Let’s talk about #RealBeauty

For all our new readers and followers, thank you for supporting the #uglyfoodmovement. Join the conversation about ugly fruits and vegetables and start appreciating the real beauty of all your food by sharing your ugly food pics (Use the hashtag #realbeauty or  #uglyfoodmovement and we’ll be sure to show them off) .

So there’s a lot of support for real beauty campaigns, with the best example being Dove’s Campaign For Real Beauty. “You are more beautiful than you think!’ the famous Real Beauty Sketch advertisement told women and men around the world. The message is quite powerful and poignant, and really got everyone speaking positively about beauty. Now if we can only do the same with our food.

Real beauty, real talk.

After so many years of rejecting blemished and oddly shaped produce by big and small retailers as well as store managers removing these “ugly” items from shelves, Australian shoppers have been conditioned to expect only the very highest levels of freshness, quality and aesthetics. We need to shift our focus quality and taste, not aesthetics. Follow our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for beautiful pictures that will change the way you see “ugly” food”.

-VS

Are You Avo Your Mind?

Photo Credit Dennis Caderao/Demand Media

Avocados are one of those tricky fruits that I just can’t seem to get right. But there is so much to love about avocados and not only for their taste. Experts claim this green dense fruit provide up to 20 vitamins, nutrients and phytonutrients. It is packed with healthy non- guilty monounsaturated fats that your heart will thank you for and tonnes of antioxidants and potassium. Move over apples! An avo a day keeps the doctor away I say!

Generally you won’t find any best before or use by date labels attached anywhere on an avocado. A perfect avocado tend to have a dark green color and is a little soft when pressed lightly but still firm to touch. Once an avocado has been exposed to the cold for too long before it actually ripens, it can trigger discolouration and may cause the flesh to go brown. These spots can also appear after rough mishandling.  It is recommended that the “browned” or oxidized portions of the fruit to discarded (although they are not really harmful), if the layers underneath are green then don’t throw away the whole fruit! The rest of the avocado is completely fine to eat! A rotten avocado will go black and you can leave an indent in the avocado with a gentle press of your finger.

To make their shelf life a bit longer keep them in a fridge. Ripen avocados in the refrigerator will make them last several days longer.

Another solution?

Place your open/cut avocado in an airtight container with a piece of cut up onion; it is suspected that sulfur compounds that the onion releases helps to preserve the avocado.

To make guacamole last longer, we have looked through the internet for some innovative ways and we found it! Scattering some chopped up onions works like above. Alternatively, by putting a thin layer of water over your guacamole and then putting it in the fridge can keep your guacamole green for longer!  How? The water is a perfect barrier against oxygen, and since guacamole is quite dense, a little liquid won’t water it down. Just pour out the water when you take it out to eat and the taste and texture of your guac will be exactly the same. Now your friday night Mexican dinner party can last a little longer (until your Monday’s lunch)!

-VS

RECIPE: HOME-MADE ‘UGLY APPLE’ APPLESAUCE

Following from our previous post, here is one simple and delicious way to preserve your  #uglyapples or apples that you suspect may not get eaten before they turn ugly.

applesauce

The versatility of applesauce leads to endless possibilities. It makes for a great treat-snack-condiment-ingredients and is so easy to whip up! Spread it on your morning pancakes or mix it into your oatmeal with some honey, compliment any pork dishes, put a spoonful on your teacake, use as a healthy alternative to oil in many baked goods …. as I say, endless possibilities!

And did I mention how easy it is to make?!

Time
40 minutes including prep & cooking time

Ingredients

  • 2kg apples
  • 1 cup apple juice or cider
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar

Steps

  1. Peel, core & slice
  2. In a medium pot, mix your chopped up apples with a cup of apple juice or cider.
  3. Squeeze some lemon juice and add in half a cup of brown sugar.
  4. Cook over medium heat for 25 minutes or until apples are soft.
  5. Transfer into a food processor and puree until smooth.

Tip: Add a bit of cinnamon and butter can really enhance the flavour!

Storage: In a airtight jar your applesauce will last for up to 3 weeks, in a freezer up to 2 months!

