Now that January is upon us, your weight loss resolutions might tempt you to fill a trash bag with all of the high-sugar, calorie-laden sweets and treats leftover from December’s celebrations and festivities. Before you do, think twice.
According to Jonathan Bloom, creator of WastedFood.com and author of the 2010 book American Wasteland, Americans waste as much as half of the food produced every year. Instead of contributing to this growing crisis, turn some of your favorite sweets and decadent holiday meals into healthier recipes that will help you get back on track for the New Year.
Use: Leftover holiday ham
Make: Country-Style Split Pea Soup with Ham. Instead of repeating your holiday meals well into the new year, use leftover meats, especially of the sodium-packed variety, in healthy soups or stews. This one is packed with fiber…and flavor.
Use: Leftover French Vanilla Coffee-Mate
Make: Cinnamon Bun Cocktail. Skip the heavy hot cocoas and instead, serve a spiked coffee beverage laced with leftover holiday spirit. Combine 8 ounces of hot coffee with 1 ounce of sugar-free cinnamon syrup (homemade with artificial sweetener or store-bought), CoffeeMate French Vanilla and 1.5 ounces cinnamon schnapps. Stir and serve in a 10-ounce coffee mug.
Use: Leftover chocolate chips
Make: Sweet and Nutty Trail Mix. If you’re still recovering from a holiday baking binge, add some of your leftover baking supplies into easy recipe for trail mix. A little bit of semisweet chocolate will go a long way in this great grab-and-go snack option.
Use: Leftover cheese.
Make: Spinach and Paste Bake. If you bought a little too much cheddar for your annual cheese ball, turn the leftover queso into a delicious baked pasta dish, with plenty of spinach and mushrooms that will add bulk without extra calories.
Use: Leftover rum.
Make: Rum-Marinated Pork Chops. Between the buche de noel from Christmas dinner and rum balls from the office cookie exchange, your liquor stash is a little fuller than usual. Instead of boozing your way into the New Year, introduce spirits into your cooking with a savory weeknight dinner with a grown-up twist.