Post Christmas Cut Down

1 in 5 of us admit to buying surplus stuff at Christmas ‘just in case’ even if we don’t like it! So if you have ended up with a bunch of stuff you have no use for here’s what you can do with it…

Here are 12 tips of Christmas to help you reduce food waste –  http://foodcycle.org.uk/tipsofxmas-countdown-help-cut-food-waste/

If you got yourself an artificial tree, and feel like it’s time to move on to bigger better trees, you can give it to a friend or a community centre who might still find use out of it, or donate it to a charity shop who can sell it the following year.

If it’s the case that you have bought a fresh pine tree this Christmas and it cannot be re-potted, make sure you take it to a local tree recycling centre (http://www.veolia.co.uk/nottinghamshire/treecycle ), but before you do that make sure you use the pine needles in a nice hot bath or eat them…that’s right, you can eat your Christmas Tree!

The needles can be used in all sorts of dishes; you can boil them up with sugar and use them as a syrup to top dishes, grind them to add to cakes, sugar or herb sprinkles and more, RENÉ REDZEPI from the New York Times claims that ‘You can cook with a branch of spruce or fir as you would a sprig of rosemary or thyme’ below are a few recipes.

Spruce Butter

7 ounces butter

3 ½tablespoons pine needles

Sprig of lemon thyme.

  1. Mix in a blender for eight minutes until soft and green.
  2. Pass through a chinois sieve.

Spruce Oil

3 ½ ounces pine needles

3-4 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

1 ¼ cups neutral oil.

  1. Blanch needles for four minutes, then dry.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a blender until they reach 160 degrees.
  3. Pass through a chinois sieve.

Spruce Vinegar

3 ½ ounces pine needles

3 ½ ounces apple vinegar.

  1. Briefly mix in blender.
  2. Place in a sealed container overnight.
  3. Pass through a chinois sieve.

Or if you’d prefer them in a cocktail there are a couple of recipes here http://www.thecrunchychicken.com/2009/12/eat-your-christmas-tree.html

This new year, make an aim to throw away as little food as you possibly can, you can do this in a number of ways; freeze all of your leftovers, and use it later to make meals with, try not to plan meals with fresh ingredients for the next few days unless it’s using the Christmas tree pines, plan meals using the leftovers in the freezer and more…

Some tips to help you from love food hate waste

  • Toasted turkey sandwich on Boxing Day, with cranberry sauce.
  • Leftover meat and vegetables on a ‘Christmas dinner pizza’.
  • Buy or make some pizza bases, add a base layer of sauce then top with leftovers and a sprinkling of cheese if you like!
  • Make soups, peelings are great in stocks and you can also use ingredients such as broccoli stalks which cook up and blend in to add great flavour.
  • You can freeze leftover gravy for another day and previously frozen meat can be frozen again once it has been cooked.

leftovers_377x171_136247847.jpg

Here are some links to more great leftovers tips

http://getyourtips.com/sustainable-christmas/

http://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/

There’s even a recipe booklet! – http://suppliers.thesra.org/for-diners/get-involved/sustainable-recipes/christmas-leftover-recipes/

Other leftover stuff…?

What to do with out of date Christmas Cards? You can cut them up and use them as tags on next year’s presents or even make some Christmassy bunting.

Here are some great examples to use old wrapping paper. You can even make mini envelopes out of big envelopes! http://www.buzzfeed.com/alessiasantoro/reduce-reuse-recycle-that-wrapping-paper#.knXnGyevo

Get creative and cut down this Christmas, we’d love to see what projects you get involved with, let us know via Facebook or Twitter or leave a comment below.

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