Christmas feasts are notoriously indulgent, and sadly, much of it ends up going to waste – if not in our bellies.
FACT: The average Christmas dinner – with all the trimmings for eight people – creates 31.5kg of carbon emissions, and the roast turkey alone creates 10.9kg.
In 2019, a total of 4.2 million Christmas dinners were thrown away, equating to 263,000 turkeys, 740,000 portions of Christmas pudding and 17.2 million Brussel sprouts.
Besides going plant-based to lighten your carbon footprint, it’s also important to make sure none of your Christmas food goes to waste. From leftover potatoes and vegetables to cookies and chocolate, we’ve rounded up some of the best ways to use up your Christmas leftovers – and extend the holidays!
Leftover potatoes: Bubble & Squeak
Named after the sizzling and popping sounds from the pan as it’s being fried, ‘Bubble & Squeak’ is a British fave. Its main ingredients are cabbage and the humble potato, both of which hold the rest of the ingredients together (try bacon, onion and cheese!). Though typically made from the leftovers of a Sunday roast, you can easily create your own version of Bubble & Squeak with the assortment of vegetables from your Christmas leftovers.
Recipe: Bubble & Squeak – BBC Good Food
Leftover greens: Soup and slaw
It’s never good to store leafy vegetables for too long, so if you have any leftover kale, Brussels sprouts, spinach or other leafy vegetables, why not take this opportunity to get in some extra vitamin K?
This cream of green vegetable soup made of kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts and broccoli will keep your energy levels up and warm you throughout the day.
Recipe: Cream of Green Vegetable Soup – From A Chef’s Kitchen
For a lighter recipe, try British chef and food writer Anna Jone’s kale and Brussels sprouts Caesar slaw.
Using soaked nuts and seeds as a base (nut butters work too!) makes the slaw extra creamy. Vegetables in the recipe can be substituted with any winter green, keeping the recipe versatile and a breeze to make.
Recipe: Kale and Brussels Sprouts Caesar Slaw – PureWow
Leftover cookies and chocolate: Spreads and bars
Spiced cookies are to die for, but stale cookies, not so much. But did you know that you can turn them into tasty spreads?
If you’re a fan of Lotus Biscoff, you can create your own version of the Biscoff spread with leftover gingerbread cookies. This Gingerbread Cookie Butter is perfect as a spread on toast, pancakes, or ice cream.
Recipe: Gingerbread Cookie Butter – Dinner Then Dessert
On the other hand, if you have some leftover chocolate in the home, why not consider making some Rocky Road? Just add in some leftover marshmallows, nuts or Christmas cookie crumbs for that extra crunch!
Recipe: Rocky Road – Food52
Leftover Panettone: Bread and Butter Pudding
Originating from Milan, Panettone’s whisky infused sweet bread can now be savoured across the world. Granted, it’s not for everyone and can even become dry shortly after being opened, but as long as it hasn’t expired, you can still create wonders with it.
One of the most delightful panettone-inspired dishes is the panettone pudding, which is basically an elevated version of bread and butter pudding made from panettone. After it’s baked, enjoy it warm with a dollop of vanilla ice cream or some whipped cream!
Recipe: Panettone Bread & Butter Pudding – Taming Twins
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See also: Pinehappy’s Eco-friendly Christmas Crackers & Sustainability Tips