What to do with Left-overs?

What’s in the fridge!

After a long work day, when you start thinking about what to have for dinner, who doesn’t love it when they remember they have leftover food that can just be reheated and had? No cooking , no extra dishes to wash!

Scientists have shown that eating leftovers is healthy, for your body, your wallet, and the environment.

When you reheat already cooked fruit and vegetables, all you’re losing is a little vitamin C and a small amount of B vitamins, but you’ll make up for them elsewhere in your diet. The fibre content is just as high, and the flavours can be better the second time around!

Often the taste of your leftover food will be more intense as the water content will be lower, and if you’ve stored cold meat and gravy with cooked vegetables, such as potatoes, they will all have infused their flavours. This is the secret behind your biryani or gravy tasting better the next day!!

And taking your leftovers for lunch will save you money. Why eat out every day at work or college?

If you are bored of eating the same food later…..just mix two leftovers to create a new dish! Like dal and sabzi to make a khichdi.

Also when you don’t waste food, you don’t add to landfill and help in reducing methane gas production.

The next thought is, are leftovers safe to eat?

Leftovers can be kept for three to four days in the refrigerator. After that, the risk of food poisoning increases. If you don’t think you’ll be able to eat leftovers within four days, freeze them immediately.

Food poisoning — also called foodborne illness — is caused by harmful germs, such as bacteria in contaminated food. Because bacteria typically don’t change the taste, smell or look of food, you can’t tell whether a food is dangerous to eat. So if you’re in doubt about a food’s safety, it’s best to throw it out.

 To practice food safety, quickly refrigerate perishable foods, such as meat, poultry, fish, dairy and eggs. Don’t let them sit more than two hours at typical room temperature or more than one hour during summer.

Uncooked foods, such as cold salads or sandwiches, also should be eaten or refrigerated promptly. 

When you’re ready to eat leftovers, reheat them on the stove or in a conventional oven or microwave until the internal temperature reaches 165 F (74 C).

Bon Appetit!

  • Deepa Kamath
  • Senior Dietician, Navitae


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