How Do You Use Foods Past Their Prime?

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[Fruit just past perky? Cook into jam. Photograph: Robyn Lee]

On the Times's Diner's Journal blog, Julia Moskin notes the ways that Portland grocers managed to turn past-peak produce into edible eats.

"When the local concord grapes on the shelf are past their prime, they go into the commissary kitchen and come out as Zippy Grape Jam. Bananas turning brown? They are peeled, dipped in chocolate, and sold frozen—and local kids eat them up."

We've all heard of brown bananas getting worked into banana bread, but we can get a lot more creative. My roommate uses chopped day-old French fries as an omelet addition—hey, they're just potatoes, right?—and I've made some pretty decent soup out of less-than-crisp spinach.

What about you? What creative ways have you found to use foods past their peak?

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