If you’re anything like me, I loathe even the thought of throwing out food, but throwing out my fruits and veggies? It is my worst nightmare!
I am one of those people that gets super excited when I get my box of organic fruits and veggies (obvs). I see all the beautiful colors and textures and I must, literally, have it ALL! I just always want to make sure that at the end of the week (when I'm ready for my new box to hit my doorstep) I don't want a fridge full of leftover fruits and veggies! I want to put those bad boys to good use! So here are a few things I do in order to preserve and save my fruits and veggies!
1. Make smoothies or juice
Tossed in the blender, you'll never know your fruits and veggies aren’t at their peak anymore!
Simply, place your leftover fruits and/or veggies into a blender. Mix it with just ice, or add yogurt or milk to thicken it up.
2. Make bread and muffins
Since already sweet fruits get even sweeter as they ripen, they’re ideal ingredients for quick breads.
We all know brown bananas are great for making banana bread, but peaches (think peach muffins), raspberries (raspberry scone anyone?), blueberries (can’t say no to blueberry pancakes!) are also great in breads, muffins, and scones.
3. Make jam or jelly
Making a jam or jelly is perfect for mushy or mealy fruit because whenever you cook fruit it doesn’t really matter what the texture is!
Simply muddle strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, or other fruits, and add them to a sauce pan. Then, mix them with sugar and organic fruit juice and let everything simmer together. You can add pectin to help the spreads thicken for a better consistency.
4. Make fruit-infused booze
Bruised pineapple and overripe pears are key for this, but any kind of fruit will do! Life hack: you can infuse vodka with anything. Note, you can also try different kinds of alcohol, such as gin.
Once you’ve decided on a pairing, let the mixture of fruit and alcohol sit for a couple weeks. Then strain it and serve. Want it faster? Use your overripe fruit to make red or white sangria! Lighter-colored fruits, such as green grapes and peaches, are better with white wine, while blackberries, red grapes and other darker fruits do well with red.
5. Freeze it for later
I am a fan of freezing my leftover fruits and veggies, rather than throwing them away. Simply wash it, cut it up, place it in either a Ziploc bag or Tupperware and freeze it for later!
Frozen fruit can be used to make smoothies and baked goods. If you’re freezing stone fruit, such as peaches, make sure to remove the pit first, and similarly for bananas, remove the peel.
6. Make a soup
When you’re left with veggies such as zucchini, tomatoes, green beans, onions, etc. the easiest way to use them up is to make a soup! Since your overripe vegetables will only soften more in the boiling broth, it won’t matter that they’re not fresh and crisp anymore.
Simply throw your veggies, broth, spices, and organic herbs in a stock pot, and let them simmer. You can also puree softened carrots, cauliflower, or potatoes with milk and other seasonings to make for a creamier soup.
7. Make a stir fry
Almost any medley of vegetables can be turned into a stir-fry!
Ingredients should be added to the wok one type at a time with the denser and longer-to-cook vegetables (like broccoli and carrots) added earliest so everything finishes cooking at the same time. Tie everything together with a basic stir-fry sauce and there you go, a simple way to use all your leftover veggies. No veggie left behind!
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