Posts tagged "fruit"

Five fantastic things to do with overripe fruit

“Overripe” is a bit of a euphemism – I mean fruit that’s past its raw eating prime. Fruit that’s going off a bit, frankly. I don’t mean mouldy or otherwise rank fruit, just fruit that’s just not as fresh as it once was.

Bake fruity breads, cakes and muffins

I’m pretty sure everyone knows that overripe bananas make THE BEST banana bread, right? When they’re brown and soft, they are easier to mush, sweeter and more banana-y. There are thousands of banana bread recipes out there from the simple to the … well, not complex but slightly less simple.

Other verging-on-too-soft fruit can used for baking too – orange muffins, summer berries including strawberries can be used for an oat-topped “crisp” pudding, and of course apples can be crumbled, pie-d or stewed.

Freeze citrus fruit juice

Citrus fruits don’t follow the same sliding scale of ripeness as other fruit – they’re either good or they’re bad, no real inbetween.

If you’ve had some oranges, lemons or limes in your fruit bowl for a while and don’t think they’ll last much longer – act now! Squeeze the juice out of them and freeze it in ice cube trays for use in future cooking.

Or if that’s too much, cut them into wedges or slices and freeze them separated out on a cookie sheet (once they’re frozen, you can put them in a bag or box – but freezing them separately prevents them from sticking together so much). They can them be used in drinks – working as both fruit and ice cubes.
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How can I reuse or recycle apple peels & cores?

Frequent commenter on Recycle This, Linda, the bookstorebabe, emailed to tell us about a recipe for using up apple peel and cores:

I just read this on Craftster, about making jelly from the peels and cores of apples. Seems like a nice way to use something that otherwise would be composted. Especially if you’re making apple pie or such like. No, I haven’t tried it yet, but I plan on it! And I follow your website, so just thought I’d pass along the link. The first page has the recipe, the second page has some info I didn’t know about how jelly jells and such.

You have a lovely website – full of so many useful ideas!

Great link, thanks! I love recipes that use up the bits of food usually thrown in the compost bin – especially at the moment when so many people are cooking up gluts of apples.

Another reuse for apple peels is to make apple cider vinegar – either using a wild fermentation method or using cultivated winemaker’s yeast.

We also feed chopped apple peel/cores to our chickens – an indirect way of putting them in the compost really.

Any other suggestions? What do you do with your peels and cores?

How can I “repair” too runny/too solid homemade jam/jelly?

It’s very definitely jam season at the moment (in the UK at least) and I thought it might be fun to hear people’s favourite fixes for sticky situations (ho ho!) when the preserves don’t come out quite as you’d hoped.

How do you test for the set point? The most common method seems to be the “when it wrinkles on a cold plate” test but anyone use any other methods?

What do you do if it’s too runny once in jars? Or too solid?

And, not quite in the question but related, do you use/reuse anything interesting instead of commercial-bought pectin?

And any tips for reusing old jars? Reusable alternatives for waxed discs?

Finally, what do you do with jam that can’t be saved – stuff that burnt in the pan for example?

(“Why is this on Recycle This?” I hear you ask because it is a little tenuous as a “repair”. Well, one, because with the giant piles of fruit in our kitchen at the moment, I’ve got jam on my mind. And two, because jam failures may lead to food waste – and if we can save some rescueable jam from going in the bin, that’s a good thing.)

How can I reuse or recycle expired fruit juice?

fruit-juiceWe’ve had an email from Catherine:

I can compost out of date fruit juice right?

Right! Fruit juice can go straight into the compost heap – just be careful not to make the compost heap/bin too soggy (it needs to be damp, not too wet or too dry, to optimise the composting process).

Before you throw it on there though, make sure it’s really gone off – don’t trust dates on packaging and don’t forget the difference between “use by”, “sell by” and “best before”. All the fruit juice cartons we’ve got to hand – both the refrigerated stuff and the non-refrigerated ones – have best before dates on them (and guidelines about how soon to drink it after opening), not use by.

Since I’m not a fan of fruit either in whole or juiced form, I can’t think of too many reuse ideas – but I’m sure Recycle This’s awesome readers will be able to come up with something — can more acidic juices (pineapple juice, for example) be used for cleaning as you would with lemon juice?

(One thought I did have was to freeze the juice before it goes off if you don’t think you’ll be able to use it in time – freeze it in ice cube trays rather than in its native container so it’s easier to reuse in small amounts.)

How can I reuse or recycle lemon rind?

lemonsWe’ve had an email from Dani:

You’ve said to avoid composting a lot of lemon peel, what can I do with it instead? There isn’t any juice left, just the tough yellow skin.

You should avoid composting too much of any citrus fruits in one go because it can make the compost overly acidic and when the peel is fresh, can make worms pull little bitter pursed lips faces and you don’t want to annoy your friendly compost worms ;)

You can, perhaps obviously, grated the peel to use as zesty pieces in baking or make candied lemon peel for snacking/cake-decorating.

Around the home, lemon peel is handy for freshening up garbage disposals or dry the skin and use it to add a fragrance to homemade pot pourri.

Any other suggestions?