Overripe Fruit Blues
Do you ever feel like you buy fruit and it seems like only the fruit flies enjoy it once it’s overripe?
I have a confession. Yes, I am a bit obsessive on occasion. I love fresh fruit when it’s at the peak of season and I’ve been known to go overboard when I buy. Sweet Georgia peaches? I’ll take a dozen! Plump blueberries? A few pints in the cart. Oh, strawberries? Might as well grab a couple quarts. Watermelon? Better get a big one. And bananas? Only a big bunch will do!
While I might be exaggerating a wee bit, it’s not by much. There are only the two of us here and how much fruit can, or should, we consume in a week? The obsession became a stressor when some of Nature’s bounty started to look less than stellar on the kitchen counter.
I buy mostly organic produce and since I don’t have money to burn, I’ve also made a solemn vow to not waste any produce. Period. End of discussion.
So, I got creative. You remember the saying, ‘Necessity is the mother of invention.’ right? It’s true.
My Save the Overripe Fruit Crusade
The fruit I’m talking about saving are the ones with wrinkled skin and not so appealing to eat by hand any longer. You know – past its prime, overripe. It’s not quite ready to become future dirt in my garden so I backed away from the compost bin and headed to the blender.
A super simple way to save your overripe fruit is to puree and freeze it. First cut away any spoiled spots, run it in the blender or food processor, and freeze the puree in ice cube trays for later.
Just about any type of fruit will work! Berries, melons, stone fruits, pineapples, mangoes, or whatever you happen to have. If any fruit has a pit, you’ll need to remove it before pureeing. And for things like peaches and nectarines that have skin, you can remove it or leave it on. It all depends on your taste.
Bananas get treated differently. When their peels look like cheetahs you couldn’t pay me to eat one, but if I peel, cut in thirds, place in a freezer bag and freeze – I love them!
Put That Overripe Fruit to Work
Of course, the fun and creative reward is putting these frozen fruit purees to work! Blend them into smoothies, shakes, and cocktails; use them to cool drinks; or let them melt and use as a dessert topping.
The bananas have even more versatility. A super ripe banana that’s been frozen for at least 24 hours makes a fabulous frozen treat that rivals ice cream. Or you can try them smothered in chocolate with this recipe… FROZEN BANANA BITES.
Remember… waste not, want not.
What are your best tips for using up overripe fruit?