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8 Ways to Use Up Leftover Fruit

Photo: Getty Images

It's hard to stroll the supermarket aisles or farmers' market booths without buying baskets of berries, crates of peaches, or bags of apples. Fruit as a snack can only be repeated so many times, and fruit desserts can pack on too many calories. So before the fruit flies set in, have a game plan on how to use up leftover fruit. 

Save your leftover fruit from the trash bin with these quick and easy ideas. Most of them are great any time of day and can be adjusted to highlight fruit of the season. Leftover fruit can be featured in everything from savory salads to frozen pops and cocktails.

  • Fruit-infused Waters: Stay hydrated and revitalize your leftover fruit by adding it to your daily H2O. From peaches with rosemary to mint and watermelon, the combinations are endless. Try infusing sparkling water with leftover fruit (and vegetables!) for the ultimate fizzy refresher.
Photo: Jennifer Causey
  • Savory Fruit Salads: Highlight leftover fruit with tangy dressings and leafy greens. From berries, peaches to apples, most fruit will make any salad shine. Great salad additions with fruit also include toasted nuts and salty, crumbled cheese such as feta.
  • Frozen Pops: Skip the calories of ice cream, and save your brown bananas to make homemade fudge pops. If chocolate pops aren't your thing, try adding any leftover berries, melon, or pineapple to a pop mold with Greek yogurt, honey, and fresh mint.
  • Fruit Cocktails: These fruit cocktails are far from the ones you know from your childhood and will not be in a plastic container swimming in sugar syrup. Leftover fruit can be used in cocktails as natural sweeteners and fresh flavors.
  • Spiralized Fruit: Move over zucchini noodles, it's time to spiralize apples. Pair with your favorite yogurt and a hint of cinnamon to bring your apples back to life without having to hide them in a pie crust.
Photo: John Autry
  • Grilled Fruit: There is nothing easier for a summertime dessert than grilled fruit to use your leftover peaches, watermelon, and pineapple. Top with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for a satisfying sweet ending (or start) to your day.
  • Fruit Granitas: Bring your fruit back to life with a little booze and fresh citrus. Use any leftover berries, peaches, or melon you have on hand to make these frozen desserts. You can also serve these at brunch or as an early morning refresher for kids by skipping the rum. 
Easy Fruit Salad
  • Fruit Salsas: Highlight grilled meat and fish with fresh fruit salsas. Repurpose fruit such as pineapple, mango, or strawberry with chopped cilantro, fresh lime juice, minced red onion, and a little salt and pepper to brighten any meal. The salsa gets better each day, so make extra to add to salad or other leftovers.