On the tenth day of Christmas a Waste Elf gave to me 10 foods-a-keeping
The Elves know some great tips to help you use up all the food you buy for Christmas. Whether you want to purchase food early to avoid the crowds or just want to know how to keep leftovers tasty ready for use as ingredients in something else, these 10 foods a keeping tips will be helpful for you.
- If you’re getting a fresh one you can freeze your uncooked turkey ready for Christmas. Remember to take it out of the freezer to defrost plenty of time before you need to cook it.
- Put any leftover meat in airtight containers in the fridge as soon as you can on Christmas Day.
- Make stock using the bones, if you don’t have time right now freeze the bones and make stock later in January.
- Help prevent sprouting potatoes by keeping them in a cool, dark place.
- The Elves gave you 8 Spuds a freezing, you can add even more by cooking, mashing (without milk) and freezing potatoes – no need to let them get shrivelled and then end up in the bin.
- Store any extras from dinner in airtight containers in the fridge, you may wish to soak up any roasting fat by putting kitchen towel in the bottom of the container.
- Like all veggies, carrots keep longer in the fridge.
- If your carrots are a bit limp stand them in a bowl/glass of cold water in the fridge and wait for them to firm up.
- If you have a few leftover blend them up with a food processor, mix with a bit of crème fraiche and store in either the fridge or freezer – serve up this puree with a different meal.
- Remember to keep them in the fridge, they’ll stay fresher for a bit longer that way.
- You’ve already received 4 frozen loaves, loaves aren’t the only bread items you can freeze though – croissants, rolls, bagels, wraps and crumpets are just some of the other things you can freeze, quickly defrost and enjoy with leftover turkey!
- Bread products go stale more quickly in the fridge though, so try to use a bread bin or airtight container instead.
- Use a bag clip to keep air out of open packets of breads, air getting in encourages mould to grow and also dries them out.
- Always keep cheese somewhere cool to keep it fresh to eat.
- Parmesan and stilton cheeses can be frozen whole and grated from frozen.
- Most cheeses (cheddar, double Gloucester etc) should be grated and then frozen so you can take out a handful and add to sauces. If you grate on to a clean baking tray and only have one layer on the tray, you can put the frozen cheese in to a bag in the freezer and just remove the amount you need.
- Stilton and parmesan rinds can be frozen and added to pots of cooking soups to give more flavour – you could remove it before serving or leave it in!
- Fruit is often forgotten as all the other foods for Christmas are enjoyed. Keeping your fruit in the fridge (not bananas though) will help them last longer, an apple lasts 2 weeks longer if kept in the fridge.
- You can make smoothies with your fruit and freeze the smoothie for another week
- Cooking fruit and freezing – you can puree, stew or freeze whole if you know you’re going to have fruit that will slowly shrivel up in the fruit bowl or fridge over the festive season. There are lots of instructions for this online and in cookery books.
- You could make your own spicy nuts and keep them in an airtight container.
- Nuts in an airtight container in the fridge could last for up to 6 months.
- Don’t leave open packets around, close with a bag clip and keep somewhere cool. Read the storage instructions on packets for more detailed information.
- If you’re making your own you could do that today and freeze your mince pies until you’re ready to cook them
- Keep your ready to eat mince pies in an airtight container somewhere there won’t be big temperature changes, this will help stop them drying out. This will also work for all biscuits and crisps.