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Leftover Questions


Leftover canned fruit juices can be used in smoothies. Check out these foods under five dollars pictures.
Matthew Bowden

How to Use Leftover Canned Fruit Juice

Q. Some of the recipes I've made lately call for canned fruit packed in its own juice. It seems a shame to use just the fruit and discard the juice. Can I save this juice and use it later? Can you recommend the best way to preserve it until I decide how to use it?

A. Canned fruits are usually packed either in syrup (a sugary liquid added to help keep the fruit fresh and sweet) or in natural fruit juices (either from the canned fruit itself or from other fruits).

The natural juices in which some fruit is packed has the added benefit of offering some nutritional benefits, so it doesn't make any sense to dump it down the drain.

Whether you purchase cans packed with syrup or natural juices, there are a number of ways to make use of the liquid left over. Try mixing a couple tablespoons into your favorite frostings or icings to add a little zing. Or substitute it for an equal amount of water in cake, pancake, or cookie recipes.

Or whip it up in a smoothie: Whiz a half cup of low-fat plain yogurt, a handful of strawberries or a half a banana, some milk, a couple of ice cubes, and a splash of the syrup or fruit juice in a blender.

Measure any leftover juice into a freezer ice tray. Pour a tablespoon of juice in each of the compartments in an ice cube tray and freeze; when solid, remove the juice cubes and store them in a sealed freezer bag indefinitely. Begin thawing what you need for your recipe 20 to 30 minutes beforehand.

How to Use Canned Pumpkin

Q. What can I make with leftover canned pumpkin?

Add leftover pumpkin to pancake or waffle batter.
Add leftover pumpkin to pancake or waffle batter.
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A. You can add leftover canned pumpkin purée to many dishes and baked goods -- just adjust the liquid in the recipe to accommodate it. Pumpkin purée also can be stored in a covered container in the freezer.

Try adding leftover pumpkin to pancake or waffle batter, nut breads or other quick breads, brownies, cookie dough, pasta dough, risotto, cheesecake, muffins, soups, stews, crème brûlée, pound cake batter, or white or yellow cake mix batters.

Or, make a simple pumpkin soup by thinning the pumpkin purée with a little chicken broth. Season it with cinnamon and/or nutmeg and some shredded apple, and swirl a little cream or half-and-half through it before serving.

Microwaving Leftovers Tips

Q. What is the best way to reheat leftover sandwiches in the microwave?

Leftover sandwiches should be wrapped in a paper towel before reheating in the microwave.
Leftover sandwiches should be wrapped in a paper towel before reheating in the microwave.
John Lee

A. When reheating leftover sandwiches, wrap them loosely in a paper towel before microwaving. The paper towel will absorb excess moisture so that the sandwich will not become soggy.

For more microwave tips and recipes which feature canned fruit juice and canned pumpkin, visit:


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