Turning pantry slops into lunchbox gold

Exciting times at VSHQ with a complete kitchen renovation just days away. For the past month we’ve eaten our way through the pantry and now I’m down to the SLOPS. All those supermarket impulse buys and double ups that have me now scratching my head as to just how I’m going to combine water chestnuts, lychees, olives and four jars of seeded mustard into one delicious meal.

Tinned fruit seems to be the single thing I buy, but never use. Here’s what I was left with….

I know, it's a massive shame that the leopard print contact that lines all my cupboard is about to go...

I know, it’s a massive shame that the leopard print contact that lines all my cupboards is about to go…

Yesterday I managed to rid myself of the cherries and pineapple (too easy). The cherries were combined with frozen blackberries and apple in a traditional crumble (use this recipe here) and the pineapple worked perfectly with desiccated coconut (another ingredient I always have too much of) in a lunchbox treat that has the kids singing my praises.

You can win a set of 4myearth snack wraps!

Pineapple & coconut muffins

1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1 cup desiccated coconut
1/4 cup raw sugar
440g crushed pineapple in juice. Drain the fruit over a bowl – keep the juice.
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup grapeseed oil or melted butter

Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease a 12-hole muffin tray or line with paper cases.

In a large bowl combine the flour, coconut & sugar. Mix together.

In a separate jug, combine 1/4 cup of the pineapple juice with the egg, milk and oil. Whisk this together thoroughly.

Tip the wet ingredients into the dry. Combine roughly then add in the crushed pineapple. Stir to mix through then divide evenly between your muffins holes.

Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden and springy to touch.

Makes 12


Yes! A new e-book has just arrived in store!

Yes! A new e-book has just arrived in store!

39 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Nicola Nye said,

    Mango is a hit in our house with lime and a hint of chilli and served as a sauce on chicken or salmon. I also use it to make fruity couscous (like fried rice but add chopped veggies and mango to couscous)

    In summer I would freeze any/all of those fruits then toss them into a blender to make an easy sorbet/granita.

    Lychees are awesome for Halloween – stuff with a berry (fresh or frozen or jube) then serve in green jelly. They look like eyeballs.

    Heck. Just give me all the tins. πŸ™‚

  2. 2

    Tropical cheesecake using all of the above! Or a pavlova πŸ˜‰ Lol

  3. 3

    sapna said,

    chop them up and serve them as fruit salad when kids come back from school – sprinkle some ground cinnamom and pinch of salt for extra flavour…

  4. 4

    Mandy Seeger said,

    Tinned fruit is great for smoothies! Try Peach Banana or Mango banana for an after school treat.
    The peaches I would just pop in a container in the fridge & use for the school lunches, just pop them in a leak proof container with a spoon & the kids will love them.
    Drizzle the passionfruit over plain yoghurt and use the lychees for a cocktail like lychee margarita, yum!

  5. 5

    tracey said,

    tropical jelly pots. i use the little tupperware jelly containers and put tinned fruit in them. πŸ™‚ kids love them.

  6. 6

    Carly W said,

    freeze the lychees …. and then once firm pop some frozen banana, lychees in food processor and blitz until creamy (voila .. icecream) … top with passionfruit for a tropical treat …

    Peaches …. crumble!!!!!!!

    Cherries …. upside down cake/cobbler

    Mangoes … mmmmm with yoghurt or into a smoothie…

    Crushed pineapple …. that really easy pineapple/custard pie recipe that goes around .. you know the one with crushed pineapple custard powder and a few other bits n pieces into a pastry case (or just in a bowl) until set…. or better yet! Healthy Hummingbird cake/slice .. then you can freeze it (pre sliced) for lunch box treats.

  7. 7

    samleader said,

    If I’m not mistaken, most of those fruits are all well-known martini flavours. When’s the party, baby?

  8. 8

    Shelley said,

    Mango Salad! Freaked me out the first time I ate it but it was awesome. From memory I think it had: lettuce, bacon, mango, avocado and some nuts eg. cashews/ walnuts. Just looked it up and there are some nice nice dressings for it where you may be able to use some of that mustard. As for the rest of the fruit I would totally have it with some icecream for desert.

