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Don't Throw It Out! How to Get the Most out of Your Overripe Fruit

Do you have a pantry of fruit going bad and are tired of wasting money? Try these 6 ideas for ways to make the most of your overripe fruit.

1. FREEZE IT!

This is our number one suggestion because freezing can help put a hold on the rapid breakdown of fruit. Freeze everything from the end of season extra blueberries to browning bananas for use at a later date. Fruit in the freezer will delicious for 6 months to a year if frozen correctly.

Here are some freezing tips:

- Cut all pieces of fruit into smaller sections and after freezing on a tray to avoid clumping, put into labeled plastic zip bags or into plastic containers.

- Juice lemons, limes, oranges, fruit puree, and other juiced citrus fruits into ice cube trays for easy use.

- Frozen bananas are good for everything! Whether you add them to baking banana bread, save them for smoothies or dip them in chocolate and freeze, bananas should never go to waste! You can also dice bananas and freeze them immediately on trays and then place them into plastic zip bags for use.

- Fruits with seeds or pits can have the pits removed and then diced or sliced and used later for smoothies or cobbler.

- Freeze fruits like apple pears, seasonal apples and your favorite pear varieties after rolling in lemon juice to prevent browning.

2. Use the Peels!

Whether you have limes, grapefruits, oranges, satsumas, apples, pears, tangerines or lemons, shave the fruits and save the peels to use at a later time. Roast the peels together or separately at a low heat until they are dry and lightly roasted. Ideal oven temperature can be between 200 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit depending on the fruit peel.

3. Make smoothies

Overripe fruit is often extra sweet and can make your smoothies extra tasty. Use your favorite recipe and freeze leftover smoothie in small glass jars to enjoy later. Pretend your smoothie is sorbet and save for dessert.

4. Make jams or sauces!

One of the best uses for overripe fruits is to make them into jams or sauces. Pick your favorite jam recipe and use up the rest of your fruit. Strawberries, mangoes, peaches, and berries can all look a little sad as they over-ripen, but in fruit sauces or jams, they will taste delicious. Use fruit sauces on ice cream or to top desserts like cheesecake.

5. Juice it!

You can make popsicles or put the juice into ice cube trays for later use! As long as the fruit does not have an off taste, it can be juiced and the sweet flavors will help decrease food waste and make a nutritious beverage.

6. Pies, Cobblers, and Crumbles or other desserts!

As fruit ages, it often becomes sweeter. This can help enhance the flavor of your pies, berry crumbles or other fruit desserts. Just cut off damaged parts of the fruit and dice into the desired sized pieces. Even if your strawberries are starting to get a little unattractive, when cut up into a strawberry rhubarb pie, they will still make a tasty treat!

[Image via Shutterstock]

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