This struggle could not be more real. You sprung for the organic bananas, and now here they are, a few days later, already starting to go bad. Feeling annoyed and a little betrayed that you spent an extra $2 only to enjoy one banana, you’re tempted to throw those traitors away, but you might want to hold off on your hasty decision.
When food is going bad, things aren’t hopeless quite yet. Some foods that aren’t in the prime of life can still make some surprisingly delicious dishes.
Here are eight foods that you can work with even as they’re going bad.
1. Stale Bread // Bread Pudding
Bread pudding is one of the few recipes that requires you to irresponsibly let your bread go stale, so you might as well embrace it. This deliciously gooey dessert is the perfect backdrop for a medley of flavors. My personal favorite? Bread pudding with a vanilla bourbon sauce. Thank goodness for stale bread.
2. Mushy Berries // Pound Cake
Fresh berries were never intended for getting used in cakes; they exist for snacking and enjoying their ripe deliciousness. Berries past their prime? Since they’re far too mushy to enjoy as a snack, they are perfect for bread and cakes of all kinds! A pound cake is a great place to incorporate the extra juiciness of older berries.
3. Bananas // Fritters
Fritters apply to anything deep fried and delicious. Banana fritters, then, are wonderful, fried banana concoctions that work best with older bananas. You know, the mushy kind that you’ve been passively watching grow more and more brown.
What else are you going to do but deep fry them? It’s true – deep frying does make everything better.
4. Eggs // Hard-Boiled Eggs
It’s a little-known fact that eggs have a longer shelf life than you might think, credit to their nifty all-natural casing (also known as shells). They can stay safe about a week longer than their expiration date, but at that point, they’re best consumed boiled.
Hard-boiled eggs are low-fat, delicious, and the perfect way to utilize those eggs before they spoil.
5. Potatoes // Hash Browns
When potatoes go bad, they get a little more aggressive than normal foods. Potato spuds (those funky little eyes that start to grow when the potato has been around too much moisture) are quite poisonous.
To avoid dying at the hands of a potato (a loyal cause, truly) cut off the spuds and shred the potatoes into hash browns! You’ll enjoy the potato in its purest form while avoiding all the poison of the spuds.
6. Overripe Pears // Sour Cream Pear Cake
Overripe pears? Mushy, bruised, gross. Yuck. Sour cream pear cake? A moist coffee cake with pinwheels of sweet pears, crunchy nuts, and a cinnamon, brown sugar streusel topping. Heavenly.
7. Zucchini // Zucchini Bread
There is no better use of a dying veggie than zucchini bread. Heavy, I know. But true. Zucchini bread is easy to make and perfect to give away as a gift! Or to keep for yourself and devour.
Best of all, you can freeze extra loaves to keep the zucchini going for weeks. Or a couple of days if you’re as ravenous about zucchini bread as I am. This concept also works for the banana mentioned above.
8. Milk // Cottage Cheese
This one might gross out the faint of – stomach. Sour milk is arguably one of the most disgusting things ever to be smelled. It seems strange, then, that you can make something edible from something so disdainful.
But cottage cheese is best made with milk that is starting to turn sour. The key is knowing how sour is too sour (you should be okay for a couple of days after the expiration date).