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Low-waste ideas for Christmas leftovers

Cheese Board Galette

Make the most of your festive foods with these low-waste ideas

Once the chaos and cheer of the main event is over, the excess of uneaten food after Christmas can be overwhelming. Reduce your household food waste by saving your festive foods and turning them into something amazing. We have a bunch of tips to help you make the most of your produce and leftovers. Keep these tips in mind when entertaining for the masses this Christmas.

Leftover summer fruit platter


Excess fruit

Make the most of the last of your fruit before it is no longer salvageable. Blitz up fruit – from berries and mangoes to kiwifruit and melon – then freeze your fruit mixtures in ice-cube trays. Add a bit of water, then freeze. Soon, you’ll have colourful chunks to add to your festive drinks. Pop them in a jug of water, punch or mocktails for impressive and thrifty colour and flavour.

Find even more ways to use up excess fruit.

Seafood Paella


Prawn scraps

Prawns are a staple of an Australian summer feast, but the meat gets all the accolades. Did you know the heads and bodies are full of flavour, too? Make the most of them in a homemade stock; it’ll add flavour to a risotto or paella. Plus, you’ll be using the whole prawn to its fullest potential, which is a great way to do your part to tackle food waste.

Leftover milk


Leftover milk & cream

The bottle is half full when it comes to leftover cream and milk. If you have half a carton or three-quarters of a bottle of dairy leftover from a recipe, don’t let it go to waste. Instead, freeze it in large ice-cube trays. That way, you’ll always have cubes of cream or milk on hand for smoothies, sauces or baking. Our hot tip? Note the quantity that fits into each cube of your tray to make measuring easier when you need them for a recipe. (For example, a ¼ cup of cream might fit in one large tray. Easy!)

Cheese Board Galette


Leftover cheeses

It’s awfully frustrating to buy the fanciest cheeses available, only to have half-used packets in the fridge because they didn’t all fit on your cheese board. Make the most of those beauties with this stunning rustic galette. It’s simple to create and tastes luxurious, especially when paired with naturally sweet nectarines. Give it a go next time you want to make the most of all of those cheesy remnants.



Fruits or jams

Use up your last spoonfuls of jam and any leftover fruit when you have a crack at making homemade fruit mince pies. Jam is a delightful shortcut to fruit mince and it means nothing goes to waste! Plus, leftover pastry scraps can be rerolled to make pie cases so save your scraps and freeze them until you’re ready to rock and roll!

Pickled watermelon rind


Watermelon rind

Save those watermelon rinds to repurpose – and reduce waste in the process. Pickle rinds in a simple mixture of vinegar, sugar and salt. Enjoy the pickled rind as a sweet and tangy addition to salads and cheese platters or even alongside a nibble of barbecued meats and rich sides.

Leftover bread or crackers


Leftover bread or crackers

If you have cracker sections or chunks of bread left on a cheese board after entertaining, don’t throw them out! Those untouched slices of bread, packets of pretzels or cracker crumbs can be turned into versatile breadcrumbs. Simply blitz in a food processor to create a quick topping for salads or pasta, the perfect chicken schnitzel crumb or the ideal base to use for your Christmas stuffing.

See more ideas for leftover bread.

Leftover vegetables


Leftover vegetables

When you’ve got half a head of cauliflower or broccoli, some beetroot bulbs or only a couple of carrots left, make the most of your odds and ends by turning them into veggie rice. Blitz leftover veg in a food processor to transform it into the perfect base for weeknight dinners. Give it a go with any cruciferous vegetables.

Find more ways to use leftover veg.

Leftover butter



Butter is great value right now, just in time for Christmas. Buy a couple of blocks in bulk if you can and freeze them. Then, whenever your recipe calls for butter, you can grate the frozen block for quickly defrosted and fluffy butter. It’s the perfect way to save time and get more bang for your buck.

Leftover oils


Leftover condiments & marinades

The leftover oils, marinades and liquids from your jars or cans are packed with flavour – and are really versatile. The oil leftover from marinated cheeses and grilled vegetables can be used as the base for salad dressings, dips for bread or tossed through pasta. The leftover liquid from a can of chickpeas is known as aquafaba and can be used as a vegan substitute for egg whites; whip it until fluffy to create vegan meringues for Christmas!

Christmas stuffing


Christmas stuffing

You don’t have to spend a fortune to make a truly flavourful Christmas stuffing. Combine any herbs and spices you already have in the pantry with homemade breadcrumbs (made with any leftover bread, pretzels or crackers you have on hand), leftover fruits that can be dried out and minced (such as berries and apples), and even nuts. That way, you can enjoy festive flavours with less waste this Christmas!

Candied orange peel


Homemade edible gifts

Reduce your food waste and increase the Christmas spirit by upcycling excess seasonal foods to create beautiful edible gifts. From candied citrus peels to flavourful jams and tangy preserved lemons, affordable and thoughtful gifts are super simple to create and will always be well received by grateful friends and family.

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