Saturday, August 15, 2009

Waste not, want not, right?

Despite the high price of groceries these days, we still choose to keep fresh fruit on hand for breakfasts and snacks.

Bananas are a huge staple at our house; we very rarely leave a wal-mart or grocery store without them! We also usually have apples in the fridge, and, depending on the current price, grapes. Each spring we are always excited to see strawberries go on sale for the first time of the year, and we generally keep them on hand throughout the spring and summer.

Of course, fruit doesn't last forever, and can go downhill quickly if not eaten soon enough. Especially the bananas and strawberries!

And seeing how I hate to simply throw away anything we paid good money for, we have found a few favorite ways to use food that is past its fresh-eating prime, but is still just fine for general consumption.

In other words, I cook with it. :)

Bananas and strawberries are both good for chopping or mashing and adding to pancake batter or muffins.

One of our favorite snacks is to take a ripe and/or spotty banana (too mushy for eating alone for our tastes!) and mash it up with peanut butter and syrup or honey. This is yummy with any kind of cracker. We like ritz best. Animal cookies work too.

Today I had almost half a carton of strawberries that had seriously started to wilt, so I made strawberry syrup out of them to go with this morning's pancakes. We all enjoyed the treat!

I'm going to leave you with my favorite banana muffin recipe, but first I want to know:
Do you make the most of your not-as-fresh fruit or do you just chunk it? If you're frugal with your fruit, what are some of the ways you use it up?

Really Good Banana Muffins
1 egg
1 small-med ripe banana, mashed
1 c buttermilk
1/4 - 1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. oil
1 c quick cooking oats
1 c + 2 Tb flour (any combo of white and whole wheat - I like half of each)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

Heat oven to 400.

Mash banana against side of bowl. Tip bowl to other side and beat egg. Combine egg and banana; add milk. Stir in brown sugar and oil (and a splash of vanilla if you want).
Sprinkle with oats. Cover oats with other dry ingredients. Gently mix dry ingredients on top of oats until baking powder and soda are combined with flour, then mix all until flour/oat mixture is just moistened.

Fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake 20-25 minutes.

Makes 12 hearty muffins. Also good with chocolate chips added!


momtofivekids said...

The banana, PB and honey on crackers sounds good. My kids just might like that.

Jennifer said...

I just threw out an entire carton of strawberries...just makes me "sick" to do it! If I notice my fruit has been waiting in the fridge too long, before it crosses the line, I freeze it and throw it into smoothies! Smoothies aren't my favorite but I'm trying to teach myself to like them (I try to make them healthy...ugh) and I'm glad it don't waste the fruit.

Cindy said...

I hate to throw food away. Like your banana muffins, I like to make banana bread out of ripe bananas. There are several good recipes for strawberry bread too although many people dislike the flavor of cooked strawberries, I love it!