We hate to waste, but sadly, 30-50% of all the food grown in the U.S. is thrown away. Let’s stop tossing so much perfectly good food, savor more, and save money while using up every last bit of your holiday meals.
Say ‘good-bye’ to unnecessary food waste with these 10 no-fuss ideas…
1. SHOP FROM A LIST AND PLAN PROPER PORTIONS.
The last thing you want is to run out of food in a house filled with hungry guests, but if the menu is carefully planned, you’ll reduce the risk of overbuying. As you’re planning your meals, match portions with the number of guests you’re expecting.
2. BUY PRECUT PRODUCE WHEN IT MAKES SENSE.
If you don’t already compost food scraps, buying precut produce can actually be the greener choice since more and more produce companies are repurposing trimmings and creating other products (such as pressed juices) or have composting or animal-feeding programs already in place.
3. STOCK UP ON STOCK.
Stock is the rescuer of many a leftover. I love adding Just Spices Vegetable Broth Seasoning to water for a quick broth.
(Seasoning Ingredients: Sea Salt, Brown Cane Sugar, Onion, Diced Carrot, Garlic, Celery Seeds, Tomato Powder, Parsley, Black Pepper, Lovage Leaves, Turmeric, Nutmeg)
Whether you buy or DIY, you can easily transform standard holiday fixings, such as cooked turkey, veggies, herbs and onions, into a hearty soup. Simply toss all ingredients together and freeze. Of course, using peelings, herbs, scraps and bones to create a flavorful stock is a classic way to cut down on waste while boosting your nutrition.
4. CREATE A "ZERO-WASTE" FRIDGE.
Place a box front and center in your fridge to house highly delicate or perishable foods. Place your most perishable items such as lettuces, berries and fresh yogurts up front.
5. CHOOSE RECIPES THAT WORK BETTER TOGETHER.
Read ingredient lists and look for recipes that use the whole product. For example, one whole can of pumpkin puree or carton of low-sodium broth. Or, if you’re making a dish that uses only a portion, find a recipe that uses the rest.
6. DEVISE A PLAN FOR "SPECIALTY" INGREDIENTS.
Holiday menus can be filled with expensive splurges or rare food ingredients (like truffles, heavy cream or exotic produce). Bake and freeze a batch of cranberry scones with all that extra butter and heavy cream! In the dead of winter, they’ll be a welcome and tasty treat.
7. HAVE A TASTY PLAN FOR LEFTOVERS.
Even the most diehard enthusiasts can start to tire of reheated turkey after a meal or two. In my home, we love to fry quinoa patties with chopped roasted veggies and spices. We also love to make turkey stew with stuffing dumplings.
8. OFFER YOUR GUESTS LEFTOVERS. Ask your dinner guests to bring a to-go container for leftovers. Some “natural” ways to carry leftovers home are:
“Bee’s wraps,” a natural alternative to plastic wrap. It’s reusable too!
Stainless steel containers that hook together and are much less toxic than plastic containers.
Stainless steel leak-proof containers. The various size options are handy.
10. SUPPORT LOCAL FOOD RECOVERY PROGRAMS.
Contact your local food bank or homeless shelters ahead of time to learn their policies on donating whole foods or unopened holiday leftovers. A growing number of food banks are increasing their distribution beyond pantry nonperishables to include fresh foods such as vegetables and fruits.
11. LEARN A FEW TRIED-AND-TRUE CHEF TRICKS.
What to do about that too-salty soup? A splash of fresh lemon juice or vinegar can often do the trick and help bring it back into balance. That droopy broccoli? Soaking wilted greens or veggies in an ice bath for 5 to 10 minutes can often help it re-crisp. Those overcooked veggies you forgot about in the oven? Puree them into a silky, comforting soup. You’d be surprised at what you can save. Even burnt items can be rescued by adding a sweet or spicy note, and stale items can often be saved by toasting them.
article courtesy of clean eating