Did you know that during the festive season food waste in the UK increases by 30 percent?
If you’re waste-conscious, but struggling with ways to implement this, food waste expert and ODDBOX co-founder Emilie Vanpoperinghe’s shares her favourite simple swaps and low-waste tips for this year’s Christmas dinner.
Cater For Your Numbers
We’ve come to expect mountains of vegetables, free-flowing drinks and a show-stopping centrepiece. This can all still be a reality but, with a few calculations, you don’t need to be eating leftovers well into the new year.
Why not take a moment to consider the quantities needed for the number of guests you’re catering to?
With all the mince pies and chocolates floating around throughout the day, you can be certain that no one will be going hungry and it will also reduce the amount of work that goes into the preparation!
We know, with the endless to-dos in the final run up to Christmas, it might be easiest to run down to the closest supermarket to tick off your shopping list.
However, there can be a trade off in the form of the plastic packaging used for portioning and to extend shelf-life.
Instead, this year, why not shop local and head down to your greengrocers? They’ll be fully stocked with your favourite veg in anticipation of the Christmas rush, all loose and ready to be selected in quantities exactly right for the number of guests you’re catering for.
Bulk stores are also a fantastic source for any dry food and pantry essentials you need.
Hold Onto Those Peels
Sprout leaves, potato peelings, carrot tops – all of these trimmings can be diverted from the compost.
If you’re prepping your veg in advance, simply pop these peelings into a large saucepan, cover with plenty of water and simmer up over a day to create a delicious, hearty stock you can use as the base for your veggie gravy on Christmas day.
Otherwise, stick them all in a bag and keep in the freezer to make up your stock another day.
Share The Spare
In the event that you still end up with more leftover than you know what to do with, send them to a good home!
If you’ve been entertaining , tell your guests to come along with a container or two and load them up with a few servings of each dish when they leave.
Otherwise, OLIO is a fantastic outlet for any food that you’d rather not see go to waste. List your item on the app with a photo or two and wait for the requests to come flying in!
Renew Your Leftovers
If you’ve managed to get your serving sizes almost spot on and have just a few portions of roast veg going spare, consider whipping up a batch of ‘Boxing Day soup’.
Simmer up any leftover trimmings and blend for a warming soup that will get you through those Boxing Day blues.