-VS

What Your Supermarkets Are Doing About Food Waste

Supermarkets around the world have over the last couple of years picked up their own ugly food campaigns. These initiatives involve selling fruits and vegetables that would otherwise be rejected by retailers due to their slightly flawed complexions. The common attitudes towards ugly fruit and veg is hurting farmers and producers who have to throw away tonnes of perfectly good and nutritional produce for superficial reasons, in fact, 1/4 of fresh produce gets discarded before making it into the supermarket due to visual imperfections.

Since Woolworths launched The Odd Bunch campaign last December, over 14 million kilograms are ugly fruits and vegetables have been sold cheaply to consumers who have not been deterred by produce that looks a little wonky, a little bruised.

This campaign is the first of its kind in Australia, and Woolworths plans to expand the range later this year. Its current collection of imperfect produce include avocados, bananas, apples, carrots, potatoes and more. According to Woolies, almost half of the produce sold have been purchased by Australians who have never considered buying produce with a little flaw.

Scott Davidson, head of trade produce at Woolworths, said The Odd Bunch Campaign have been successful due to consumers’ increasing awareness about food waste and many more who are looking for savings when buying their groceries, “It’s clear that Australians share our commitment to reducing food waste and love of fresh, great tasting produce at an affordable price.”

Many young Australians are aware that food waste is a major and complex issue, but don’t necessarily know where to start or how to start reducing food waste. It is such an overwhelming subject, involving many layers of the supply chain. But you can make a difference. Start by supporting campaigns such as The Odd Bunch and help your local producers cost recover. It’s such a competitive environment and we can all do our part to support those who are producing some of the best fruit in the world.

TODAY WE ARE TALKING ABOUT APPLES

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The Ugly Apple does not condone eating rotten apples, oh no, but there are a few things you can check for before you throw away that imperfect or bruised apple

1. CHECK FOR A BEST BEFORE DATE when purchasing

2. CHECK YOUR APPLES

Run them under cold water and check the surface for brown spots, indentations or soft spots. These are generally not harmful, and you can simply cut away the damaged areas and the rest of the fruit will be fine to consume.

Signs that your apples are actually rotten:

  • Apples with brown lesions or mushy spots throughout the flesh
  • Squeeze your apple gently – if your apple feels extra mushy
  • If your apple smells like vinegar

3. PREVENTION

Like human illnesses, prevention is the key to a healthy apple!

Storing apples in the fridge can keep their shelf life longer than when stored at room temperature. Some varieties of apples are also more susceptible to spoilage than others. For apples that can last for a long time, I suggest Granny Smiths!

3. STORAGE

How long do your apples last?

  • Pantry: 1-3 days
  • Fridge: 3-4 weeks
  • Freezer: 10-12 months

To freeze, first scrub under cold running water to gently remove dirt on surface. Then wash, peel, core then slice your apples. Brush the apples with a mixture of 1/2 tsp ascorbic acid and 3 Tbsp water (diluted lemon juice also works); this is to prevent browning of apples. Place in an airtight container and pop them in your freezer for longer lasting but still deliciously juicy apples!

The Truth On Bruised Fruit

Is your ripe banana safe to eat?

It happens to the best of us. Perhaps you left your bananas at work over the weekend, or you forgot about the apples that you bought from the supermarket that are still left in the back of you car. You end up tossing your #uglyfruits, but they may not be all bad for you after all.

Bruise is an indicator of cellular damage, explains “The Explainer” at Slate.

“When you ding an apple or a banana, it can compromise the ability of the skin or the peel to keep oxygen away from the fruit, and oxygen breaks down the cellular walls and membranes. When the chemicals within the fruit become oxidized, the reaction causes an unappealing brown colour.”

However there is no evidence that oxidised fruit is bad for you!

The nutritional benefits of bruised fruit may not necessarily be compromised although you have to watch for infection or mold, the chances of which increase with bruising. If you can see or smell something odd, then your fruit is probably past its used by date.

There are many ways you can use your #uglyfruits if it’s too ugly or mushy to stomach. Instead, why not turn your bruised fruits into something delicious such as in pies, soups, cakes, jams and even juice. We have been scouring the net for the best recipes to use for your #uglyfruits, watch this space!