Food waste is a major problem in the world right now. The UN says that if food waste was a country, it would represent more greenhouse gas emissions than any country in the world except for China and the United States. And it gets even worse around Christmas time. According to Unilever, each year people in the UK throw away an estimated 74 million mince pies, 2 million turkeys and 5 million Christmas puddings. That’s so much waste ending up in landfill, which could be used to create delicious meals instead! So as the holiday approaches, here are some ways to use your Christmas leftovers instead of throwing them in the trash.  

1. What do you do with the turkey?

I get it. Turkey can be incredibly dry on it’s own, so what do you do with it? Well the classic is to put it in a sandwich with good lashings of mayonnaise, stuffing, pigs in blankets and make it into a post-Christmas bap. If you’re thinking more long term, split the leftover meat into different portions and freeze it. Then, it will last a bit longer and you can get it out as you need to. You could put it into a pasta dish, a curry or mix it with any sauce with rice and other vegetables.  

2. And what about the leftover trimmings?

So you’re left with plenty of brussels sprouts, carrots, roast potatoes, parsnips and other delicious veg just hanging out in the fridge. You need to get rid of it to make more space for all the chocolate you’ve been given in your stocking. But don’t throw it away! Make bubble and squeak with it instead. Melt some butter in a pan, chop up all the vegetables and fry it, before crushing up the roast potatoes and chucking them into the same pan. Mix it all together, and before you know it, you’ve got a delicious bowl of leftover Christmas goodness just wanting to be eaten.

3. I’ve got so many leftover mince pies, I just don’t know what to do!

Mince pies are one of those foods that are only really acceptable to eat during the month of December, until Christmas day. After that, they either stay at the back of the cupboard for months until being binned or they just get thrown out straight away. Instead of wasting them, why not make mince pie ice cream instead? You could either make your own ice cream if you’re lucky to have an ice cream maker, or get a tub of vanilla ice cream, and let it defrost a little until it’s soft. Then move the ice cream into a mixing bowl, before crumbling leftover mince pies into it. Mix it all together then put it back into the ice cream tub and place it in the freezer. Hey presto! Mince pie ice cream ready to go.

4. What about the Christmas pudding?

This one’s an easy one. Get some filo pastry, and lay a sheet of pastry on a baking tray. Brush it with some melted butter and lay another sheet of pastry on top. Do this until you have four layers. Then, place your leftover Christmas pudding down along the centre of the pastry, and then roll up the pastry. Bake it in the oven for 20-25 minutes, and voila! Leftover Christmas pudding strudel.

There are so many more recipes you could do with your leftover Christmas food. Just don’t throw it in the bin!