Don’t Throw Away! 5 Splendid Ways to Use the Overripe Fruit in Your Restaurantadmin
Oh, lovely summer bounty! While we relish the blazing sun and gaze at gardens flush with vibrant fruits and vegetables, we muse on how heated July has already bestowed us with a large harvest. Needless to say, the overabundance of fresh produce has us purchasing under a spell. We think of the fragrant, luscious fruit and buy some dozen pounds of each type for the restaurant’s kitchen counters. After all, it’s also the best time for batch deals – tough to say no to seasonal, cheap, and tasty produce.
However, as you cast your glimpse away, half of your precious lot has turned a little soft. Tiny dark spots are smoldering across the peaches, the berries are a tad mushy, the strawberries a red too dark. Admittedly, this is not an ideal situation. But there are plenty of splendid ways to use all sorts of overripe fruits before they die out on your counters. So let’s have a look at our options!
1. Party in the Pastry Heaven
Everyone loves a great variety of pastries on a restaurant’s menu. A fresh berries and cream tart adds a romantic touch to an evening dine-out experience. Some good old-fashioned fluffy waffles topped with a fruity jam make for the perfect comfort food. And what about breakfast-perfect puff pastries with a light peach or strawberry filling?
You can also incorporate virtually any type of overripe fruit into pies, cobblers, crisps and crumbles. There’s hardly any end to the pastry heaven!
2. Bake it Away!
Who doesn’t love banana bread? They say the browner the peel, the better the bread, which happens to be the best deal for those who found an overripe banana batch on their counter. You can replace sugar with maple syrup or honey for a naturally sweetened, healthier, and equally delicious alternative! If banana bread is too easy of a recipe for you, check out Myrecipes‘ 35 other ways to cook with overripe bananas.
Oh, and speaking of diversity! There are so many amazing things you can bake with drupes and berries past their prime. So don’t forget to add some fruit-filled scones, teacakes, muffins, or pancakes the next time you make your summer menu.
3. Oh, Hail Cool Beverages!
Baking is fun and all, but sometimes summer’s so fierce you crave to gulp down something cool and energizing. Overripe fruit happens to be just the right thing for smoothies, juices, and light punches! So whether you have some extra ripened peaches, nectarines, mangoes, apricots, lemons, or berries, be sure to throw them in the type of cold drink that anyone can appreciate on a hot day!
If you’re looking for a great start, check out our refreshing Watermelon Sangria recipe!
4. Sauce up your Game
Pasta, meat, or pancake sauce? Fruit can do it all, and exceptionally well if it’s slightly overripe! Cube or smash your overripe fruits and slow cook them into a batter or topping. Suppose you don’t need to make the sauce right away. In that case, freeze these flush berries and soft peaches (or whatever else is perishing on the counter) to conveniently take them out when you actually need them.
Once pulled out of the refrigerator, just throw your fruits in a saucepan and stir over medium heat until they’re thawed and bubbling into smaller and smaller bits. Drip the resulting sauce over waffles, cheesecake, or ice cream. There are so many fine fruit sauce recipes to choose from, so surf the Web and find your favorites.
5. Get the Jam Jars Ready!
Nothing quite like the sweet summer aroma of a raspberries jam over a cold cake! Mix your overripe fruit into all sorts of chutneys, curds, or spreads combos to top off your restaurant’s desserts. Stone fruits (like peach and nectarines) are some of the most sensitive of all summer produce, but you can spin them so fast into a chunky jelly.
With jams, it’s so easy to turn any fruity flavor into a sweet delight, so have your jars ready whenever you spot an overabundance of ripening fruit in your restaurant.
It’s reassuring to see how wonderfully diverse our options are when it comes to overripe produce! Naturally, there will also be times when you find fruit way past its saving point – but even then, you can still choose a friendlier alternative to merely tossing it into the trash bin.
Be sure to check our latest blog on preventing and dealing with food waste in restaurants to make your kitchen a friendlier place for the planet.