Tackling Food Waste in Australia: 10 Useful Ways to Reuse Your Fruit

Is your fruit bowl a victim of toddler crimes – random nibbles chomped out and then put back? Or perhaps it’s a place for fruit fatalities – browning bananas and forgotten bruised peaches. However it is that your fruit is less than perfect, here are ways that you can STILL USE IT. After all, food waste in Australia is at an all time high – throwing fruit in the bin is throwing money in the bin!

Food Waste: we really need to think about it!

Food waste is a growing concern in Australia. The total annual spend on food waste hit a whopping $10.3 billion dollars in 2021! That breaks down to enough food to feed 1.1 million households for an entire year!

The average Australian household wastes 11% of the food they buy. Do the numbers and that equates to throwing over $1,000 per year in the bin!

While veggies, fruit, bread and pastries are the most likely foods to end up in the bin, 2 in 3 people said home cooked meals were more likely to be ditched than takeaway or delivery foods.

Once upon a time we might not have thought much about tossing bruised peaches into the compost bin or apples to the chooks but since we’re all feeling the pinch at the supermarket as prices continue to creep up, it’s time we all REALLY became mindful about wastage by using ALL of the food we buy.

A few simple switches can help to reduce the food waste on the environment and also on your hip pocket, while helping to create a more sustainable future.  No more food waste, no more wasting money and no more contributing to the environmental impact.

Luckily, fruit is often at its sweetest when it’s at its ripest, packing a flavoursome punch to all things! Here are 10 clever ways to help you use those odds and ends of leftover and abandoned fruit.

10 ways to resuse your fruit

1. Juice it and slurp it

If you have a juicer, you’re already ahead of the game, whack that fruit right in there, juice it and drink it – no one will be any the wiser! If you don’t have a juicer you can still juice your oranges, lemons and limes with a hand juicer. Pour the juice into ice-cube trays, freeze and then pop into labelled containers or zip-lock bags. You can use it later for marinades, sauces, drinks – anything!

2. The big freeze

If your berries (strawberries, blueberries or raspberries) are starting to get a little soft, pop them on a tray and freeze them. Once frozen solid, keep them in a zip-lock bag or container. Use them for smoothies, dessert or jam recipes whenever required.

Bananas are also amazing frozen, you can make chocolate-covered banana pops or use them in smoothies. Frozen grapes also make a delicious snack and are excellent for keeping your drinks cool. YUM!

frozen bananas help to reduce food waste
Frozen bananas are a HIT with the whole family. Source: Mum’s Pantry

3. Let’s jam!

The best kind of jam session there is, you don’t need to be Martha Stewart to nail making jam. Use two cups of CSR Jam Setting Sugar to 500g of fruit and follow the pack instructions. So easy!

4. Bake delicious belly warming crumbles

You can make some really beautiful and delicious fruit crumbles with overripe fruit! Cut the bruises from stone fruit or take those apples marked with tiny toddler bite cutouts and turn them into a gorgeous fruit crumble dessert. Event those berries you have in the freezer – use them for this!

food waste, fruit crumble
Fruit crumbles are a delicious way to limit any food waste! Source: Bigstock

5. Iceblock flavour bombs

You can make yoghurt iceblocks or yoghurt bark and add berries into the mix before freezing. Those sweet berries will provide some pretty epic bursts of flavour when you bite into your iceblock!

6. Smoothies – the unsung hero

A classic food waste avoidance move – you can add just about any fruit to a blender for a delicious fruit and fibre packed smoothie. Just add a dollop of yoghurt and banana for some creaminess. Yum!

making smoothies reduces food waste
Smoothies and yoghurt can be frozen too! Source: Bigstock

7. Banana nice cream

If you haven’t tried ‘nice cream’ yet, then you’re missing out. Effectively, it’s a banana soft serve but nicer to your body than actual ice cream. Just take some frozen bananas, a splash of milk and blend until smooth and creamy, just like soft serve ice cream.

5. Stove top stewing

You can stew apples, peaches, pears and even apricots on the stove top easily. Peel and chop your fruit into pieces and simmer in a pot with a splash of water until it cooks down to a sweet pulp. Leave it as is for desserts like a crumble or pie, eat it on its own with custard or icecream or even puree it for baby food.

create food purees to reduce food waste
No food waste here! Stew and puree fruit and freeze for baby to eat later!

9. Mash it!

No room in the freezer for bananas? Add mashed banana into a pancake recipe to spread the mixture even further and for even tastier pancakes!

10. Dehydrate it

My gin glass has never been prettier than when my family decide they no longer want to eat the 3kg bag of oranges I bought. Dehydrating fruit is great fun and fills your home with a beautiful scent while it’s dehydrating. Use a dehydrating machine or a really low 50°C oven. Try dehydrated orange and lime rounds for cocktails, dehydrated banana chips, kiwi chips or even yummy chewy pineapple pieces.

dehydrating fruit to reduce food waste in australia
Dehydrating preserves fruit for snacks and sneaky cocktail garnishes. Source: L. Klaebe

There you have it, 10 awesome ways to get the very most out of your fruit bowl without throwing any of it out! Tell us in the comments below, what’s always the one thing that gets left behind in yours – for me it’s ALWAYS bananas! One minute the family loves them, next minute – nope!

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Avatar of Lexi Klaebe

South Australian mum and self proclaimed foodie, Lexi can most days be found in the kitchen, apron tied firm and armed with a whisk or wooden spoon!

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