Sunday, 26 August 2012

Simple summer essentials: How do you solve a problem like overripe fruit?

This is the last post in the Simple Summer Essentials series - it's been fun planning, prepping and cooking my way through the fruit and vegetables that Asda kindly sent me. Such a lovely selection of seasonal produce that has really lifted and inspired me over the past couple of weeks.

One of the things I find with the soft fruits that summer brings is that they ripen too fast. I have an ongoing battle with nectarines and plums, hard as rocks one day and complete and utter smush the next. There is no logic! But being the thrifty cook and blogger that I am I do a couple of things I wanted to share with you how I prolong the life of soft fruit, and then how I use it when it's just tipped over that past it's best peak. 

First off ditch the plastic! get rid of that plastic wrap, and instead I gently lay kitchen towel on top. Now I'm not sure as to the science behind this, but fruit releases gasses as it ripens and by absorbing these the kitchen towel stops the fruit ripening too fast. Now this may be an old wives tale - I wasn't particularly good at paying attention during science classes, but I would swear that it does in fact work.

Note from M, the resident scientist: he thinks it's letting the gasses escape but stopping light get to the fruit and so slowing ripening? Your suggestions on a postcard please...

The second part of ditching the plastic is to also get rid of the box.  I'm old enough to remember when fruit came in cardboard punnets, with no cellophane wrapper. Soft fruits last much longer out of the plastic that supermarkets sell them in.

Now, when fruit has moved into the overripe territory I mush it up, adding a bit of lemon or lime juice and stir it into yoghurt - for me, normally 0% fat greek style. This then makes a fantastic pudding, or breakfast. If I'm having it for pudding I'll add a pinch of vanilla extract. it doesn't need any sweetener, is plenty sweet enough the way it is. 

The other thing to do is to turn it into a fruit fool - I did this with frozen berries regularly a few years back - but it would be just as effective and tasty with some overripe soft fruits. 

Check back tomorrow for a round up of my Simple summer essentials, and your chance to win £50 of Asda vouchers.

1 comment:

Nichola Whitehead RD said...

This sounds like a delicious recipe idea!


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