What to do with produce that’s about to go bad

There’s nothing more disappointing in the kitchen than having to throw out food because you didn’t get around to eating

There’s nothing more disappointing in the kitchen than having to throw out food because you didn’t get around to eating it in time.

As much as we try, Australians actually throw out $8 billion worth of food every year – that’s around 523kg per household.

The reason most people throw things out is because they are on the verge of turning bad and they want to get rid of them before their fridge fills with mould and gets a bit whiffy.

There are so many ways you can salvage this produce at the last minute though and turn it into something new and delicious instead of giving it the flick.


Turn tomatoes that are starting to wrinkle and go soft into amazing semi-dried tomatoes for salads, pastas, and anything else you might want to add them to. Halve the tomatoes and arrange them cut side up on a baking tray. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake on a low heat in the oven for several hours. If you want to turn them into proper dried tomatoes just keep them in the oven for a few more hours until they are completely dried out.


If your garlic is starting to sprout green stems it means the flavour will start to turn sharper and spicier so it may be time to think about using it for something a little creative. Cut the top off the entire bulb and drizzle over a little olive oil before adding salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for about 45 minutes until it’s nice and soft. Squeeze out the garlic and store it in in a glass jar or air-tight container. You can use it to make delicious garlic bread, or throw it in the pan whenever you’re making a recipe that needs garlic. Easy done and no chopping required!

Leafy greens

These little babies can turn soggy quite quickly so get a hold of them before they pass the point of no return. Throwing them out is such a shame because they’re packed with nutrients that keep your metabolism working and the boost your immune system. Make the most of them by making a delicious pesto with olive oil, walnuts and parmesan. Throw the lot in a blender and blitz until it forms a lovely vibrant paste. Spread it over toast or mix it through pasta for a tasty and healthy fix.


There’s a lot you can do with citrus that’s about to turn bad! Squeeze out the juice and freeze it in ice trays to add to dishes or drinks whenever you need. Try adding cubes of lime juice to chilli con carne or orange juice to refreshing drinks for a vitamin C hit. If you happen to have a garbage disposal you get throw a few cubes of lemon down it and let them clean away residue and keep it smelling fresh.


You should never really need to throw out a banana because it are so many things you can do with them when the skin starts to turn brown. Freeze them and then blend to make delicious and healthy banana ice cream whenever you feel like a sweet snack. Use them to make banana bread, smoothies or fritters for a tasty snack. Or, chop them into bite-size pieces, freeze, then coat with melted chocolate and refrigerate for a delicious snack.

Stale bread

Use your old bread to make amazing bread and butter puddings or croutons for salads to add a little extra crunch. For the croutons, just tear the bread into pieces and coat with a little olive oil. Bake in the oven on a low heat for about 10 minutes and remove when nice and crunchy.

Old root veggies 

One of the best ways to use old veggies is to make a basic stock base that you can build on to make loads of different meals. Throw all your veggies into the pot along with about 12 cups of water, a bay leaf and some salt and pepper. Reduce over a few hours and strain away the veggies and skim the surface at the end to get a nice clear stock.


Herbs are one of those things that always seem to end up neglected that the bottom of the fridge. Since they also cost a pretty penny it’s a shame to let them go to waste! One of the best ways to use them up is to freeze them in olive oil in an ice tray and pull them out whenever you need. You’ll get the added bonus of a lovely infused oil flavour that will add extra depth to the flavour of your dish.

Do you have any other tips to add? Do you find yourself throwing away a lot of food?