  9. 9

    Mary Preston said,

    Fruit smoothies are the go around here. My favourite way of using up surplus.

  10. 10

    Mel said,

    Make a tropical fruit salad, use as a topping for a pavlova or make an adults only fruity daiquiri to transport you away from the cold of Melbourne to a tropical Isle!

  11. 11

    Christy Seymour said,

    Trifle……always a winner.

  12. 12

    Mrs P said,

    Passionfruit butter. Mango chutney. Peach cobbler and for the Lychees, make yourself a cocktail πŸ˜‰ All of these win two very enthusiastic thumbs up around these parts πŸ™‚

  13. 13

    Dave said,

    Good ‘Ol fashioned’ trifle could be the way to go to use them all up. The juices can even be used to marinate the sponge cake pieces or to make the jelly.

    If your looking for a dinner option then the mangoes and lychees would be fantastic in a Thai red chicken curry.. Followed by a peach and passionfruit sorbet!

    Thank you for your muffin recipe. Our 3.5yr old discovered pineapples when we were in Fiji and has liked them ever since. Guess what we’ll be baking this week?

  14. 14

    Claire B said,

    I was going to say fruit muffins, but as you have already made some I’ll say a “Not really hummingbird cake”. Hummingbird cake is meant to be peach and pineapple, but I’d dice and mix the peaches, mango and lychees together and use in place of the pineapple and peach. If you wanted to get really fancy you could do a passion fruit syrup over the top, otherwise save it for a pav.

    Now I’m going to go buy your new e-book. I can never have too many slow cooker recipes and I use it at least weekly, often 2-3 times a week over the cooler months.

  15. 15

    Melissa said,

    I see a bit bowl of fruit punch coming up!!

  16. 16

    Tracey said,

    Little pastry squares. Put some fruit in the middle of pastry & cook. A great winter dessert. Great with ice cream

  17. 17

    susievenkat said,

    The passionfruit just screams “Drizzle over a pav”; mango is for a mango & BBQ chook, sour cream, mustard and cashew nut combo/salad thing…; peaches – mmm – a crumble; and lychees – well I’d like them neat, for dessert, but possibly even better, frozen and mushed with banana for an icecream – ooh yum! I’ve made myself hungry!

  18. 18

    krye84 said,

    This is a winner in our house for breakfast (I 1/2 the sugar) it cooks in my roasting dish so quite large http://www.themenumom.com/peach-baked-oatmeal/
    Homemade Mango Wiess bars
    Melting moments with passionfruit icing (freeze for later)
    Crushd pinapple is screaming pizza for me
    Lychees with home made vanilla icecream

    Peach Baked Oatmeal
    Print This Tweet Cold winter days make me want something warm in the morning. I want it to be filling…

  19. 19

    Lisa Z said,

    Bung the whole lot on a pav, or freeze for fruit smoothies or fruity dream. I find bags of random frozen fruit great for ‘day before veggie box arrives’ after school snacks. Also handy for popping between pieces of pastry for emergency deserts.

  20. 20

    Venessa apThomas said,

    i would’ve gone with:
    Peach & pineapple upside down cake.
    Cherry & lychee crumble.
    Meringues/pavlova with mango & passion fruit.

    Have a dinner party where guests bring an entree or main & wine- you supply a dessert buffet. 😊
    Now that you only have 4 ingredients left.. I’d make a tropical day of meringue/pavlova (dress your own) & tropical daiquiris (slushies for kids). Or some homemade custard with fruit salad. πŸ˜‹

  21. 21

    Sarina Hargreaves said,

    Baked salmon with warm mango salsa πŸ™‚

  22. 22

    Sherilee Nickels said,

    Honestly, the first thing that came to my mind was cocktails. I love lychees and lychee juice in white wine.
    I use peaches in a cobbler. Delicious.
    Mangoes are great in a spinach macadamia mango salad.
    Passionfruit I’d use for either a soufflΓ© or to make Passionfruit melting moments.

