What to do with leftover berries? That is one question that many home cooks have to deal with when looking at their half-used berries! Though delicious, these ingredients tend to go bad very quickly.
As much as we love them, this remains a constant struggle. They are not cheap, plus they come with various health benefits and are tasty too. So it’s disappointing when you have to throw them away.
Well, not just berries—we should all get into the habit of buying food items consciously to avoid wastage. So, other than buying responsibly, how can you ensure that you are making use of them before they end up in the trash?
Here are some of our favourite ways to use them without wasting these healthy bombs.
Types of Berries: How to pick and store them
Before we even learn what to do with leftover berries, it is best to learn how to first pick and store them. Our goal here is to select the freshest ones, and keep them in a manner that would preserve their freshness for the longest time.
Fun fact—strawberries aren’t berries. The explanation behind this is that the seeds are on the outside, on the skin of the fruit. But they are still known as an all-time favourite berry to make desserts like strawberry mochi, shortcakes, boba drinks and more!
Here’s a tip: strawberries can go bad within days. Try to buy the ones that are glossy without any bruises or moulds.
However, before even thinking of what to do with leftover berries, there are ways to ensure that they do not prematurely rot in your fridge. You can store them in a bowl with paper towels. Keep them dry, and only wash them before eating them.
Blueberries are now available all year, but the best ones are picked during the late summer months, from July to September. The taste is also comparatively sweeter. Blueberries are supposed to be plump, smooth, juicy, and have dry skin. Due to its popularity today, many people often ask what to do with their leftover berries.
One important tip: if you’re not planning to eat them on the day, don’t wash them too early! The white-powdery coating on the blueberries, although it may look unnatural to many, actually protects the tiny fruits from going ripe too fast.
If you regularly purchase them, you should already know that they are best kept at room temperature. If, for some reason, you feel like you won’t be able to use them right away, store them in the fridge, unwashed and dry.
Raspberries and Blackberries
Are you thinking of homemade raspberry sauce too? Raspberries are commonly bought for making sauces, jams, and dessert items. However, before we answer what to do with leftover berries, what are some key handling tips?
Most supermarkets have raspberries and blackberries in their fruit section, but they are also commonly found in frozen sections too. This is due to them being fragile.
Even if you buy them from the regular fruit aisle, always refrigerate them as soon as you take them home with paper towels (same as other berries). Raspberries and blackberries are soft, so when you wash them, be gentle!
Another seasonal favourite is cherries. They are not as delicate as the other types like blueberries and raspnerries. However, you must refrigerate them for them to last longer.
Ways to Use Leftover Berries
Let’s now look at what to do with leftover berries. Here are 5 different ways you can use the healthy ingredients instead of throwing them away.
The most effective way to preserve leftover berries is to freeze them. Freezing does not require any additional effort other than just storing them in a freezer-friendly container or bag. Just make sure you are not overcrowding them. Take them out and add them to meals or even smoothies.
If you don’t manage to finish the fruity beans before they start to go bad, you can always cook them. You can easily make syrup or jam, which you can enjoy for months (depending on the quantity). This is an easy yet superb solution if you’re wondering what to do with leftover berries!
All you have to do is add sugar and water and bring them to a boil. Let it cool before you bottle it. This goes great with breakfast meals like waffles, pancakes, oats, or toast.
Many people think that making jam is time-consuming or requires certain cooking skills. It can be simple if you follow the basic steps. The trick is to allow the gelatin or pectin to set the jam.
Berries are known to have pectin, so you can successfully make jams with them without using additional pectin. Having said that, jams have a longer shelf life, so your family members can enjoy homemade goodness until it lasts.
How about a summer lovin’ fruit tart? Yes, you heard that right! Baking is a timeless solution whenever someone wonders what to do with leftover berries.
It can be challenging to make tarts or pies if you are not confident in the kitchen, but have a go at some of the easier approaches. For example, try making a blueberry pie or cobbler.
Otherwise, buy ready-made pastry if that makes it easier for you. If you have kids at home, you know they’ll gobble it up in no time.
We are calling all the health-conscious people out there! Smoothies are trending as a weight-loss food item, especially for breakfast. It takes next to no effort to throw all the necessary items in the blender and mix them up. So, no more excuses for not knowing what to do with leftover berries!
These mini fruits are known to contain antioxidant properties that are great for skin and hair. So why don’t you incorporate smoothies into your lifestyle for the health benefits they offer?
We recommend checking out our acai berry smoothie recipe which is trendy (and also Instagram worthy) to make at home!
Infuse in Water
Stay hydrated, people! Drinking enough water is extremely important, but sometimes we forget to count whether we’ve drunk enough for the day.
Make a jar of berry-infused water and drink away. This way, you’ll know exactly how much you’ve had. The benefits are not limited to flavoured water—it offers health benefits too.
So, when you’re not sure of what to do with leftover berries, try out one of the above easy ways to make use of them!
The whole point is to reduce and to use your food waste. Throwing away food items is, unfortunately, common practice and a massive contributing factor to greenhouse gasses. If we choose to eat consciously by making some extra effort, we are lowering our carbon footprint.
So keeping this in mind, we hope our tips for using leftover berries will change your habit of throwing away food in the near future.
Want more useful home pantry tips? Follow us on Instagram @honestfoodtalks to get the latest green-kitchen tips!
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