01/02/2014 03:58 EST | Updated 03/03/2014 04:59 EST

5 Healthy Ways to Use Holiday Leftovers

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After serving enough food for families and guests to rival a king’s feast, many a household will be wondering what to do with all the leftovers after the holidays have passed. With a little creative cooking you can turn these leftovers into new meals for the days to come.

Healthy Ways to Use Holiday Leftovers

Finger foods make the best salads

Before you throw away your half-eaten veggie plates and fruit platters, think where else you could turn your leftovers into a healthy serving as recommended by Canada’s Food Guide. A handful of baby carrots and celery might not seem like much, but just chop them into smaller pieces and toss a handful in a soup -- that’s one serving of vegetables! While you’re at it, throw your leftover fruit bites into a blender and go to town on a nice smoothie that would have otherwise been neglected and forgotten.

There’s always another occasion for sauce

The beauty of a sauce or dip is that they tend to go well with almost any kind of food (like carrot sticks), and you’ll find that you can use leftover sauces for other things just as easily. Hummus dip spread over flatbread, guacamole with whole grain tortillas, and reheated pasta sauce poured over freshly boiled pasta -- doesn’t that make you want to give your leftover sauces and dips a second chance? Not only that, they can make a great replacement snack for all those sugary treats served at the holiday table.

When in doubt, pack it in a sandwich

The sandwich is truly one of the most versatile foods that can help you get over leftover fatigue. Not sure what to do with your potato or tuna salad? Mix in some lower-fat mayonnaise and spread it over a whole grain bagel or bun. Never know what to do with that turkey or chicken? Shred it and put it on a bun with condiments of your choice. This option is also economical; it saves you a nice chunk of change for sandwiches that you would have otherwise paid for at a grocery store.

Get creative with your pumpkins

Just because Halloween is a distant memory, doesn’t mean that pumpkins suddenly vanish from the Earth. And now that they’re almost out of season, they can be picked up for a steal. The usefulness (and tastiness!) of the pumpkin is sorely underrated. Start with the seeds, which are a very healthy snack option. As for the rest of the pumpkin, use your imagination; pumpkin soup, steamed pumpkin slices, you name it! These orange gourds aren’t just here to make your porch look pretty; they are also a source of fibre and are low in fat.

Reuse as much as you can

Obviously, you won’t be eating the turkey or chicken bones, s but have you considered reusing the leftover parts of your holiday bird to create homemade broth? Turkey or chicken broths purchased in the grocery stores are often sky-high in sodium . Making your own turkey or chicken broth is simple, doesn’t take much of your time, and makes for a healthier home-style soup.