Rethink & revive your food

Those Brussels sprouts look wilty. That bread is crusty and stale. They can’t be good to eat, right? Think before you toss. There may be a way to revive that day-old veggie or bread into a tasty dish.

Monthly Topic Overview

Bread, fruit, and vegetables are just a few food categories at risk of getting wasted when items appear stale, bruised, or wilted. Embracing food imperfections with a little culinary creativity can significantly reduce food waste (and save you money!).

A note on food safety: 

Many foods in these conditions (stale, wilted, etc.) are safe to eat. Following our tips on food expiration dates can help with understanding what is safe or not. Beyond these guidelines, use your senses – some foods are noticeably beyond saving if the look, smell, or taste is concerning.

Tips by food type: 

More tips: 

  • Mushy berries and other bruised, overripe fruits can be used to make smoothies. Blend fruit with water, juice, or milk. Add some honey or cinnamon for extra flavor and added nutrition!
  • Got other wilted veggies besides lettuce? Soak wilted vegetables (carrots, celery and more) in an ice bath for about 10 minutes to bring them back to life. Wilted produce is usually a result of loss of water and they just need to be rehydrated. Learn more.
  • Stale crackers or chips can be re-toasted in the oven to crisp them up. Learn more.
  • Soup or sauce too salty? Add some vinegar, lemon juice, water, or brown sugar. Learn more.


Got some stale bread at home? Follow along with Emily in the kitchen and whip up some seasoned croutons or breadcrumbs!


Read more Love Food, Fight Waste topics, brought to you by Table to Table and the City of Iowa City.