Friday, June 8, 2012

Let's Get Rid of Leftovers

Aged banana really do look ugly, blotchy spots here and there and mushy gooey inside. The sweetness is unbearable. A bite of rotting banana tastes like overly sweetened baby food. Luckily someone came up with banana bread so I can still stock up on some yellow energy food and not feel bad letting it rot to death on the counter.

Besides banana bread, I also like to make vegetable stock and congee because they're leftover friendly. There are always leftover foods in my fridge. Sometimes I get too carried away at Trader Joe's or I simply don't have time to eat at home. Vegetable broth is the fastest way to use up every green, onion, celery stalk in the fridge. It's a good idea to freeze hard vegetables like carrot or celery when you don't think you need it right away. You don't even need to defrost them when you want to make veggie stalk, just let the boiling water to the hard word for you. On the other hand, congee is convenient for using up leftover dinners. What you do is make rice (or use leftover rice), chop up the leftover meals into tiny little pieces, cook everything up with two to three cups of water/broth for 1 hour. This congee tastes the best when you use the greasiest leftover because the broth and plain rice soaks up all the flavor.

Anyhow, this weekend I made banana bread for the two black bananas on my counter. Another goodie I added is LEFTOVER frozen blueberries. I love berries of all kind, but I also get tired of them after a few mouthful, so I dry them all and freeze them in a ziplock bag till I need them. My banana bread really is the end product of all things leftover.

For banana breads, it doesn't matter whether you have one, two or three bad bananas. The more rotting banana you have at home, the more flavor your bread will have. It's also a good time to use up leftover flours, of all kinds. Scrap leftover all-purpose, whole wheat, bread flour into one bag and take it out when you want to make quick breads like banana bread or coffee cake. These recipes are really forgiving. Also if you have leftover nuts, cut them all and spread them onto your batter before baking. Who says you must top banana bread with walnuts?

ingredients and steps to make banana bread

a loaf of banana bread topped with walnut pieces and a few blueberries visible on the top

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