At Christmas most of us consume more food than at any other time of the year but in addition to that we also waste a lot more. Families up and down the country will generally buy in and then make enough food to feed their families at least twice. So what happens with all of the leftovers? Well of course there’s the obligatory boxing day turkey sandwiches and maybe the possibility that someone will chuck some of the leftover food into a curry or pasta dish but then what?
How many of us think about freezing some of that leftover food so that we can use it on the weeks ahead? Not enough I’m guessing as combined together as a nation we waste around 7 million tonnes of food per year that could have been eaten. This not only causes an obvious issue for the environment it also mounts up to a lot of wasted cash too!
So this year over the festive season instead of chucking away all the spare food and leftovers simply freeze everything that you can and make sure that it doesn’t go to waste. I know that freezing food can seem a little bit of a minefield for some as it can be unclear what an and what can’t be frozen and for how long? Well we have the answers that you need…
When it comes to freezing food just bear these points in mind and you won’t go far wrong:
You can freeze just about ANYTHING! Meat (cooked and uncooked), veg, fruit, milk and bread are just a few examples of foods that can be frozen and then eaten at a later date.
Putting food in the freezer is like pressing pause. If you have items nearing their use-by-date that are still sitting in the fridge then there is no need to chuck them out or gorge on them all at once. Sticking them in the freezer gives you plenty more time to enjoy them. After around 3 months of freezing the quality and flavour will start to deteriorate a little bit but don’t panic as you can still eat food that has been frozen for much longer than that.
Always wrap & label. When your freezer gets full it can be pretty hard to keep track of what is in there and for how long. Use freezer food bags to wrap everything up and simply write down what’s inside on the outside of the bag (and the date of freezing) and you’ll not go far wrong. You can even chop things like meat or veg up into portion sized pieces which will make it easier when it comes to using it.
Defrost items thoroughly. When it comes to cooking/eating something that has been frozen make sure that you give yourself enough time to do so. It’s best to leave it to defrost overnight in the fridge but if you want something a little quicker then you can safely do it in the microwave too.
For loads more tips on safely freezing and avoiding food waste this Christmas visit lovefoodhatewaste.com.