Simple solutions for using up fruit

Apples

Stewing apples in a little water is a great way of prolonging their life.  Stewed apples can be used as a base for many meals and desserts, or frozen for future use.  

  • Adding them as a topping for your favourite breakfast cereal
  • Serving stewed apples with a dollop of yoghurt or custard for a fresh and healthy dessert
  • Adding them to cakes or muffins for a delicious warm treat
  • Baking them with a crumble topping for a warming winter dessert

 

Apricots

Once apricots have lost their firmness they should be used immediately as they perish at a rapid rate.

Some ideas for using apricots are:

  • poach them to use as a dessert or on your favourite breakfast cereal.
  • Stewed apricots will also add extra sweetness to stews and casseroles.
  • You can use them in salads for colour and sweetness, or puree to make a compote.
  • Apricots can also be frozen for use later

 

Berries

  • Add to porridge or muesli
  • Add to yoghurt

To use up:

  • Blend in a smoothie
  • Make your own compote by simmering cut up fruits with the juice from oranges, and then mix through yoghurt or serve on top of porridge.
  • Add to wholemeal muffins

 

Bananas

If they’re just ripe:

  • Snack on as they are
  • Grill on the BBQ
  • Slice and add to yoghurt as a dessert
  • Freeze on a stick as a healthy treat on a hot day
  • Chop up and add to fruit salad just before serving

If they’re over-ripe:

  • Mash up and add to homemade wholemeal muffins or pancakes
  • Use in scones, muffins or healthy banana loaves
  • Freeze for a day or two and then blend with cinnamon and possible nuts, to make a healthier ice cream

 

Cantaloupe / Rockmelon

  • Cut up into wedges and eat on its own
  • Cut into cubes and have with natural yoghurt as a dessert
  • Think outside the (fruit) box
  • Can be a great addition to a vegetable or savoury salad. Just cut it up into cubes, or roll the flesh into balls, and add to your favourite salad for some refreshing sweetness.
  • Serve slices or balls of melon wrapped in prosciutto on an antipasto platter for a starter. The sweetness of the fruit and saltiness of the prosciutto complement each other, and your guests, or family, will love it!

 

Citrus fruits

Don’t throw away any parts of citrus fruits, all of it can be used.

The peel:

  • Add to tea to create a citrus flavour, or to a fruit juice or smoothie as a garnish
  • Add to your bath to leave you smelling and feeling fresh

Sliced:

  • Slices of citrus fruits, particularly lemon and limes, can be added to a drink for a citrus tang, even just plain water.
  • Citrus peels are also great for adding flavour to a roast chicken by putting it inside the chicken before roasting or baking.
  • A slice of citrus peel can also be added to your brown sugar to keep it soft.

The juice:

  • Citrus juice is a great addition to recipes, including drinks, sweet treats and drizzled over seafood dishes, but it will only last in the fridge 2-3 days.
  • Try freezing the juice to make it last longer – freeze freshly squeezed juice in ice cube trays in the freezer, once frozen seal in zip lock bags, these can last for up to 4 months

The zest:

  • Use zest in sweet muffins and cakes, as well as salads and chicken dishes.
  • The zest can be frozen – pack by itself in self-sealing bags for up to 3 months.

The leftover fruit cup:

  • After removing the juice (and possibly the zest) from the citrus fruit, freeze the empty cups of fruit in the freezer to serve future dishes in, such as yoghurt or sorbet.

 

Lemon

  • Don’t throw away your wrinkly lemons – they may still have some juice left in them, and should not be discarded on its outward appearance.
  • Freeze extra lemons – you should first wash the skins well and dry. Then place them in a zip-lock bag and store in the freezer where they will generally last for up to 4 weeks or more. To juice these lemons, defrost them first by putting them in cold water for 15 minutes, or place them in the microwave for a few seconds, and they will be softer and easier to juice. You can also grate the zest straight off a frozen lemon.
  • Freeze the lemon juice – Squeeze the lemons and pour the juice into an ice cube tray. Once frozen, the cubes can then be transferred to a zip lock bag and kept, frozen, for several months. Each cube is the equivalent juice of one medium lemon.

How to use ALL the lemon:

Zest and juice:

  • Grate zest and squeeze juice on salads
  • Add lemon zest or juice to vegetables before roasting
  • Make a lemon loaf or a lemon delicious pudding
  • Add slices and the juice to a lemon risotto
  • Make preserved lemons

Slices or wedges:

  • Sliced in cool and hot drinks
  • Grilled or baked chicken can be made with slices of lemon
  • Serve a lemon wedge with fish fillets or on an Asian salad such as papaya or vermicelli

 

Oranges

  • Orange quarters, or wedges, are a great snack for children and adults alike.
  • Peeled oranges pieces are a great snack by themselves, but can also be added to a fruit salad, or a vegetable salad for a tangy, citrus flavour.
  • The juice of an orange can provide a drink or be watered down and frozen into an icy-pole, using an icy-pole mould.
  • Fresh orange juice can add a citrus tang to your cooking when poured over chicken and meat dishes.
  • Orange rind can be grated and added to cakes or muffins, or savoury meals, for added flavour.
  • Any leftover orange rind or flesh can be frozen in zip lock bags and used later.

 

Watermelon

  • Watermelons are a great snack on their own for a summery picnic or afternoon snack, so cut it into wedges to eat in your hands.
  • Cut up melon flesh can be a colourful addition to a fruit salad.
  • Combine cubes of watermelon with feta, mint, red onion and black olives, with a drizzle of olive oil and lime juice, to make a delicious side salad to a barbequed meal.
  • Chunks of watermelon can be added to juices, or pureed with ice and with a sprig of mint to make a refreshing summer drink.
  • Try scooping watermelon flesh into balls using an ice-cream scoop or spoon, and freeze in an airtight container for a refreshing and fun summer snack!
  • Once you’ve scooped the flesh of the watermelon out of the rind, use the shell as a dish for a fruit salad.
  • Add it to a smoothie for added sweetness

 

 

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