How to Use up Fresh Fruit and Veg
Whether your fruit and veg is going off quicker than you expected, or you’re looking to preserve seasonal produce for a later date, we’ve got some top tips on how to use and store your fresh fruit and veg!
Freezing fruit that’s approaching the end of its life is a great way to make sure that you’re not wasting perfectly good food!
Grapes freeze particularly well and can be eaten straight from the freezer as a sweet, cold treat.
You can also add them directly to drinks like wine to get a nice chilled glass without watering anything down!
Berries are also ideal for freezing and are super convenient to grab in the morning to add to a smoothie or on top of your cereal or yoghurt.
Beware however, as berries can often go mushy when frozen and defrosted, so they’re best enjoyed added to other meals instead of as a snack!
Bananas turning brown faster than you can blink? Not a problem!
Simply slice or mash them up and then pop into the freezer.
They’re fantastic for adding into smoothies or using to bake with, but you do need to ensure that you peel them before freezing!
We love using defrosted, mashed bananas to make our Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth, then you why not make your own fruit ice lollies?
Our Bellini Popsicles are absolutely amazing with some added peaches, strawberries or raspberries added in!
If you’d rather have a non-alcoholic version of this frozen treat, then this recipe is also really easy to adapt as well.
(If bellinis aren’t your thing, then our Elderflower Gin Ice Lollies are also perfect for adding extra fruit to!)
Now, don’t get us wrong, dried herbs are really tasty and do a fantastic job of adding extra flavour to a dish, but sometimes you just can’t beat the flavour of fresh!
If you’ve got fresh herbs that are starting to look a bit tired, then you can preserve these by chopping them up finely and then popping them into ice cube trays.
Simply cover your herbs with some water and then freeze!
If you’ve got veg that’s fast approaching its use by date, then you can actually freeze it and use it another time!
You’ll need to make sure that you blanch your vegetables before freezing them, as this will help to protect them from going mushy when thawed or losing nutrients.
Blanching works by briefly placing the vegetables into boiling water before immediately plunging them into ice cold water to stop the cooking process.
Pat dry thoroughly and then pop into the freezer. Make sure you store in airtight containers or freezer bags with as much air removed as possible!
On that note, you could also grate or finely chop vegetables like carrots, onions or peppers and pop them into a freezer bag with an optional pinch of chilli flakes or herbs.
This mixture can be frozen for up to a month and can be used straight from frozen in sauces and casseroles for an extra flavour punch!
Got loads of potatoes lying around?
Believe it or not, you can actually freeze mashed potatoes!
Our Creamy Mashed Potatoes recipe freezes really well – simply portion out and store in an airtight container or freezer bag.
Once defrosted, you may find that you need to mash your potatoes a little bit to ensure that they’re nice and smooth and there’s no excess water!
Batch cooking is not only a really great way to use up your fresh fruit and veg, but it’s also fab if you’ve got a busy lifestyle and don’t always have the time to cook each evening.
One of our favourite things to freeze is soup as it’s a really effective way to use up vegetables and is perfect for both lunch or dinner.
Soup isn’t the only thing that’s fantastic for batch cooking and freezing.
In fact, lots of our recipes include loads of vegetables and are suitable for freezing, like our Cornish Pasty Pie.
Looking for more recipes that can be frozen? Check out our freezable archive here for a full list of our dishes that can be frozen!
Are you part of our Facebook Group?
It’s the perfect place to get inspiration for ways to use up fresh fruit and veg, and our community is so supportive, no matter where you are on your slimming journey!