-cream for an alternative Christmas pudding.
- Keep the onion left over from making bread sauce. Chop it and mix into the stuffing for the bird.
- If you love Christmas pudding, it is fantastic the next day, sliced and fried in a little butter until crispy on both sides and served with brandy butter or vanilla ice cream. Just don’t think about the calories until January…
- Chestnuts are highly perishable because of their low fat content. To keep them fresh enough to use for a week or so, put them in a plastic bag in the salad drawer of the fridge. Freeze those you don’t wish to eat over Christmas.
- Stir a handful of chopped nuts and dried fruits into leftover mincemeat, and then use to fill cored apples or halved, cored pears. Dot with butter; add a splash of fruit juice and bake until tender.
- Pile leftover smoked salmon onto toasted bagels spread with cream cheese and sprinkle with lemon juice and black pepper.
- If you have got leftover yoghurt, stir sugar, cinnamon and ground saffron into it and serve as a light dessert after spicy foods such as curries.
- If you have over whipped the cream when making Christmas trifle, rescue it by adding a little un-whipped cream or milk and a pinch of sugar.
- Whip any leftover cream before you freeze it to stop it from becoming grainy when it’s thawed.
- If you’re freezing a delicate pudding like a roulade, put it on the lid of a large Tupperware box as a base and place the bottom of the box over the top. This will make it much easier to transfer the pudding to a serving dish.
- Keep frozen and dried chestnuts in the freezer ready to chop coarsely into stir fries and stuffing’s. Dried chestnuts keep better in the freezer than in the cupboard.
- Make mince pies in early December and freeze uncooked in patty tins until solid. Then pack in boxes. Bake a few at a time when needed.
- To freeze a whole cake - wrap a cake in a double layer of cling film and foil – it’ll keep for up to one month.
- To freeze sliced up cake – put greaseproof paper between each slice, this allows you to remove a few slices at a time rather than thaw the whole cake.
- Making stuffing on Christmas Eve is always a fiddle, and your guests will never know if it’s been made in advance and frozen. Take the stuffing out of the freezer on Christmas Eve and thaw in the fridge.
- You can freeze leftover bread sauce, as long it has not been frozen before.
- Prepare Christmas veg, such as carrots and sprouts, on Christmas Eve and store them in plastic bags in the fridge to save time the next day.
- Par-cooking the vegetables may sound weird, but don’t worry – top restaurants have been doing it for years. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, add the sprouts and cook for 5 minutes. Drain and plunge into cold water for 10 minutes. Drain and put in a bowl, cover and chill for up to 1 day. To serve, bring a pan of water to the boil and plunge the parboiled vegetables in for 2 minutes or until piping hot. Drain, season and toss in a little butter or add olive oil and herbs just before serving.
- If you are cooking for lots of people and need to keep the food cool and safe in your small kitchen. Save the fridge for highly perishable foods and use an unheated garage, balcony or even an animal-free area of the garden for drinks, eggs, root vegetables and hard cabbage. Use cool boxes and ice packs kept ready in the freezer.
**Love Food, Hate Waste** The Love Food Hate Waste website has a selection of timesaving recipes, which can be created from leftovers. It also has an interactive portion calculator, showing you recommended portion sizes for certain numbers of children and adults.For more information, visit: http://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com