While more often than not we buy the produce we need with the intention of eating them over the next few days, something always ends up sitting around, until it has turned moldy, slimy or has shriveled. At this point, our only option would be to toss it in the trash (along with the money that we've spent on it too). But, what solution are we left with? Should we stop buying more produce? While this may be an option, your other alternative would be to produce a gourmet meal with your almost-spoiled produce. Not only will it save you from having to throw away food, you will also save money, and discover some palatable dishes along the way.
One of the best ways to handle this crispy vegetable is to roast it. The high, dry heat draws the sugars to the surface, creating a crispy edge and sweet flavor.
Here's How: Preheat the oven to 450°F. Meanwhile chop the broccoli into even portions and coat with olive oil. Roast until it has turned golden brown and tender. This will roughly take about 10 to 20 minutes. Cooked this way, the broccoli will be good enough to eat for a further five days in the fridge. As an alternative, you can use the cooked broccoli to make a soup.
Will Last: 5 days
Also works with: Potatoes - You can also employ any one of these alternative uses for potatoes instead.
Upon purchasing your leafy greens, take a moment to store them well. These 3 methods will keep your greens crisp for over a week. If the majority of your leaves appear as though they are about to spoil, your best bet will be to juice them.
Here's How: Even if you do not have a juicer on hand, you can use your blender to juice your kale or Swiss chard. To make it all the more appetizing, blend your leafy greens with an apple and some water. Then strain out the pulp - or, if you prefer, you can leave the pulp in.
Will Last: 1 day - enjoy immediately.
Packed with a wide range of vitamins and minerals, cucumbers are certainly a delicious and nutritious addition to a salad or sandwich. However, when they are on the verge of spoiling, they may not look as appetizing. Thankfully, this common vegetable is far more useful than you could ever imagine - check out these alternative uses for cucumbers.
Here's How: Slice the cucumber and sprinkle well with salt and sugar, leaving it to sit until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Douse it with a 50-50 mix of water and vinegar (opt for a mild vinegar like rice vinegar). Store in the fridge. Allow the flavor to develop 1 to 2 days before serving.
Will Last: 1 month
Also works with: Onions. Spoiled onions may also be used outside the kitchen - read through these 15 unexpected uses for onions.
Lemons can prove to be very useful, these 20 handy tips will ensure that you maximize their usefulness. Or, you can use them in an infusion to make a flavored vodka.
Here's How: Shred the lemon peel and steep it for two weeks in plain vodka. Your homemade spirit can now be used to serve up a cocktail the next time your friends come over. If vodka is not to your liking, you can infuse the lemon peel in a jug of water. The only difference is that the water will pick up the lemon flavor in just a couple of hours.
Will Last: Indefinitely - if using vodka - or 3 days if using water
Also works with: Cucumber, hot chilies and ginger
A fantastic way to save zucchini that is on the verge of spoiling is to grate it.
Here's How: Use a grater to shred your zucchini. Sauté the zucchini in some olive oil alongside a shredded onion and a garlic clove. As you stir fry add a beaten egg to the mix, a bit of flour and some bread batter. Once you have attained a clumpy consistency, form into small patties and fry up into tasty fritters.
Will Last: 5 days
Also works with: Carrots - they can be prepared in the same way.
This bright green vegetable is a spring favorite. Asparagus boasts a long list of health benefits too.
Here's How: If your asparagus is on the verge of spoiling, one of the best ways to use it is to wrap it, alongside other vegetables, in a tortilla. Sauté chopped asparagus with some garlic, cumin and hot sauce for a flavorful vegetarian taco filling. You may also toss a beaten egg into the pan and scramble, then fold the ingredients into a corn tortilla and top with salsa.
Will Last: 1 day - enjoy immediately
While fermentation may sound like a complicated process, it is not all that hard to create.
Here's How: Chop the green beans into even one inch-pieces and put them in a pint jar, leaving 2 inches at the top. Cover with brine (adding 1 1/2 teaspoons of sea salt to 2 cups of filtered water). Make sure the beans are submerged. Throw a clean kitchen towel over the top and leave to sit at room temperature for three to seven days. Your fermented green beans will last for one year in the fridge and will give your body a good dose of probiotics every time you snack on them.
Will Last: 1 year
There's no better way to use almost-spoiled vegetables.
Here's How: Cook a chopped onion in butter or olive oil. Add a couple of cups of chopped veggies and cover with stock or water. Simmer until the vegetables are tender then purée in a blender. Season with salt and pepper. This will give you a creamy texture. Add a bit of chopped parsley just before serving.
Will Last: 1 week