The holidays are significant for several reasons. Time off from work and school. Time to spend with friends and family. A whole lot of ignoring all your healthy eating habits (or, only attempts at healthy eating) and indulging in whatever the heck you want to, because during the months of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, nothing else matters.

It’s just you and the food, the food and you, and however much you can eat until you feel like you’re going to explode.

A macro view of a Christmas ornament on a Christmas tree.
Photo by Rodion Kutsaev / Unsplash

The idea of free good food during the holidays isn’t confined to just the walls of your brain and stomach, but also those of your friends. As a result, at your holiday parties, they bring over food. It’s easy and courteous for them to bring a sweet treat. Cakes, pies, cookies, and almost any other dessert possible start piling up on your kitchen counter.

You are immensely thankful for such great friends who bring you even better food, but soon enough you realize that even during the holidays, there is no way you can finish every last crumb from your large heap of newly acquired goodies.

It may seem that there is no easy fix to this issue. You can’t possibly eat everything if you tried. If you wanted to invite friends over to do so for you, it would be slightly awkward, given that they were the ones who gifted you the food in the first place. But do not fear. With some upcycling in the world of foodies, your massive amount of leftovers are salvageable in the form of something you and your friends can thoroughly enjoy.

With leftover doughnuts: Doughnut Iced Coffee

Sweeten your coffee with pieces of sugar glazed doughnuts. Doughnut Iced Coffee would work best when you put ice, coffee with creamer, and fragments of doughnuts in the blender, before blending well. Pour into a glass, and serve with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream, and pieces of doughnuts on top.

Hands with painted nails holding a bitten sugary donut
Photo by Thomas Kelley / Unsplash

With leftover cake: Parfait

Create a (slightly!) more healthy dessert by transforming the cake into a parfait. Cut off a thin layer from your leftover cake. Take a glass and use the rim to cut out circular shapes from the segment. Put a piece in the glass, and put a scoop of sweetened greek yogurt on top. Sprinkle with raspberries, blueberries, or any other fruit you’d like in your parfait. Continue alternating between cake layer and yogurt layer, and end with yogurt and a mountain of berries for aesthetic purposes. If you're not allergic, try adding nuts, too.

A glass filled with cake, pudding, cream, fruit, berries, and nuts
Photo by Sambazon / Unsplash

With leftover apple pie: Apple Pie Milkshake

Make an all-time classic dessert into a little known for yet equally delicious milkshake. Blend some of your apple pie with ice cream to create a liquid with a thick consistency. If you would like your milkshake to be thinner, you can add some milk and blend again. Caramel sauce works well blended in these milkshakes, but you could also drizzle it over a dollop of whipped cream topping your drink.

Homemade apple pie topped with fresh slices of fruit
Photo by Chloe Benko-Prieur / Unsplash

With cookies: Sweet Dessert crusts

Try something other than a basic graham cracker crust for your next pie. Crush the cookies by putting them in a bag and hitting them with a rolling pin. Once your cookies are complete crumbles, mix in any butter you like in small increments, until the mixture can hold shape when you press it.

This doesn’t mean the mix squeezes out excess butter when you press it. Add a spoonful of this to the bottom of cupcake liners when making cheesecake or lemon meringue pie tarts, or anything of that variety.

Photo by Monika Grabkowska / Unsplash

And there you have it: an assortment of new desserts for your next gathering in January. There are many things that you can create for almost no cost with just your leftovers, yet do not realize when you throw away your excesses and mindlessly buy new food items as you need them.

Not to mention that creations similar to these would cost several dollars each in restaurants or coffeehouses. So, join the upcycling trend with food and create something new and useful for cheap!