  23. 23

    Naomi Coleman said,

    Mango and passionfruit in a tropical vanilla slice. Lychees in a Thai red curry and peaches served with double cream delish!!

  24. 24

    Natalie said,

    I would use them to make fun fruit faces and a fruit punch for the kids!

  25. 25

    Laura said,

    If you’re trying to kick the sugar habit, any or all of these canned fruits can be used in a delicious rice pudding dessert.

    Cook 3 cups of rice (brown works fine) as usual and then mix in 2 cans of unsweetened coconut milk and your choice of canned fruit. I just made one yesterday with peaches and blackberries. Add cinnamon and cloves and stew over the stove for a few minutes before serving. Freezes and microwaves well.

    For best results, consume 5 times a day πŸ™‚

  26. 26

    sharyn w said,

    mango – a delicious mango, chicken and vegie curry
    passionfruit – fish with passionfruit and ginger sauce – i had this once and i really liked it.
    peaches – peach and cinnamon turnovers
    lychees – a lychee pana cotta

  27. 27

    Bree said,

    I would drain and freeze the fruit. Then place into the blender for a healthy alternative to sorbet or freeze in icy pole moulds for the kids.
    Mango I would add to a salad with grilled salmon and toasted cashews.
    Other than that I would use as layers in a parfait. Muesli, yoghurt and layers of fruit. Gives natural sweetness and crunch.

  28. 28

    Annika said,

    Freeze your passion fruit for later use.

  29. 29

    Kristy Spiegl said,

    I freeze fresh or tinned fruit then blend with a small amount of cream or coconut cream and my son actually believes this is ice cream. Personally mango lassi, pavlova using all of them or breakfast sundaes (yoghurt fruit honey and muesli layered in parfait glasses) would be my choices. DH is a massive tinned fruit fan and would eat all of them with ice cream or custard.

  30. 30

    Jo said,

    Peaches and mango go very nicely in some puff pastry triangles served with icecream or cream! Lychees could be mixed with some pears for a delicious morning tea cake (any butter cake recipe) with a passionfruit syrup drizzled over the top. Enjoy!

  31. 31

    Louise said,

    Passion fruit cheesecake! My son loves it. The cherries would also be nice in a Black Forest cake.

  32. 32

    Gem said,

    I’d use the 4 tins of fruit plus a couple of tins of coconut cream to make homemade Weiss bars: frozen treats, make it in a lined bar tin, and you could slice it and serve with some of the tinned passion fruit as a coulis to top! Yummo!

  33. 33

    Adele m said,

    yells pavlova to me. But I like the idea of cocktails, punch and smoothies too

  34. 34

    Sarah B said,

    The first thing I think of is a trifle. You could use the leftover tins up in one go!
    Or you could just save time and eat them up with a bit of custard. Otherwise hide them in a delicious fruity smoothy πŸ™‚

  35. 35

    sewing4kids said,

    Taste.com has an amazing looking recipe that I really want to try. This post is giving me the invitation I need to try it. It uses tinned peaches. http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/37739/peach+almond+and+caramel+self+saucing+pudding
    But an even easier way I’ve recently learnt… The 2 ingredient cake! 1 packet plain cake mix and 1 large tin of fruit, with juices. Mix the two together and bake according to the packet mix. The varieties are endless! Imagine a yummy lychee cake…. Mmmmmm.

  36. 36

    Kerri said,

    Crushed biscuits with melted butter to form a base (like a cheesecake). Take a tin of condensed milk, whatever tin fruit u wish (well drained)chopped, and combine. Pour over base ans freeze. You have icecream slice.

  37. 37

    Cat Rivett said,

    Ohh a tropical paradise! Freeze them all then blend them together for a yummy icecream – delicious!

  38. 38

    Belinda said,

    Blend all or different combinations of them and freeze into icy pole moulds for summer treats or to soothe sore throats

  39. 39

    Make a huge yummy Pavlova for dessert tomorrow night.

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