Give Old Fruit A New Lease Of Life
11.10.2018 in News
Around £13 billion of food was wasted in 2015, according to a report generated by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee. Finding ways to reduce this figure could save households hundreds of pounds a year as well as having a significant environmental impact. Composting vegetable peel and fruit skins is far better than sending them to landfill; however, the more of our food we can consume without wasting at all, the better.
With supermarkets selling us the idea that fruit and veg is supposed to look a certain way and conform to uniform standards, we are becoming detached from the true life-span of our fresh food items. That blackening banana in your kitchen has more potential than you realise, and there are a number of things you can do to reduce food waste in your household just by giving that slightly-ropey looking fruit and veg a new lease of life.
Apples that are just slightly too ripe to be appealing in your lunchbox are perfect for pies and cakes. Squidgy berries will make a wonderful, juicy summer pudding, and bananas that have forgotten they were once bright yellow will turn into an excellent banana bread or pancakes. Even carrots, courgettes and parsnips can be used to make deliciously moist cakes. Many traditional bakes include fruit, and often it’s the ripest fruit - the fruit you’re less inclined to eat fresh - that turns out best used in this way.
If you’re short on time, pureeing overripe fruit in a blender and freezing it in ice cube trays or food containers gives you a tasty treat to use at your own leisure. The immediate problem is dealt with, and you have gained precious ingredients for smoothies, dessert toppings, cocktails or special-occasion ice cubes. Chopped, overripe bananas frozen and stored in a sandwich bag will also blend from frozen with cocoa powder and maple syrup to make a delicious chocolate-banana ice cream.
Even if freezer space is an issue, your blender can still be put to work on using up leftover fruit. There are endless combinations of fruits that whip up into amazing smoothies, which make quick and tasty breakfasts while offering a range of health benefits. The beauty of this method is that there’s a recipe for every kind of fruit you might have hanging around the kitchen.
Jams and Chutneys
These are great for using up that fruit that seems like it’s already a lost cause. Deseeded and chopped up, most fruit can be turned into a delicious jam that can be packed away until you’re ready to use it on your toast or make a gift of it at Christmas. Chutneys too are a great way of preserving old fruit with masses of flavour.
Whatever your taste, whatever your time restraints, there’s something you can do to reduce food waste in your kitchen. Old fruit isn’t hopeless fruit: it’s just ready to begin its next chapter.