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Whenever you have fruit that is close to going bad, instead of throwing it away, just cut, chop, or puree it in a blender and freeze in appropriate size containers for future baking or for yummy smoothies.
I do this all the time. I buy fresh veggies and fruit and puree them and put them in ice cube trays then put them in a zip lock bag and mark them for the freezer. This makes making smoothies quick. I also buy lemons in large bags, quarter them and freeze them. I like a hot lemon drink first thing in the morning and when company comes over for tea or a glass of H2O ....no mess.
When I find really cheap jars of jam, I buy at least 2. I open and start using alternatively so they are both about half or more empty at the same time. Then I take whatever fruit I have that's a bit spoiled. I cook the fruit in its own juice, or even in microwave for a few minutes, then put the fresh fruit in with the remaining jam so I have two new jars of jam.
I just keep doing this - and I have had some great combinations. Eventually it has to come to an end, but I use those last dregs on my morning cereal. Also of course I keep the jars. Then when I buy two jars of cheap jam I share them out amongst the old jars, fill with fruit and away we go again.
I do not really know how to cook jam, so this means I have jars of preserves without much trouble. Sometimes, I put oranges or mandarins with their peel sliced and call it marmalade. Sometimes, I put lemons in with pickles and spices like cumin and basil. I just got two jars of thick Rhubarb jams for less than one dollar. They were on the bottom shelf at the back.
Is your fruit too ripe to eat? Don't throw it away. Peel your bananas, apples, pears, peaches, plums, etc. Slice them and put in a saute pan with 1 tablespoon butter and a sprinkle of brown sugar. As the fruit warms it will break down creating a sauce. Use this sauce over pancakes, ice cream, or pound cake. It is yummy and elegant.
By Beachers from West Covina, CA
My Daddy does this, but instead of using the sauce over cake, ice cream or whatever, he takes a can of refrigerated biscuits, rolls out each biscuit, cutting them in strips to drop down in the sauce, allows it to cook a bit longer to cook the "dumplings". It's fruit & dumplings. We grew up on this. It's very good with any kind of fruit, especially berries. If you have access to cheap or free fruits, this is one inexpensive dessert, that doesn't take long to prepare.
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Tips for using fruit that is soft and a little too ripe. Post your ideas.
Use up fruits and or vegetables that have begun to soften and put in a blender or on top of stove to soften. Use a masher or a fork (a masher is preferable.) If you are using fruit, add a little juice or water. Use in preparing breads, muffins and use just a quarter of the oil or less if baking. If you are not baking. Mash up fruits, add a little water, pour over ice cream.
By Sandi G
If it is a tomato, I take it outside and mash it over my garden and the soft seeds grow into a tomato plant quickly. It is good for the dirt, and it produces it's own fruit.
For making peach icecream, the extremely
ripe peaches are the best flavored. We go
to the farmers market and they discount
the price because most people don't think
about using them in ice cream when they
are so ripe. They take a little longer to
peel, but you will get raves for your
Jeane in Texas
With overly ripe bananas, you can make banana bread. Yum!
A favorite recipe of BANANA BREAD really helps us use the VERY RIPE BANANA's. It is a must that the Banana's are extremely ripe for the best flavor to make the banana bread perfect! We never throw away banana's that are turning brown-black. We can toss them in the freezer for later use or whip up a batch of banana bread and enjoy! I have a recipe that everyone loves, family, my children, to first time guests...
1 Cup of Sugar
1 Stick of Butter (softened)
2 Ripe Banana's
1 1/2 Cup Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Power
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
Chopped Nuts if Desired
Blend first 4 ingredients, beat in the remaining ingredients. Spray Loaf Pan, pour in batter, Bake for 50 minutes @ 350 degrees
For Muffins, bake for 15 minutes @ 350 degrees
Use fruits that have started to soften and put into a blender with a touch of juice or water. After doing this put in refrigerator and let sit for a while. (you may freeze and thaw for later use) After thawing, pour over ice cream, cereal, oatmeal etc. I have also used in baked goods. Also try vegetables this way. Use your imagination. Have fun with it.
Fruits usually go overripe with me because I don't use them quickly enough. Being short of time, I simply chuck them into a blender with some milk and icecream. Feel free to mix different types of fruits for great smoothies!
Recently, I bought some blueberries which went soft within 2 days. I mashed them, stirred in some cream and raw sugar and froze them for a seriously yummy natural icecream. Could work well with any fruit - melon, babnanas, strawberries, etc.
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When the fruit in our fruit basket starts to ripen a bit faster than normal, I peel it, if necessary, cut it up into chunks and then freeze it in a layer on a cookie sheet. When frozen, I put the fruit chunks into freezer storage bags and pop them back into the freezer. When I make a muffin or pancake recipe calling for frozen fruit, I just take out the right amount. This way I always have fruit is still useful and adds to the nutritional value of my baking.
By Laura from Gig Harbor, WA
If I notice say my strawberries are starting to go bad (when you don't want to pop one in your mouth but they don't look completely inedible) I make up a batch of muffins and chop up the strawberries and put them in there. And bananas, of course we all know about banana bread/muffins but what I've also done is mash them up and add them to my pancake mix. Makes great pancakes! (11/16/2008)
Very good ideas, I also do white potatoes the same if they are going bad. I cook them, make mash potatoes. What we don't eat I freeze them. They are very good, good luck. (08/30/2009)