Fruit is just one of those things that I love but it gets overripe quickly, especially when you live in a small apartment where I can only store it in my kitchen which with the amount of cooking that I do, is always a little bit warm which just makes it deteriorate faster.
I’m lucky enough to be fanatic about fruit and usually eat it in time but inevitably I have too much overripe fruit in my counters and I want to avoid this fruit to be wasted.
You know how much I strive to reduce my food waste, so over the years, I’ve become a little bit more ingenious on using up this fruit which is almost going bad yet still able to save it.
I’m here to share with you all the tips that I learned so far on what to do with overripe fruit.
Simplest of them all but honestly sometimes you can just eat the overripe fruit.
Add it to your yogurt/oatmeal
Plain yogurt and oatmeal is fine but certainly not as satisfying as eating it with something sweeter.
Why not mush up overripe fruit and add it to your yogurt or oatmeal? Since the fruit is so ripe it will be sweeter and a good way to naturally sweeten your snack.
Freeze for later
To freeze your fruit, wash it carefully and then freeze it. There’s nothing much to it.
For bananas, you can freeze it with peel but I prefer to chop them up in 2/3 parts and freeze them.
Or puree it and freeze in ice cube trays so you can have handy cubes to add to your smoothies and recipes.
Make a smoothie
Smoothies are great for breakfast, add overripe fruit plus fresh greens, some seeds, add water or milk and you have a nutritious meal to go.
Freeze these smoothies in jars and have a healthy breakfast ready without waking up 1h earlier. Smoothies will last about 2 months in the freezer.
Make fruit juices
Fruit juices to accompany meals or to give to your kids as snacks. If you want to add a bit of sweetener, I’d recommend either honey or maple syrup.
Fruit juices can also be frozen, they’ll last about 1 month in the freezer. Since they have a lot of water content, they’re deteriorate faster in the freezer as opposed to the smoothies.
Make ice cream
Ice cream doesn’t need perfect fruit, it needs sweet fruit!
Make your favorite ice cream with overripe fruit for extra sweetness and less food waste. You now have an excuse to eat ice cream, you’re welcome!
Baking, so much potential to use all those overripe fruits!
Here are a couple of ideas for desserts that you don’t need perfect fruit:
- Cake (think apple cake)
Other than that, both pear and apple sauce are great substitutes for butter in recipes. Getting rid of some calories when baking plus reducing food waste? Do you need more?
Make fruit jam
Fruit jam is very easy to make and can last you for a long time. You just need to add sugar and let it cook to reach the right level of thickness.
Jam can then be used in homemade cookies or just plain simple in a piece of bread.
Jars of jam can be a good consumable zero waste gift to give to your friends and family. I’m a big fan of giving gifts that will be used up rather than buying something that people will lose interest in.
Make meat sauce
Sometimes dishes with meat require a little bit sauce to brighten up the dish and make it juicier.
Strawberries, blueberries, cherries, pineapple, apricot, and peaches are some of the fruits which complement well meat dishes. If you want to add a kick, you could add chili pepper or another spicy element to make the sauce spicier.
Make pancake sauce
While we’re discussing sauces, what if you use that overripe fruit to make a delicious sweet sauce to add to pancakes?
I’m a big fan of weekend pancakes, there’s something so relaxing about having the time to make pancakes on a lazy Sunday morning.
Topping it off with fruit sauce and fresh fruit and dried nuts, there’s no better way to start the day. You don’t even need to add sugar into the sauce, you can just add a bit of water and mashed up fruit.
This sauce would also be great for crepes and waffles.
Make salad dressing
There’s something so magical about salad dressing with a hint of sweet. I’m not a huge fan of sweets myself but I do love to have that sweet acid kick in my salads. Overripe fruits are just amazing for that. To make the salad dressing, just mush it up, add olive oil and some herbs, whisk and you’ve got a beautiful salad dressing.
Bananas might not be the best fruit for this but you can make salad dressing with several fruits. Strawberries, raspberries, pears, oranges, mango, all of these fruits would be amazing incorporated in your salad dressing.
Last but not least, let’s talk about dehydrating fruit. Dehydrated fruit keeps for about 6 months to 1 year and they’re a handy snack to keep in the office. Dehydrating fruit can be the answer if you don’t have much space in the freezer and have too much fruit that’s on the verge of going bad.
There are too many things where you can use overripe fruit, there’s no reason to throw it away. If you’re left with overripe fruit often, consider reviewing your shopping habits, are you buying too much fruit? For me what happens is that I receive a lot of fruit from both my parents and Daniel’s mom and sometimes end up forgetting to plan it to the amount of fruit that I have. Or sometimes I buy fruit and forget that I have too much already at home. It does happen but we just need to realize when it does and change our behavior. But at least now, you have a couple of delicious alternatives for that overripe fruit sitting in your counters.
Let me know how it goes!