A common complaint I hear is how families spend good money on fruits and vegetables, that don’t get eaten. Learning not to buy what you won’t eat, and eat what you buy is part of the equation, but inevitably, you will end up with withered lettuce and leathery apples eventually.
The good news is that all is not lost, many fruits and veggies can be used past their prime, if you know how. Here are a few good tips to get you started.
Vegetables such as carrots, celery, potatoes, onions, and garlic can be handled in many ways. Dice them, blanch carrots and potatoes, and put them in the freeze to use in soups. They can also be tossed in a stock pot, with or without meat to make a stock. The stock can be frozen or canned for later use.
Corn, peas, and beans should be frozen in bags, even if they are cooked they can be quick adds to next week’s soup.
Greens can be frozen in baggies, and thrown in your smoothies in small amounts. Smoothies make a great waste buster, because many of your fruits that are too ripe to eat are perfect for smoothies. Putting your greens in smoothies is just one more way to sneak veggies in your child’s diet without them knowing. Be sure to pair with strong fruits such as oranges, or berries, to mask the flavor, if you are trying to fool them.
Fruits can be used in a variety of ways; again they can be frozen, and later used to make smoothies. Bananas; that turn brown and soft quickly are great for this purpose. We buy a lot of bananas in our house because I know they will never go to waste, they are frozen for use in smoothies, banana bread, and ice creams; bananas make a great base for a low fat home-made ice cream.
Less than perfect apples can be used for apple sauce, or to make fruit crisps.
Other fruits such as cantaloupe, peaches, and any type of berries will freeze well, to be used in smoothies, sorbets, and ice creams.
Citrus fruits can be juiced and combined with other fruits and veggies in a homemade juice.
There is never a reason for Vegetables and Fruits to go to waste, as there are so as many ways to save and use them. So stop feeling guilty, and make a scan thru your fridge every day or two, and honestly assess what will be used and what will not. For those that will not, now is the time to find alternate plans for them.
photo by: The Wandering Angel