DIY Food

What To Do With Bruised Fruit

August  7, 2014

Inspired by conversations on the Food52 Hotline, we're sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun. 

Today: Wait, wait...don't toss it. That bruised fruit is more useful than you'd think. 

Stone Fruit

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Even if your delicious summer fruit has been jostling around the fruit bowl for a couple days too long, it's not yet worthy of the trash -- or the compost heap. A few bruises on your legs never kept you from enjoying the summer sun, did it? Think of fruit the same way -- still able to brighten your meal, no matter what.

Bruised fruit can go a long way in the kitchen. In fact, you may even want to ask your favorite farmer for "seconds" at the market: These are the fruits (and vegetables) that are slightly bruised or banged up, even though they taste just as good -- and they are often heavily discounted. Whether you're buying them on purpose or simply stuck with some overripe berries, here's how to put your bruised fruit to good use:

Juice or blend it. 
Nicks and bruises dissapear into delicious juices like this Champagne-worthy strawberry sipper or this pretty concord grape and lemon soda. For a heartier summer breakfast, bust out the blender for a green smoothie (perfect for your roughed-up mangoes and avocados), or set up your dates with slightly mushy bananas

Strawberry Juice and a Champagne Cocktail Morning Date Smoothie

Jam out. 
If your fruit is already on its way to mashing itself up, there's no need to keep it from its ultimate fate: delicious jam. Tomatoes get bruised too, especially if you get a little too overzealous about their seasonality and buy a few too many. Since they're technically fruit, we're going to go ahead and say this jam is par for the course. The same treatment can be used on strawberries, apricots, and more. Make extra, use it in this chic shortbread tart, and give your fruit a third life. 

Roasted Tomato Jam

Speaking of the oven...
If you're okay with turning it on, you can bake your bruised fruit into cakes and crumbles. Because everything tastes better smothered in sugar and butter. 

Southern Peach Crumble

Cool it off. 
Sweaty from all that baking? Good thing you put some homemade ice pops in the freezer first. Bananas, strawberries, mangoes, and more all break down deliciously into refreshing desserts.

More: Here's how to make any ice pop without a recipe.

Roasted Banana Paletas  Strawberry Shortcake Ice Pops 

What do you do with your bruised fruit: Make it into dressing? Or quick breads? Or fruit Leather? Tell us in the comments!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • blima
  • Liza's Kitchen NYC
    Liza's Kitchen NYC
I'm a former Food52 Julia Child Food Writing Fellow now studying law so I can make food fairer, more delicious, and more sustainable for everyone. I was born and raised in Montreal (mostly on poutine and matzoh ball soup), but in my heart I am an Italian grandma—I live on pizza and make a mean eggplant parmesan.


blima July 23, 2017
fruit soup
Liza's K. August 7, 2014
Fruit sauces are great. You can use them over ice cream, on the side with a tart or cake, etc.