Mr. Foodie and I love us some berry smoothies. Since Mr. Foodie does not care for traditional breakfast fare, it pleases me to no end when I see him sucking down a tasty smoothie for breakfast. In the past it seemed like a bit of a pain to keep all the ingredients for smoothies on hand, but after reading Waste Free Kitchen last week, I’m back on board!
One of the practices that book preaches is to freeze what you can’t use right now. I’m ashamed to say that I’ve thrown out more rotten bananas and expired milk than anything. It makes me never want to buy these items unless I absolutely need to for a recipe, and even then I always dread it because I am not a regular milk drinker and I rarely reach for a banana just for a snack. Not wanting to have these on hand then makes it difficult to make smoothies when you want to. Of course, if I was making regular smoothies, chances are I wouldn’t have any leftover bananas and milk. It is my own chicken-and-egg conundrum lol
Now we keep milk on hand and bananas hanging on their perch each week. If I notice the bananas about to go south, I put them in a recipe or chop and freeze them for future use. I absolutely love having milk on hand now that I’m no longer afraid of having to dump it all out. There was a surprising number of things that I didn’t cook or bake because they called for a few tablespoons to a cup of milk (which I usually don’t have). Between the smoothies and the occasional recipe calling for milk, I’m using it all up every week!
The other thing I’m doing is taking a tip from the Kitchn and putting my strawberry “tops” in our smoothies! This might make you balk, but I love the addition of the fresh strawberry flavor. The strawberry leaves are perfectly edible even if they aren’t tasty, but the good news is that they get ground up and disappear into the berry goodness.
#Wastefree Berry Smoothie
Handful of Spinach Leaves and stems
Cup or so of frozen berries
1 Ripe Banana (the riper the better since underripe bananas overwhelm the flavors of a smoothie; also, these are optional. The smoothie turns out great without them if you don’t happen to have or like bananas)
1/2 C Milk or Yogurt
Handful of strawberry tops w/ leaves attached
1-2 tsp of Honey or Agave (to taste)
Instructions: Blend all the ingredients together and enjoy!
What are your favorite smoothie recipes? Do you have other creative ways to use leftover fruit? Please share with us!