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Food and Meal Planning

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9 Foods You Can Bring Back from the Dead

by Elizabeth Rogers

Instead of tossing food that you think is going bad, you may be able to revive and repurpose it. Keeping edible food out of the trash reduces not only waste, but also the cost and energy used to transport that waste to a landfill. Here are some creative ways to revive the stuff you'd normally toss.

If you have...

Stale cereal, crackers, chips and nuts

Twisted: AllanThinks
photo courtesy of AllanThinks

How to save stale snacks: Bake them in a 300-degree oven for 3-5 minutes. Place in an airtight container and use within a couple of days.

Overripe bananas

Ripe bananas: Robert Scoble
photo courtesy of Robert Scoble

How to save overripe bananas: Mix them into banana bread or cookie batter, cookies, cooked oatmeal or pudding. Blitz into smoothies. In the future, when you have a good banana surplus, peel and freeze before they go brown. You can even impale them on popsicle sticks and pass them off to your kids as dessert. (A chocolate dipped banana is a real treat!)

Wilted lettuce or leafy greens

Homegrown lettuce: dichohecho
photo courtesy of dichohecho

How to save wilted lettuce or greens: Soak them in cold water for 30 minutes to revive freshness.

Bruised fruit

A bit bruised...: Jinx!
photo courtesy of Jinx!

How to save bruised fruit: Cut off the bruised area and chop the rest into a fruit or green salad.

Slightly sour milk (slightly!)

Milk sculptures: Tambako the Jaguar
photo courtesy of Tambako the Jaguar

How to save sour milk: Use it to make scones, cornbread, or another baked recipe that calls for milk or buttermilk. You can also use it to moisten pancake batter.

Dried-out dried fruit

Red and Yellow: Let Ideas Compete
photo courtesy of Let Ideas Compete

How to save dried-out fruit: Place it in a Pyrex bowl or jar and cover in boiling water.

Limp celery

Celery: *Saif*
photo courtesy of *Saif*

How to save limp celery: Add it to a stir fry, soup or meat dish.

Crystallized sugar - brown or white

Brown sugar: quinn.anya
photo courtesy of quinn.anya

How to save crystallized sugar: Microwave for 30 seconds to soften.

Half-used jars of pasta sauce

Sauce goes inna jar: robin.norwood
photo courtesy of robin.norwood

How to save pasta sauce: Freeze it in ice cube trays and use later. The trick is to freeze it before it goes bad - be honest about whether you will use the rest within 3-5 days!

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Elizabeth Rogers is a best-selling author, environmental consultant and entrepreneur committed to empowering people with the knowledge and skills needed for making a positive impact on their world. Her latest book is Shift Your Habit: Easy Ways to Save Money, Simplify Your Life, and Save the Planet.

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