When it comes to food, a surplus is better than a shortage. We all buy more food than we actually need, which results in some of the food being wasted and thrown out in the garbage. A 2012 report published by the National Resources Defense Council suggests that 40 percent of the food in the United States is wasted.1 Of course, we cannot eat food that has gone stale or fruits that are rotten.
But, before they go beyond the point of no return, there are some creative ways in which we can recycle and reuse that food. After all, wasting food is a terrible thing to do considering that many underprivileged people in many underdeveloped countries hardly get a square meal a day. All you have to do is just remove the truly inedible parts and get inventive. Here are some interesting ways to use overripe fruits.
An ingenious method to make use of fruits that are not so plump and pretty is to wrap them in some dough and turn them into a delicious pie. Almost all the fruits that are sitting in your refrigerator for a long time can be used this way and you can even try to combine more than one fruit at a time.
2. Top It Up
Overripe fruits have already done half the job for you. You can make a tasty sauce for pancakes or sundaes. Simply chop up the syrupy, ripe fruits or mash them and create an instant topping for sundaes or pancakes.
3. Salad Dressing
If the overripe fruit is too mushy to chop, toss it into a blender with some olive oil, vinegar, herbs, and seasonings. The result is a delicious, slightly sweet dressing for a salad. Add some salty nuts or cheese to make it tastier.
4. Jam Up
What can you do with fruits that are soft and mushy? Mash them even more and turn them into a delicious jam that can be used as a spread for your bread. Strawberries, oranges, mangoes and other fruits are ideal for this and go well with bread.
Popsicles are perfect on a hot summer day. Blend overripe fruits in a blender, pour them into popsicle making molds and place a stick halfway into it right in the middle. Place it in the freezer until it freezes. Enjoy its nutrition and cool yourself instantly.
This is a tried and tested technique that won’t fail you. Just chop up the fruits into small cubes and toss them into your blender. Pour in some cold milk, add a dash of honey and you have a rich-textured, nutritious smoothie ready in no time. Just ensure that the fruits are still tasty. In fact, the concentrated flavor of over-ripe fruits can make smoothies tastier.
7. Get Saucy
No, not in the literal sense. But, overripe fruits can be converted into a tasty sauce for meat. As long as the overripe fruit has not lost all of its juice, you can still extract its flavor to make a sauce. Chop the fruits into small bits or run it in a blender and smear it on some chicken. A dash of balsamic vinegar can further enhance its flavor.
8. Bake ‘Em
Overripe bananas can be used to bake banana bread. They taste great and still pack most of the potassium and dietary fiber content. Besides bananas, even nectarines, strawberries, and peaches make an excellent combination while baking bread, muffins, and scones. Just chop or mash the fruits and get baking.
9. Juice It
Extremely ripe fruits are easy to squash and are perfect to make a thick juice. Puree the fruit in a blender or food processor and strain it, if required. Add a little milk and a spoon of sugar or honey and it becomes a tasty milkshake.
10. Fruit Leather
Many fruits that are beyond the squishy stage and have become wizened can be used to make fruit leather. Blend up the fruit and spread a thin layer on a dehydrator rack or bake it at a low temperature in the oven until most of its water content has evaporated. Allow it to cool and turn leathery. It makes an energizing quick snack that can also be packed easily.
|↑1||Wasted: How America Is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill. National Resources Defense Council. 2017.|