Quick Tip: Freeze Those Thanksgiving Leftovers!

By Stepfanie Romine, co-author of "The SparkPeople Cookbook: Love Your Food, Lose the Weight"

I love Thanksgiving leftovers! The trouble is that if I leave them in the fridge for long, I'll eat them. All of them. I don't want to be tempted by all that rich, delicious food lying around, but I don't want to waste any of it either.

So how do I compromise? By freezing my Thanksgiving leftovers.

Here's a quick guide to storing and freezing your leftovers:

  • Place leftover food in shallow, air-tight, appropriately-sized containers.
  • Label all containers with the contents and date.
  • Don't freeze a variety of foods together. Divide foods into single portions, if desired, but thawing and reheating is easier if you don't have turkey, dressing and potatoes in the same container.

    How long will it last?

    Turkey meat: (bones removed) up to 6 months

    Stuffing: up to 3 months

    Soups and broth: up to 3 months (freeze in muffin tins or ice cube trays first, then place in plastic freezer bags for easier thawing)

    Cranberry sauce: up to 3 months (thaw slightly and serve as sorbet)

    Vegetables (blanched): up to a year (boil briefly in salted water, then plunge in ice water. Drain well and freeze.)

    Pies: up to 3 months

    Great idea: Thaw out that food at Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa!

    What do you do with your Thanksgiving leftovers?

    Related links:
    Delicious Meals Out of Holiday Leftovers
    Habits of Healthy Eaters: Don't Make Extra Food
    7 Healthy Recipes for Thanksgiving Recipes

    SparkRecipes.com editor Stepfanie Romine is a certified yoga teacher and co-author of "The SparkPeople Cookbook: Love Your Food, Lose the Weight." A vegetarian and runner, she has lived and cooked on three continents.