So Bad It’s Good
We’ve all been there, that moment when you realize that in spite of your best intentions, some of the fruit or veg in your fridge didn’t get used in the way you originally hoped. Meal plans changed, life got busy and the next thing you knew your crisper drawer was well on its way to becoming a produce coffin.
Luckily all is not lost! There are lots of way to give produce that is past its prime a new life. So before you consider tossing anything into the compost bin, shed those guilty feelings and check out our top 10 ideas to use up all the little leftover pieces of produce that you don’t want to see go to waste.
DROP THE (SOUP) BASE
Salvage aging veggies by dicing and then slowly cooking them in butter or oil until soft to create the perfect base for any veg-forward soup . . . just add broth.
Tomatoes can be cooked down and mashed to create a better than store bought pasta sauce – while you’re at it, you can throw in some of the other veggies you need to use up to create a chunky marinara.
BAKE IT UP
Sure, banana or zucchini bread is all the rage when it come to baking with fruits and veggies that need to be used up, but what about shredding carrots and apples to make these delicious Morning Glory Muffins?
When fruit is getting overripe, chop it up and freeze it for a quick addition when it comes time to blend your next smoothie.
I DIP YOU DIP
Got a food processor? Then get ready to puree your way to dips, sauces, pestos, chimichuri and all of the other goodness that helps a dish have that something extra. Check out this awesome list of ideas to get started.
SLOW & LOW
Maximize veggie flavors by taking your time to cook them at a low temperature for a long period of time - you’ll be glad you did.
Cut wrinkly tomatoes in half, sprinkle with salt and arrange cut-side up on a cookie sheet. Bake on low for several hours to create pseudo sun-dried tomatoes.
Roast your root vegetables (carrots, potatoes, yams & beets) after tossing with olive oil, salt & pepper and cook until crispy brown.
JAM ON IT
Softening berries can be simmered with sugar until they've broken down into a syrupy spread that can be refrigerated and drizzled on toast, yogurt, ice cream or pancakes and waffles.
When in doubt, throw everything into a pot (think carrots, celery, quartered onions and halved garlic bulbs with the skin on, etc.) with some water, salt and whole peppercorns. Then simmer for a few hours. Strain out the veggies and you are left with a wonderful homemade kitchen scrap stock that can be frozen until you’re ready to use in the future.