How to save money on a Christmas dinner according to Iceland’s Head Chef

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The festive season can be an extremely expensive period, with turkey going up in price around Christmas. An expert from Iceland has shared how families can save money on their Christmas shop this year as well as some cooking tips.

Iceland’s Head Chef, David Lennox has exclusively shared with, some tips and tricks when it comes to cooking the Christmas dinner. 

While many may opt for fresh food, frozen food retains the nutrient content of fruits and vegetables according to Healthline.

David Lennox added: “There are nutritional benefits of eating a frozen vegetables on your Christmas dinner as nutrients are locked into the veg for longer than their fresh counterparts.”

But with a lot of frozen food coming already prepped and chopped, it can leave many wondering if it will be more expensive.

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David said: “Switching to frozen can save families £1,500 per year and reduce waste by almost 50 percent.

“This information is taken from a report commissioned by Iceland and Birds Eye which was carried out by Manchester Metropolitan University. found that over £188 million worth of food was wasted nationwide each week – and for every £1 spent at the till, more than 15p was money down the drain due to the amount of fresh food thrown away. 

“85 per cent of consumers expressed a desire to reduce their household food waste, but a quarter of those admitted to not knowing where to start.

“Saving money by switching from fresh to frozen, does not mean compromising on health, in fact, a quarter (25 per cent) of shoppers have eaten more frozen vegetables in lockdown than they did before, with peas, sweetcorn, carrots and broccoli taking pride of place in freezers.”

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Buying frozen means it can be kept in the freezer for a lot longer than fresh food would stay fresh in the fridge, meaning it reduces food waste.

According to Healthline, certain nutrients can begin to break down when produce is stores for more than a year.

It also explains that certain nutrients are lost during the blanching process compared to fresh.

However frozen food can also be a huge time-saver for families this Christmas because frozen produce doesn’t need a lot of prep. 

David added: “ Iceland’s range takes the stress out of Christmas, our pre chopped and diced vegetables mean customers don’t need to spend time chopping, peeling and dicing food which often takes a lot of time.

“Start your defrosting before you go to bed on Christmas eve. Iceland’s meat can be left to defrost in the refrigerator for 12hrs, which will mean your meat will cook faster than straight from frozen.”

But what is the best way to cook a frozen turkey?

Iceland’s Head Chef explained: “1. Defrost your turkey as per instruction, always plan this step so you have a fully defrosted bird before cooking.

“2. Baste your turkey 2-3 times during the cooking to help keep the meat as moist as possible.

“3. Rest your turkey for at least 30 minutes after cooking in a warm place – it will make all the difference!”

With supermarkets cutting down on the amount of packaging in the last couple of years and offering more loose fresh produce, customers may not want to purchase frozen food because it comes in packaging.

However, David said: “Iceland has doubled the amount of reduced plastic Christmas products on offer for 2020, and the range includes 24 entirely plastic free products and 16 products with significantly reduced plastic.

“Frozen food helps you reduce food and packaging waste as it helps you use the amount you need without the pressures of using the full pack in a short shelf life window. If you have frozen carrots, you simply take the portion and put the rest back in the freezer – easy!”

Plastic free Christmas products:

•             No Meat No Bull Wellington 560g

•             Iceland White Potatoes 2kg

•             Iceland Luxury 6 Belgian Chocolate Nutcracker Bites 186g

•             Iceland 12 Cheese & Pepperoni Pizza Pasties 264g

•             Iceland Luxury 8 Pork and Bramley Apple Stuffing Parcels 312g

•             White Potatoes 7.5kg

•             Garden of Elveden Baby Salad Potatoes

•             Iceland Easy Peelers Oranges 600g

•             Iceland Mini Steak Bakes 300g

•             Iceland Chocolate Orange Cheesecake 800g

•             Iceland Raspberry & White Chocolate Cheesecake 800g

•             Iceland Clementine Cheesecake 800g

•             Iceland Luxury Toffee & Pecan Roulade 420g

•             Iceland Luxury Lemon Roulade 420g

•             Iceland Luxury Sticky Toffee Winter Forest Log 1kg

•             Iceland Luxury Chocolate Orange Roulade 566g

•             Iceland Luxury Honeycomb Mountain 590g

•             Iceland Cheddar and Chilli 100g

•             Iceland Oak Smoked Cheddar 100g

•             Iceland Wensleydale and Cranberry 100g

•             Barber’s Farmhouse Cheesemakers Farmhouse Mature Cheddar 400g

•             Barber’s Farmhouse Cheesemakers Cheddar with Caramelised Onion 400g

•             Baxters Caramelised Onion Chutney 290g

•             Iceland Top Iced Christmas Cake 907g

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