Saving Holiday Leftovers

Posted in Magazine Story on Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Properly handling leftovers is a sustainable practice that helps reduce food waste.

Saving Holiday Leftovers

The joy of a festive holiday meal is often followed by the conundrum of what to do with the leftovers. Beyond providing delicious meals for the days to come, properly handling leftovers is a sustainable practice that helps reduce food waste. With a few easy steps, you can not only save your leftover holiday feast but also contribute to a greener planet.

Don't throw away meats or vegetables.
The first and most crucial step in handling holiday meal leftovers sustainably is to resist the urge to throw away any edible portions. Meats, vegetables, and even side dishes can be repurposed into new, exciting dishes.

Use those leftover meats and vegetables to make a soup or stew.
Sandwiches are the reigning MVP for turkey leftovers, and for good reason. But one of the most efficient ways to utilize holiday leftovers is by transforming them into a hearty soup or stew. Whether it's turkey, ham, or roasted vegetables, they can all find a second life in a flavorful broth. Combine your leftover meats and veggies with some broth, seasonings, and perhaps some cubed potatoes and carrots, and you'll have a delightful, waste-free meal.

Always label your leftover containers.
Properly labeling your leftover containers is a small but essential step. Clearly marking the contents and date ensures that you'll use them before they go bad, preventing unnecessary waste. It also prevents confusion, so you won't accidentally get the wrong flavor combination in tomorrow's turkey sandwich.

If you won't use within a week, freeze them for up to two months.
If you foresee that you won't consume your leftovers within a week, consider freezing them. Invest in airtight containers or freezer bags, ensuring that no air gets in to preserve the quality of the food. Label with the date so you can easily keep track of what needs to be used first. Frozen leftovers can remain safe and delicious for up to two months.

Saving holiday meal leftovers is not only a practical way to enjoy more of your festive dishes but also a sustainable choice that reduces food waste. By following these simple steps, you'll contribute to a healthier planet and relish the flavors of the holiday season for even longer.

View some tips and tricks here!