Use up common foods before they go bad
photo by orangeacid
We’ve all been there. You’ve got too many bananas, mashed potatoes, eggs or zucchini, and the excess is threatening to rot in your kitchen. While some families are used to a week of turkey after Thanksgiving, they might not appreciate a week of scrambled eggs. Often, the food can be frozen and used later, but it’s wise to have a few ideas for backup meals so you don’t waste food and money.
BANANAS: Once these are overripe, you won’t want to eat them plain. Some people freeze them, but they tend to discolor and get mushy. A little lemon juice can help. You can freeze them with the peels still on, but you’ll have to thaw them before peeling. Many people prefer using them right away. Try making muffins, bread, smoothies, pancakes, cookies, pudding, frosting, cakes or simply spread it on sandwiches with peanut butter.
2 large ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup butter
3-1/2 cups powdered sugar
Mix together bananas and lemon juice. In a separate bowl, beat butter until soft and creamy. Gradually and alternately add powdered sugar and banana mixture to butter and beat until fluffy. — submitted by Kim S., Nebraska
MASHED POTATOES: Who hasn’t made too much mashed potatoes? You can freeze them and add them to soups as a thickener. You might not like the texture of mashed potatoes once it has been frozen. Try adding 1 egg for every 2 cups of potatoes for better results. You can make potato patties by adding an egg, shaping into patties, dredging in flour and frying them, or roll them in cornflakes, cut into small sections and fry for mock tater tots.
ZUCCHINI: This freezes well shredded or sliced. Great grilled, in casseroles, breaded and fried, or use in quick breads, muffins and cookies. Grate them and add them to your ground turkey when you make turkey burgers. It’s wonderful in scrambled eggs and dessert, too.
8 cups chopped, seeded, peeled zucchini (about 3 pounds)
2/3 cups lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 cups flour
1 cup oats
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1-1/2 cups cold butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat oven to 375 F. In a large saucepan, cook and stir zucchini and lemon juice for 15 minutes on medium heat. Stir in sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Let simmer for a minute. Remove from heat. For crust, combine flour, oats and sugars in a bowl; cut in butter until mixture resembles course crumbs. Stir 1/2 cup into zucchini mixture. Press half of remaining crust mixture into a greased 9-by-9-by-1-1/2-inch pan. Spread zucchini mixture over top; crumble remaining crust mixture over zucchini. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg. Bake at 375 F for 35 minutes or until golden. — submitted by Jeanieb, Pennsylvania
EGGS: They can be frozen by combining 2 cups eggs to 1 teaspoon salt and later used for scrambled eggs. You can also hard-boil and make egg-salad sandwiches, deviled eggs, stuffed tomatoes or use as a salad topping. Use them up in pound cake, quiche, angel-food cake, meringue, puddings and French toast.