Are you wondering if there is something you can do with food that starts to go bad? Other than throwing it away? Stale bread can be used in various recipes, and old eggs can be cooked even if the expiration date has been reached.
Sometimes we buy more food than we end up eating. This happens especially when we’re buying food for a week or more. Then, you start to see some spots on your fruits and veggies, bread becomes hard, and eggs reach the expiration date. So we throw away a lot of items.
But food that starts to go bad isn’t hopeless. Yet! Some of it can still make some surprisingly delicious dishes even if it’s past its prime.
5 smart ideas for food that starts to go bad
1. Stale bread
In time, the bread interior gets dry, hard, and crumbly. Usually, that’s the moment you throw it away. Instead of doing this, convert bread into something else.
Bread pudding is one of the few recipes that require you to let your bread go stale, so heat the oven! Mix hot milk with butter, whisk some eggs with sugar and cinnamon and throw the bread cubes in it. If you want, you can also add fruit. Then, mix everything and bake! You can serve it the way it is, or with vanilla custard.
You can also cut stale bread into cubes, drizzle them with olive oil, season with salt, pepper, and your favorite spices, and bake them into croutons. Store them in paper bags. You can also freeze them for a longer period. When thawed, you can refresh them in the oven for about three minutes. And there’s another thing you can do with your stale bread and your freezer: breadcrumbs!
2. Mushy or crushed berries
Usually, you buy fresh berries to have them as is – fresh and whole! –, as a snack or dessert topping. You never buy them fresh just to blend them in smoothies or in cakes, isn’t it? That’s what you have frozen berries for, a cheaper option.
Unfortunately, berries are a food that starts to go bad quickly – especially strawberries and raspberries. But fortunately, that makes them perfect for desserts, puree or toppings! Mashup raspberries that begin to go bad and mix them in your yogurt. If you have strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries, make a thick sauce by boiling them with sugar, a few drops of lemon juice and some water. You can use this sauce to top your pancakes or other desserts. You can also throw mushy berries in smoothies!
3. Near-the-end veggies
It’s good to have some stock in your freezer because you don’t know when you’ll need some for soups or other recipes. If you have some old veggies that start to go bad, remove their ends and brown parts and boil them to make a vegetable stock.
It’s good to check the expiration date of your food. But when it comes to eggs, things are tricky. You can’t rely only on the packaging. If you've been tossing away your eggs based on the dates on the carton — you're wrong. Eggs are often still good to eat long after they’re past their expiration date. If you want to test how fresh they are, do the float test. Just fill a bowl with cold water and place your eggs in it. If they sink to the bottom and lay flat on their sides, they're very fresh. What if they stand on one end at the bottom of the bowl? That means they're a few weeks old but still good to eat. If they float to the surface, they're no longer fresh enough to eat.
If you have old eggs that don’t float on the surface of the water, boil them! Eat them in sandwiches or salads. You can also put them in a beet brine to make beautiful purple pickled eggs. That way, you can eat them the next day or several weeks later. Store them in your fridge or in a cool and dark place.
You buy two pounds of bananas and after two days you notice they have brown spots and they are too soft. So soft that you can’t imagine eating them as is. Among the food that starts to go bad, bananas are the best choice for desserts. You can make banana bites by freezing them. Then, slice them and dip each slice in melted chocolate. Let them cool off and enjoy them with your family or friends!
You can also mash the bananas that start to go bad into homemade ice cream, smoothies, or even go further and make banana bread.
Think twice before throwing away your food! It’s a waste of money for you and a waste of resources for the Earth!