If anytime, Christmas is the time to go crazy with food, right? But what do we do with all the leftovers? Do you know how to handle and store food in the best way to get as long durability as possible? Here you have some good tips on how to reduce food waste after the awesome Christmas dinner.
Soon Christmas is finally here! The queues in the grocery stores are long and the shopping carts are filled to the maximum. A lot of food often means a lot of leftovers. What do you do with everything that is left from your lovely Christmas table? Here you have a whole bunch of tips on what you can do with all the leftovers and how to store them in the best way to get as long durability as possible.
- Cool down the food as soon as possible
If you prepare food before Christmas, it is important to cool down the cooked food quickly and store it in the fridge or freezer. Same goes with the leftovers, cool down as soon as you can. By fast cooling, the food stays fresh longer.
Keep in mind that hot food in the refrigerator, raises the temperature in the fridge. This means that the durability of all your products is shortened. Allow the food to cool before setting it in the refrigerator. Use a cold-water bath, place the food outdoors for a while or divide the food into smaller containers so that it can be cooled down in room temperature faster.
Cooked food often lasts in the fridge for several days. It is mainly the temperature in the refrigerator that determines the durability. The appropriate temperature in the refrigerator is 4°C, -18°C or lower in freezer.
- Store the food properly
Do you know how to store your food in the best way?
- Meat and fish should be cooled as soon as possible. You can also pack the product in an airtight package and freeze it. Lean meat has longer durability.
- Dairy products are stored in the refrigerator. Smell and taste the products before you throw it! Milk and cream can also be frozen, frozen cream cannot be whipped but can still be used in cooking.
- Raw eggs in the refrigerator can last several weeks after the best before date. If the egg smells and looks like it should it’s ok to eat.
- Most vegetables and fruits are best stored cold. Some fruits can get damaged by the cold and is better stored in a cool pantry, such as bananas, pineapple, cucumber and eggplant. The freezer holds berries, fruits and vegetables for a year or more. Cut the fruit into pieces before you freeze it.
- Soft bread keeps its moisture best at room temperature, it can also be frozen. Hard bread should be kept dry, then it can last almost forever.
- Unopened jars and bottles with jam, ketchup and so on can usually be stored at room temperature. When opened, they may need to be stored in the refrigerator. Read the packaging for advice.
- Leftover food becomes new dishes
There are lots of great dishes you can create from leftovers. How about a tasty risotto, a hot wok, or the classic homemade saucepan? Let your imagination flow, leftovers often can become a new tasty dish!
- Small pieces of different leftovers are easily transformed into a delicious picking meal.
- Use leftovers for an omelette, perfect for throwing in a little bit of everything.
- All kind of vegetables which is on the last life-hanger are great to throw into a minced meat sauce, casserole, gratin, pie or soup.
- Boiled potato is very nice to fry the days after.
- Most things can be frozen for longer durability. Bacteria do not grow in the freezer, which means it’s not dangerous to eat foods that have been in the freezer for a long time. However, fatty foods have a shorter durability as the fat may taste bad after a long time.
We wish you a whole bunch of tasty meals, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Source: Swedish National Food Administration