We all buy produce with the intention of making use of it. But sometimes time passes too quickly, and we discover those delicious fruits and vegetables are ripening more rapidly than anticipated. Before they go too far passed their prime, consider testing out some of these methods for using soon-to-expire produce.
Blend them up
Although the consistency of overripe produce may not be particularly appealing, the taste is often still quite good. When you blend fruits and vegetables, you get all the yumminess without having to choke back an overly soft spinach or bruised banana. For such fruits as berries, peaches, bananas or mangoes, simply toss them into a blender with a little bit of milk and yogourt for a delicious breakfast or snack. You can even freeze them for an added creamy quality and try out this delicious smoothie-milkshake. Or if you have a lot of vegetables on hand that wouldn’t taste particularly good in a smoothie, try turning them into a soup.
Toss them in the freezer
If you have produce items that are just about to pass their prime and you don’t think you’ll get a chance to use them in time, the freezer is your best friend. Simply cut fruits or veggies into the size you are most likely to want to use them in the future, place them in a zip-lock bag and toss them in the freezer. Eventually a time will come when you are in need of diced tomatoes for pasta sauce or broccoli florets for a stir-fry, and you will be in luck!
Cook them all
Because we tend to make a single, large grocery trip every week or so, it is not uncommon that several types of produce begin to spoil at the same time. And finding recipes that will use up every item in your crisper drawer can be challenging. Make it easier on yourself by relying on something along the lines of this clean-out-your-fridge frittata, or try a stir-fry or roasted vegetable mix. Cooking soft or overripe vegetables in these ways hides their aging texture while allowing their flavours to come through.
Start a compost
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, produce can go past the point of being edible. But all is not lost! Rather than tossing those old fruits and veggies in the garbage, start your very own compost. Collect expired produce along with any other leftover natural food waste, and place them in a sealed bin in your backyard. For extra convenience, keep a plastic bag in a small, lidded bin under your kitchen sink, and simply transfer the contents out when it fills up. With the help of a few red wiggler worms, the compost will decompose into dirt that you can then spread throughout your garden instead of buying fertilizer. Your spring flowers will grow stronger, and you won’t have wasted a thing!