How to reduce food waste this Christmas

November 22, 2023
by Christina Tips and Tricks

    Christmas is a time of family, joy and excess. While we’re all for those first two, it’s the third one — excess — that has us scratching our heads a bit, especially when it comes to food and reducing food waste.

    According to our partners at Foodbank:

    “Australia currently creates more than 7.6 million tonnes of food waste each year – enough to fill the Melbourne Cricket Grounds nine times. This is costing the Australian economy over $36.6 billion despite 70 per cent of it is perfectly edible.” (July 2023)

    On a day of excess like Christmas, the food we buy and prepare with good intentions can often wind up becoming food waste. We get it though, it’s hard to know exactly how much food you’ll need. Plus, with the supermarkets closed down for the public holiday, the last thing you want is to run out of food. That’s why we’ve developed the HelloFresh Christmas Box, full of everything you need (and nothing you don’t) for the perfect Christmas feast. 

    Read on to discover some helpful Christmas cooking hacks that’ll help you with reducing food waste this silly season.

    A delicious Christmas spread created with the HelloFresh Christmas Box. Featuring salmon, ham, desserts and more. Your ticket to an easy Christmas and reducing food waste this year.

    Plan thoroughly

    Reducing food waste can begin before you even make it to the grocery store. Take some time to sit down and pick every single recipe you’re going to cook on Christmas Day. Try to choose recipes that use similar ingredients so you’re not buying packets, bottles and jars of one-off items you won’t finish eating. Don’t forget to take stock of the ingredients you already own so you know you’re not doubling up. 

    TIP: While you’re at it, have a think about the dishes you want your family or friends to bring and give them the heads up. That way, nobody’s doubling up by bringing the same dishes.

    Store your leftovers properly

    Make some space in your freezer and get your tupperware containers ready because leftovers are almost inevitable at Christmas. Freezing your Christmas leftovers not only makes sure your surplus food skips the bin, but it makes life simpler later when you need a quick meal. This is also a great tip to keep in mind when you want to reduce food waste year-round.

    Try a new recipe for your leftovers

    If freezing leftovers isn’t your style, why not try a leftovers recipe? Sure, you could eat your leftovers as they are, but you might get bored of them before they’re all finished. 

    Instead, you can experiment in the kitchen by adding your leftovers (think roast turkey, Christmas ham, and roasted veggies) to dishes like curries, pizza and frittata. This is also a great way to use up those half-used ingredients that didn’t all make the cut on Christmas Day. You may wind up with some unusual flavour combos, but that’s part of the fun!

    Give your leftover ingredients a second life

    So you bought ingredients that you didn’t wind up using on Christmas Day. Here’s what you can do to make the most of them (even if you have no plans to cook with them right now) and reduce food waste.

    • Lemons and limes – cook with fresh zest and juice for months
    • Zest: Wash your citrus and then zest it with a microplane or grater. Spread the zest in a thin layer on a small sheet of baking paper or plate and pop it into the freezer until it freezes. Once frozen, store the zest in a ziploc bag for up to three months.
    • Juice: Once you’ve zested your citrus, juice it and pour the juice into an ice cube tray and freeze it. Once frozen, you can move the juice cubes to a container and store this in the freezer for up to three months, defrosting the juice at room temperature as needed.
    • Herbs – make your own dried herbs
      • Spread the leaves and soft stems of your herbs in a thin layer between two sheets of paper towel. Microwave it on high for 30 seconds. Gently toss the herbs and continue to microwave in 15-30 second blocks until they’re fully dried. Smaller, softer herbs like thyme will take a couple of minutes; larger ones like oregano and parsley will take longer. Store your dried herbs in an airtight container at room temperature.

    HelloFresh Christmas Box feast featuring roast chicken, beans, potatoes, prawn salad and ham. It's a great help in reducing food waste at Christmas

    Or cook with the HelloFresh Christmas Box

    Cooking at Christmas can be challenging. Between planning your menu and cooking enough food to feed a crowd, it can be hard to add food waste prevention to your list of priorities. That’s where the HelloFresh Christmas Box comes in!

    The Christmas Box makes your Christmas cooking easy. All you need to do is pick the size you want (4-6 people, 8-10 people or 12-14 people), and we’ll deliver everything you need for the perfect festive feast. That includes fresh ingredients, easy-to-follow recipe cards and a handy preparation and timing guide so you know exactly when and how to prepare every element. The best part is, every ingredient is pre-portioned, so no food gets left behind and wasted.

    Make your Christmas stress-free (and food waste-free), and order the Christmas Box now.

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