Gem is a plant based chef and mamma of 2 little stars. She runs Gems Wholesome Kitchen which is based in Brighton and is the author of The Self Care Cookbook. Her passion is for all things self care food... She believes you can boost your mood through food and loves nothing more than to cook with her kids Carmen and Hendrix.
Sustainable living and taking care of the planet is all of our responsibility so she hopes these tips for reducing food waste at Christmas will help.
At Christmas time especially, we can create so much food waste so here are her top tips to help reduce food waste this Christmas.
Plan your meals in advance. Make a meal plan for the Christmas holidays, it really helps to reduce waste!
I suggest you make a rough plan of main meals and lunches and then go ad-hoc with breakfasts. It also helps with stress levels if you have any family staying. You can also get the kids involved here with appointing your little helpers for meals.
You can freeze so much and of course get ahead with Christmas treats before the big day. Just remember to label everything clearly so you know what’s what and when you made it.
Food makes great gifts
Use your leftovers in Christmas gifts! Ferment, preserve and pickle veggies and any old fruits – kimchi and sauerkraut are absolutely delicious and so good for gut health. It’s very on trend at the moment: the brighter the veggie the better. All you need is an old jam jar to make it in. You will find an abundance of recipes online.
Dried Fruit for wrapping presents and decorations
Put slices of oranges and lemons in a very low oven to dry and use for wrapping presents. It looks so beautiful and you can also add string and hang them on the tree!
Use up your leftovers
Think about how you can use leftovers. For example, make a stock out of roast dinner leftovers and this can be used to make a soup or frozen for another day. Things like bubble and squeak with leftover veggies for next day brunch is fab.
Store Food Correctly
Bread should be kept in a cool dark place like a bread bin or cupboard, potatoes and onions should never be put in the fridge. Glass jars are perfect for storing leftover food in the fridge or you can just pop it on a saucer with a bowl over the top. Keep your veggies fresh in the fridge. We tend to have the heating on in the winter and so fresh foods can go off quicker in the heat.
Freeze fruit and veg
Freeze vegetables and fresh fruit that you can’t use in time. These will be perfect for soups and stews and fruits for cakes and smoothies.
Don’t serve huge portions
It's off putting and will result in more waste. Remember you can always come back for seconds.
Never shop when you’re hungry
You will end up impulse buying so much more than you actually need.
Help your community
Get involved with a local charity or community group. When you see how little some people have it really brings home the reality of how much we don’t actually need. It’s really good to give back to your local community in whatever small way you can.
Share Surplus Food – did you know you can use food sharing apps or local Facebook Groups to share surplus food?
Compost your food waste
If you do have leftovers that you really can’t do anything with then compost them. Check your local area for compost schemes who may come and collect from you.
Give it away
If you have friends or family members staying over for the Christmas period, send them away with arms full of your leftover food.
All images by @gemswholesomekitchen
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