This week, I looked around my kitchen and realized I had several items nearing their expiration dates. I had three bananas turning brown. Six eggs were set to expire in two days. Two baggies of homemade graham crackers had been hanging out on my counter for a week and a half, and half a container of Almond Milk had been sitting in my fridge for at least two weeks. That’s roughly $4 worth of food, but it’s $8 to replace. Plus, I’d be disappointed in myself if I had to throw it away.
I made banana custard with lemon meringue topping. Turning my eggs, bananas, and Almond milk into custard does two things: It ensures that I’ll eat that in the next three days, and it adds two days to my original three days, giving me more time to eat it. However, I had some other options as well.
I could have simply scrambled all the eggs that were set to expire, portioned them into baggies, and froze them. Eggs taste exactly the same reheated as they do cooked fresh. Plus, even if I had just placed the cooked eggs in the fridge, I added a week to their shelf life.
I could have frozen this too, but that’s not helpful. I’m not likely to wait for milk to thaw before using it, and it would have sat in my freezer for six months and eventually gotten thrown out anyway. Instead of using it to make banana custard, I could have used it to make biscuits or some other baked item, or I could have made an effort to eat cereal for breakfast for the next three or four days.
Since I made these fresh about a week and a half ago, the cost was negligible, but I still didn’t want to throw them out. The other solution would have been to stick these in the food processor, crumble them, and freeze them for a time when I felt like making a graham cracker crust or putting a graham cracker topping on something. In doing that, I’d be saving both ingredients and time. It took about three hours to make those graham crackers.
Unfortunately for bananas, about the only thing you can do with them once they start turning brown and soft is bake with them, but aside from making pudding, there’s always the option of making banana nut bread, muffins, or cookies.