For this year’s festivities, we’re tackling excessive food packaging and making the most of seasonal produce and recipes instead. From cranberry sauce to a homemade mulled wine spice mix, read on for the perfect, Pinterest-worthy additions to your Christmas menu.
Encouraged consumption over Christmas can leave us feeling the need to buy more stuff to fill our homes, our stockings and our fridges than we can possibly imagine ever needing. As the festive season gets into full swing, this year we are focusing on keeping things homemade and seasonal, slowing down our consumption and taking the time to make our own gifts, decorations and Christmassy extras.
A recent study predicted that 125,000 tonnes of plastic food packaging will be discarded over the festive period; a problem which can be eliminated, or at least lessened, by deciding to make things at home. Not only does a homemade mulled wine reduce plastic pollution, but will also fill your home with the Christmassy scent of nutmeg, cinnamon and orange zest while a spiced fig chutney is the perfect Boxing Day buffet accompaniment that makes the most of old seasonal produce and ‘back of the cupboard’ ingredients. Some holiday home cooking will get you feeling festive and set the path for a more conscious Christmas, as well as creating some low-waste, ethical gifts for your friends and family.
Spiced fig and date chutney
100g light brown soft sugar
120ml cider vinegar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cumin
300g chopped fresh figs
100g stoned dates
25g ginger, peeled and chopped
Put the sugar, vinegar, ginger and spices in to a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add in the chopped figs and dates and simmer for around 30-40 minutes until the chutney has thickened. Remove from the heat and leave to cool, before filling up glass jars.
Zesty Cranberry Sauce
1 orange, zest and juice
100g light brown soft sugar or 100ml maple syrup
Place the cranberries in a saucepan, with a splash of water. Add in the zest and juice of the orange and your sweetener of choice. Stir gently on a low heat until the cranberries have turned pulpy and thickened.
Package-Free Mulling Spices
1 cup crushed cinnamon sticks
1/4 cup cloves
1/2 cup dried orange zest
1/2 cup cardamom
1/2 cup whole nutmegs
2 tbsp finely chopped crystallised ginger
Simply fill a double-layered cheesecloth bag with your spice mix and tie securely at the top. To make mulled wine, add the pouch to red wine and simmer gently. Likewise, add to cider, apple juice or a warming pot of tea for a festive drink.