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  • Writer's pictureDonnelle Brooks

5 Ways To Use Fruit Close To Expiry

Updated: Jul 26, 2023

I hate food waste. According to, each year Australian's waste 7.3 million tonnes of food, costing about $20 billion annually. This equals about 300kg per person! A lot of this food wastage comes from restaurants and farms, but that doesn't mean we can't reduce this at home. Here are 5 ways to use your excess fruit, and save it from being added to landfill

1. Freeze for Smoothies

This one is a no brainer. You can freeze fruit chopped in ice cube trays, or make smoothie portions in ziplock bags for easy use. If you are trying to cut back on plastic though, I would recommend freezing chopped or pureed fruit in ice cube trays in batches, then storing them in tupperware as you would normal ice cubes. Berries can be frozen in water to add bulk to your smoothies.

Freeze fruit in ice cube trays so they are smoothie ready

2. Stew For Toppings

One delicious way to make your fruit go the extra mile is to cook it with a little sugar and use as a topping for your overnight oats or pancakes. This works great for apples and berries. Here are two ideas:

stewed apples with cinnamon and anise
Stewed apples last longer in the fridge and are a delicious breakfast topping

Stewed Apples

  • Apples or pears

  • 1 tbsp sugar

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • 50 mL water

Peel and chop your apples. Add the to pan with a little water and sugar. How much you use depends on how much fruit, but start with 1 tbsp of sugar and add more to taste. You should add enough water to melt the sugar and form a syrup. Start with 50mL. You can always add more, but remember that water will release from the fruit as it cooks. Add some cinnamon and simmer for 5 - 10 minutes. Your old apples will be good for a week in the fridge and will be delicious on top of yoghurt, oats or pancakes. You can even freeze this if you like!

Berry Syrup

  • Berries of any kind

  • 1 tbsp sugar

  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Add your berries to a pot. Chop strawberries if you wish, but they are nice whole too. Add a tbsp of sugar at a time. The amount will depend on your taste and how much berries you have. Add a little lemon juice. As the berries cook they will release their juices and a nice syrup will form. This is a real winner on pancakes!

3. Fruit Crumble

I often make an apple crumble from the leftover apples in the office. Cooking fruit that you might not necessarily eat gives it a delicious new life! You can do this with Apples, pears, berries, stonefruit - almost anything! I wouldn't try melons, but if you do and you love it, let me know! You are certainly braver than I!

Crumble can be made with more than just apples

Fruit Mix

3 medium apples, peeled, cored and diced 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1/4 cup water

1/2 tsp cinnamon


1/3 cup plain flour 1/3 cup brown sugar 1/3 cup rolled oats 60g butter, chopped


Combine your fruit ingredients in a saucepan and simmer until the fruit is softened and releases its juices. Meanwhile, combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and rub the butter through the flour until crumbly.

Add the fruit to a pan, top with the crumble and bake until brown. Easy!

4. Make Jam

If you love to bake, try this recipe with your leftover fruit. I recently did it with some mango I had in the freezer and it was amazing! I used my jam to make jam drops and they were a real hit! It would also work well with citrus fruits.

Fruit getting a bit mushy? Turn it into jam!

Stew your fruit as in the first recipe, but add a lot more sugar and cook for longer. You are aiming for a thicker consistency than stewed fruit. Martha Stewart's recipe explains it better than I do.

5. Compost

The absolute last resort. Rather than throwing out your fruit, and it to your garden to enrich your soil. You can start a compost heap or worm farm, or simply dig it straight into the dirt! A cautionary tale, however. Rockmelon scraps will definitely sprout and take over your garden! I learned that the hard way!

burying orange scraps in the ground
Farewell Fruit! We're sad to see you go, but you have an important job to do!

Hopefully you can find a way to give your fruit a second life before it gets thrown out. Reducing fruit and veggie waste is an easy way to save money and the environment. Have a go at meal planning before you do your weekly shopping. That way you can avoid buying things that are going to get thrown out before you can eat them.

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