Leftover Fruits & Fruit Products

What to do with leftover fruits? So many things!

fregolata tart with jam and almondsx
fregolata tart with jam and almonds

Fruits in General:

If you have fruit that is about to go, cook or freeze; I freeze bananas whole for banana bread.

  • Add to pancakes or muffins.
  • Freeze and use in smoothies.
  • Use in Oatmeal
  • Use in Yogurt
  • Saute in a little butter and add brown sugar and serve with pancakes, waffles, french toast, ice-cream or yogurt or as a side dish.
  • You can make a quick fresh jam or sauce with most fruits by just boiling with a little sugar till softened.
  • Many fruits can be halved, brushed with butter, sprinkled with a touch of sugar and grilled or broiled. Top with sour cream.
  • Add berries to ice cube trays, fill with water or fruit juice and use as ice cubes in water or punch.
  • Combine your leftover fruits for a fruit salad.
  • To keep fruit from browning while freezing or storing, mix with a bit of citrus juice or citrus powder (crush a vitamin c tablet if you have nothing on hand.)


  • If you have one or two apples left that no-one seems to be going for, core them, leaving the bottoms intact and put in a small dish.  Fill with brown sugar and raisins, or red hot candies, fill the dish to about 1/3 up the apples with juice, cider, or water and bake at 350 degrees until soft.
  • Add to salads.


  • Make applesauce cake, quick bread or muffins.  Most recipes just need a cup.
  • Serve for breakfast, top a pancake or waffle, serve with potato cakes or latkes.


  • If your bananas are too brown to eat, put in freezer whole or remove the skins and mash with a little lemon juice and freeze in a small container.  Use in banana bread, cake or muffins.
  • One lone banana that no one seems to want to eat?  Heat in a little brown sugar and butter – flambe if you want and serve over crepes, pancakes or ice cream.

Citrus Fruit:

  • Throw in the freezer and zest later if in danger of going bad, and you don’t have time to deal with it.  The juice won’t be good, but you’ll have preserved the most flavorful part.
  • Zest, put in small ziploc and freeze.
  • Zest and dry the zest at room temperature, and place in small jar and use it in marinades or dressings.
  • I zest a lot of citrus before I squeeze.
  • If your family isn’t eating oranges, throw them in a salad.
  • Add lemon/lime to many marinades, bbq sauce, or anything that could use a little extra zip.
  • Squeeze into water.


  • Freeze whole cranberries and add to muffins or quickbread.
  • Add a few to smoothies.

Cranberry Sauce:

  • Use like any other jelly or jam.
  • Mix with BBQ sauce (or ketchup), a bit of dry mustard and a bit of sugar to make a quick sauce for meatballs or meatloaf.  You can do this to taste – the cranberry and BBQ should be in about equal amounts.  Think sweet/sour.
  • Combine cranberry sauce with a little cream cheese and use as a sandwich spread for turkey.
  • Layer in a coffee cake or corn bread, muffins or quick bread – put some of the batter in the bottom, dollop cranberry sauce in different places, add batter to top, use a knife to swirl, bake as normal.
  • Add whole sauce to apple or pear crisps.
  • Use whole or jellied in place of jelly and jam.
  • Blend, strain and add to fruit juices.
  • Use Melissa d’Arabian’s recipe for Cranberry Orange Spritzer or Cranberry Parfaits
  • Use it to make Thumbprint Cookies.
  • Use it to make Balsamic Cranberry Chicken
  • Three cocktails that use Left over Cranberry Sauce.


  • Same as apples.

Liquid from Canned Fruits:

  • You can use the liquid from canned fruit in fruit salad dressings.
  • Add to marinades.
  • Use in glazes for meatloaf or hams
  • Add a tablespoon or two to powdered sugar frosting.
  • Put in ice-cube trays and add to your smoothies.
  • Mix with vinegar and oil in when making homemade salad dressings.

Comments and discussion always welcome - tell me what you think.

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