You’ve all been there. Bought a beautiful bag/bushel/box of fruit anticipating it to be gone, but instead finding the bag half full near the end of the fruit’s ripeness. What do you do? Here are some creative, fruit-based, and in some cases, quick dishes you can make with all sorts of fruits.
Keeping berry products fresh is a long-standing American tradition that comes from our colonial roots. Canning was an annual occurrence before (and, in some cases, even after) the development of the refrigerator. From cobblers to homemade jams and jellies, they also play a significant role in Southern culture. But besides using them as pie filler or tossing them over top of a salad, what roles can they play? Berries work exceptionally well in a granola parfait or as an essential part of many desserts, like smoothies or a cherries jubilee.
Banana Bread and More
Everyone knows what to do with browning bananas, chuck them into some fresh-baked banana bread! But what about perfectly ripe bananas that you feel like you just can’t eat? Try making more banana themed deserts, like Bananas Foster, browning bananas with a mint sauce, or upping your protein shake game by tossing some whey protein, bananas, and peanut butter (or nut butter substitute) into the blender with some ice and milk to make a delicious, healthy protein shake!
Baking More Than Apple Pie
Apples are a typical dessert dish. From apple pies to apple bakes to even some turnovers, apples are in all sorts of desserts. But what kinds of savory dishes exist with apples? You can add apples to your Thanksgiving stuffing, incorporate them into pork dishes, and even into some fancy salads. For the salads, you could try tossing grilled apples in with charred escarole for the best salad at the barbeque. Apple butter and a little bit of gouda cheese on a sandwich can make for a decadent lunch break or chopped and mixed in with some sautéed Brussels sprouts; an apple can become the center of dinner. The possibilities are endless!
Stone fruits, such as peaches, plums, and apricots, are named as such because the exterior fruit protects the hard stone-like pit on the inside. Although they are good to eat on their own, stone fruits are an excellent addition to salads, as an antipasto, or as a complementary flavor to the richness of pork chops. They can be halved and grilled on their own as an appetizer, cut into eighths and served as a salad topping, or added to a traditional southern cobbler. Peaches also make a great, unique jam that you can create. Stone fruits and basil also work well together when added to alcoholic mixed drinks, so bottoms up.
Grapes are a universal part of the American experience. When you were younger, you drank grape juice and ate grapes in your school lunches. Now, you drink wine. Outside of the vineyard or a fruit salad, where could you ever use grapes? You can add them to pasta and quinoa dishes as a healthy garnish, add them to savory tarts, or even pickle them! If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also add roasted grapes to a roasted rosemary chicken! The possibilities are nearly endless with how you can use grapes and raisins in the kitchen.
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