Are you looking for a healthy appetizer to serve with your Christmas dinner? This festive and healthy Christmas Tree Veggie Tray is great way to add some healthy veggies into your families diet on Christmas day and makes your table look great too. I always like to bring a fresh and healthy recipe to Christmas parties. It helps me stay on track during the holidays. Plus it gives me something to enjoy while others are snacking before the meal.
Did you know that 28% of the produce we bring home goes to waste. WOW! That really hurts your bottom line when it comes to saving money. If you can reduce your food waste at home you will be able to save money from your grocery budget. One way to save money on groceries is to avoid letting anything go to waste. This can be hard to do and like many families, you may find yourself disappointed when you clear out your fridge and find out about that head of lettuce you forgot about, rotten veggies in the crisper drawer, that leftover spaghetti sauce that went to waste and those soups that went bad before you could use them all up.
Be sure that you think outside of the box and use the entire vegetable and fruit. Don't remove skins, tops and other parts of the vegetables. Use those potato skins, carrot tops and all parts of the veggies in order to not only help reduce waste but also increase the vitamins, minerals and fiber that your family is eating.
Tips for Wasting Less Food
Keep track of what you throw away. This may seem silly or foreign to you, but restaurants analyze their food waste in log books. They keep track of what is not being used up in time and what is being tossed in order to know the proper amounts to order. Do something similar at home. If you are finding patterns of food that you throw away, it’s time to start buying less to begin with.
Know what you have on hand. This means keeping your fridge, cupboards and kitchen organized. Go through your kitchen and see what you have on hand before any trips to the store to buy more groceries.
Serve small portions to your family. Let them know that seconds are always available, but by starting with small portions, you are less likely to have much end up getting tossed in the garbage due to picky eaters, and those who’s “eyes are bigger than their stomach”. Plus smaller amounts are great for teaching your children healthy sizes of portions.
Know what you will be doing with leftovers before they happen. Let’s say you only need a couple of strawberries, but the larger sized tub is the better deal. Plan to freeze the extra for smoothies later.
Don’t buy things you know won’t get eaten. This happens a lot with produce. If your child doesn’t like apples, it does you no good to keep buying them in 5 pound bags in the hopes they suddenly will. This doesn’t mean you should stop offering them, but buy one at a time and try it out again every once in a while.
Make sure you are storing food properly. The first place to check is your fridge. Is it set at 41 degrees or below? If it isn’t, not only could you get sick from improper storage, but it could be encouraging mold and decay to happen faster.
Make more frequent, smaller trips to the store. Only buy for a few days at a time. This may seem like a waist of time, but if you are really trying to focus on watching your food waste, it really will help you become more aware and use things up in time. As you get better at using things in a timely fashion, you can start to space trips out more.
Buy local or organic. It is true that buying organic and local will usually result in food not going bad as fast. Local food doesn’t spend days or even weeks on a truck to get to you. Have you ever looked at the “sell by” date on organic or hormone free dairy products and compared them to non-organic ones? You will find they stay good twice as long in most cases. If you don’t use a product quick enough on a regular basis, consider buying it in organic or local form. It may cost more than other products you have been buying, but if you are wasting less, it is costing you less in the long run.
To reduce waste in your kitchen and use all parts of vegetables try this recipe for this fun and healthy Christmas Tree Veggie Tray! It was simple to create and best of all we used produce that we purchased on managers special and a red pepper that was a little bit past its "prime". We love that we were able to use the broccoli stalk for the tree stump and "leftover pepper" to create the star!
We created a yummy dip using Hidden Valley® and Greek Yogurt. It was easy as 1-2-3. It was the perfect accompaniment to our Christmas Veggie Tray. This is a healthy and festive appetizer to serve at Christmas parties.
- Broccoli Carrots, Red Pepper, Cherry Tomatoes, Hidden Valley Ranch Dip, Greek Yogurt
- Using broccoli florets create a tree shape.
- Add carrots and cherry tomatoes to create ornaments
- Slice red peppers to create the garland.
- Use leftover pepper pieces to create the star
- Use broccoli stems to create the tree trunk.
- Serve with Hidden Valley Ranch Dip.
Tips for Freezing Foods:
Recipes that help with wasting food:
Disclosure: This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Hidden Valley. The opinions and text are all mine.