Never judge a book by its cover

Filed in Blog by on April 23, 2012 13 Comments
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Never judge a book by its cover

Never judge a book by its cover

We’ve all heard the saying, yet my guess is we’re ALL guilty of judging a book by its cover.

If not literally, then metaphorically.

We make judgements on people according to how they look.

Manufacturers know the power of ‘first impressions’ which is why they spend millions of pounds on advertising campaigns and getting the packaging perfect.

Supermarkets are notorious for rejecting tonnes of perfectly good food because the colour, size and shape isn’t up to par…

I found myself in a similar situation the other day when I was cleaning out the fruit bowl and came across this banana:

One brown banana sitting in the bowl

One brown banana sitting in the bowl

It doesn’t exactly look appetising does it?

It looks way past its best and yes, it was a bit soft – the sort of banana you’re too scared to pick up in case it turns to mush in the palm of your hand.

But something stopped me adding it to the compost bin.

Probably the thought of you lovely readers if I’m honest.

So I tentatively peeled the banana and here’s what I found:

A tatty coat maybe, but all is well inside

A tatty coat maybe, but all is well inside

Not too shabby eh?

Unbeknown to my two intrepid zero wasters, I cut the offending banana up into slices and threw it in a dish with a rather wrinkly looking sliced apple and some blueberry purée:

banana apple and blueberry puree

banana apple and blueberry puree

Next I made a crumble topping and baked it in the oven.

Et Voilà:

the perfect fresh fruit crumble

the perfect fresh fruit crumble

The perfect pudding made from food I might otherwise have thrown away.

Add a dash lot of cream and pudding is served!

Pudding is served

Pudding is served

Tell me; what ingredient have you saved from the landfill or compost bin this week?

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (13)

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  1. nicola baird says:

    Genius to show us the photos – blackened bananas can be delicious if the person eating them doesn’t see them! I’ve just learnt to use toast and stale bread for breadcrumbs, sounds so simple but hadn’t thought of toast before. Also do nettle tips count – I’d normally just leave them in the garden, but have been having fun cutting off the tips and cooking in soups, and tried cauliflower cheese with nettle (it was good!). I am sure nettle pesto is a possibility. Now off on the hunt for black bananas as I need to make a banana cake for school’s pta on tuesday. nicola

  2. Karin says:

    I’ve got one of those. I find the flavour rather strong when it’s that ripe. I was hoping hubby would eat it with his cereal as he is wont to do. He is the one who likes to have bananas in the house after all. I don’t mind one occasionally but I’m not that fond of them.

    If I had 2 or 3 ripe ones I could make banana and walnut bread. My mum used to do that when she bought some over-ripe bananas going cheap, but you don’t see them anymore, do you – not round here, anyway.

  3. Suse says:

    An avocado! It was very soft….the skin was black. I expected to find it totally brown inside, but instead, it was the perfect shade of green and was perfect to smash with some garlic and seasoned pepper to put on top of a tortilla with tomatoes, onions, a sprinkling of cheese, and a dallop of sour cream. The perfect lunch!

  4. Leigh says:

    I have this problem regularly, or used to , as I shop once a week and bananas don’t like to hang around too long. I like a banana in my morning smoothie, so I’ve learnt to catch them a little before they get too far gone, and process them: I peel and chop them into chunks (skins go in the compost of course), then freeze ‘free-flow’ so the chunks are separate. I then store the chunks in a bag in the freezer and pop a handful into my smoothie each morning. Blend well and there you are, a delicious cold smoothie. I do have a very powerful blender, which is needed for jobs like this. Here’s a link for the one I use:

    BTW, bananas are at their most nutritious when they are very ripe :o)

  5. CarSue says:

    I had half a head each of broccoli and cauliflower that my friend had chucked in her trash can (they were on top and not all filthy, mind you). Admittedly, they were both very wilty and limp from being stored improperly, but I knew there was hope. I simmered them in water for about 15 minutes, then added a few splashes of milk, some cheddar cheese, a bit of this and a bit of that from the spice cabinet, and it made for VERY yummy soup!

  6. Asparagus. It looked wilted and old and didn’t snap when I bent it. I cooked it up and ate it anyway. It was fine.

  7. Mrs Green says:

    @nicola baird: Sounds like you have some great ideas Nicola – thank you for sharing and yes, I reckon nettles count; it means you’re less likely to buy something that might go off in the fridge if you can pick just the amount you need from the garden…

    @Karin: Maybe freezing them as they turn black is the answer for you Karen? I’ve not experimented so I don’t know but I wonder if they would freeze already mashed with a bit of lemon juice? Hmmm, probably not; you might end up with black sludge. I’m not a banana eater so can’t really comment!

    @Suse: Oh yes! I LOVE avocados and eat one most days; with garlic too – Mmmmm 🙂

    @Leigh: I have the vitamix too and have saved strawberries going to waste by freezing them then using to make instant ice cream 😉

    @CarSue: Broccoli and cheese soup is wonderful isn’t it? Well done you for rescuing that food and putting it to good use.

    @Jennifer Ward-Pelar: Glad to hear you ate the asparagus; with such a short season and such a delicacy it would have been a shame to waste it.

  8. Karin says:

    I hadn’t thought of freezing bananas, Rae, I’ll try it.

    Hope you found your bananas, Nicola. I’m wondering if you have discovered enough new ideas to Save Cash and Save the Planet to bring out an updated version of the book?

  9. I had a couple of red cabbages that I knew I wouldn’t use before they turned sad, so last night I pickled them. We’ll see how well it worked in a couple of months…

  10. Strawberries! they were getting a bit mushy but hadn’t started growing mold. I chopped them up, cooked them down with some sugar and pectin and had strawberry jam that my husband loved! I’ve done the same for pears, and they make a wonderful pear jam.

  11. Mrs Green says:

    @Julia Goodfellow-Smith: Oh fantastic – I’ve never pickled anything; do give us a progress report in the summer time!

    @joanna @ I Won’t Be a Hoarder Too: Sounds perfect! Thanks for sharing Joanna 🙂

  12. Jane says:

    Bananas again. We leave them for the elderly parents but sometimes they don’t eat them fast enough (truthfully: both of us bought some so there were too many). When they are too sotted and black they still taste good when whizzed up in cold milk. This time I gave some to the carer too. Pa-in-law reckons we should market this drink and the carer was amazed at how good this two ingredient drink is (and sh’d thrown away some bananas the night before because they were over-ripe. So I’ve proved to someone how nice it is now!

    It is a great way also to use up excess milk if someone goes away and you suddenly have too much and you can also use the UHT milk (and not know that it is UHT) that you keep in the storecupboard for hot chocolate, custard …and banana milk!

  13. Mrs Green says:

    @Jane: how wonderful; instant milkshake with trace minerals instead of colourings and flavourings 🙂 thanks for sharing your simple recipe; I reckon a tablespoon of cocoa powder would be good in that milkshake too 😉 Ya know, for the magnesium 😉

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