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Dec 21, 2008 11:29 AM

Smoothies--the (nearly) universal solution to leftovers

I have recently "gotten into" making smoothies at home. I know, I am behind the times. Aside from being tasty and delicious, they are a brilliant way to use up leftovers of various sorts. No, not mac and and cheese or tuna salad, but just about everything else:

1) Obviously, fruit that is slightly past its prime. I throw overripe bananas into the freezer unwrapped, peel and all, and retrieve them within a week or so. They peel pretty well even when frozen.
2) Leftover ice cream and sorbet. I make a lot of homemade ones, and I often have odds and ends left over. Homemade ice cream doesn't keep well, getting icy or gummy pretty quickly. But throw it into the blender with some frozen fruit, and your morning gets off to a decadent start.
3) Jams and jellies. A great way to use up last year's home-canned stock before making more. Or a good way to use up indifferent commercial products you purchased by mistake.
4) Leftover creme anglaise, pastry cream, and ganache
5) Ricotta cheese (for the record, goat cheese was not to my taste)
6) Crystallized honey
7) Coconut milk (often have a partial can leftover...)
8) Coco Lopez coconut cream
9) Applesauce
10) Individual fruit/yogurt cups that are past their expiry date
11) Rice pudding
12) Dried-out dried fruit (soak those molar-cracking raisins in hot water until soft and toss 'em in the blender). I even used some leftover prunes stewed in spiced red wine and the result was so good that it inspired me to make some ice cream based on them.

Am I missing anything here?

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  1. love the rice pudding idea! kind of like an Horchata smoothie :)

    how about leftover coffee? could be frozen in cubes and thrown in for a latte smoothie.

    I am thinking sweet potatoes would make an interesting smoothie filler. Could season with cinnamon, nutmeg, etc. and top with a touch of whipped cream for a sweet potatoe pie smoothie.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cheetobrain

      Sweet potato pie smoothe? That sounds wonderful!!

      My new fav. is Avocado smoothie.. I also like guava made from that piece of guava jelly that they sell at Caribbean stores

    2. It's not exactly a leftover that I have to suggest, but I want to share that I have been using a lot of different spices in my smoothis lately, and it's delicious! A great combination is frozen mango chunks with fresh ginger and some soy milk. Another is a mix of varied fruits with orange juice, flavoured with powdered cinnamon and cardamom. Mmmmmm!!!

      1. For that leftover canned pumpkin from T-giving... try freezing it in an ice cube tray. Then pop a few into your smoothie with cinnamon, nutmeg, etc for a pumpkin shake!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Mellicita

          I'm SO inspired I went out to buy a mini personal blender!! This will be excellent.

        2. 1. Leftover nuts from baking.
          2. Leftover tea- green or herbal, not black- that I am too lazy to reheat.

          1. 13) Canned chestnut puree
            14) Creme fraiche
            15) Bottled or canned cherries