The Opportunity: Frozen, slightly oxidized, over-ripe bananas
The Solution: Mini banana muffins! (Again!!!)
In thinking about the things I throw away, I find that they fall into three categories: 1. Things that are past their prime (ie stale, overripe), 2. Things that I do not ordinarily use (stems, peels), 3. Things in inconvenient quantities (too little or too much to use before it goes bad). More on Category 2 later; this post covers Categories 1 and 3. One of our friends did the "Hustle Up the Hancock", a charity run in Chicago and ended up with a LOT of bananas. The bananas were very ripe by the time I got them, and I peeled and froze a lot of them. I should have vacuum sealed them in single-recipe portions, but I didn't so they got a little oxidized in the freezer. Before Harry Chapin broke into a chorus of 30,000 Pounds of Bananas, I had to make muffins. I made muffins for the mini challenge, I made muffins last weekend, and I made muffins today too! So that leads me to some strategies for dealing with things that are past their prime, and are in inconvenient quantitites. First, freeze (and protect from oxygen if possible). This allows you to "stop time" to meter out large quantities or accumulate several portions of small quantities. Second, keep track. Don't forget about that bag of bananas! Third, go with what works. Making something out of leftovers is no good if the new creation will itself become waste. Mini banana muffins are a HUGE hit around here for breakfast, snacks, or even with a smear of frosting for dessert. So, MORE MUFFINS!!!!