Our District

Reasons to love ugly fruit and vegetables

Are you a picky eater? Not necessarily in the food you like to eat, but more in the way you like your food to look? Do you only pick the best produce from the supermarket shelves, rejecting anything that may be misshapen or slightly bruised?

Like people, we often judge our fruit and vegetables on how they look. We expect our carrots to be straight, our apples to be shiny and tomatoes to be round.

So what happens when fruit or vegetables don’t look like we expect them to? They might be smaller or larger than average, the wrong shape, colour or damaged in other ways.

They get rejected - by the farmer, the supermarket or the shopper. 

Despite a few outer imperfections, ‘ugly’ produce is just as nutritionally good as any other regular produce. This healthy and nutritious food is going to waste, purely because of how it looks.

This is just plain wrong.

So what can you do? Every time you shop, be conscious about what produce you choose. Just because things may be looking a little worse for wear, doesn’t mean they can’t be delicious. Soft tomatoes are great for turning into a sauce, bruised fruit can be stewed, and limp carrots can be transformed into these delicious carrot cake cookies.

For more recipes for less-than-perfect produce, visit http://www.lovefoodhatewaste.co.nz/

Carrot Cake Cookies


  • 100g butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup high grade flour
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup oats
  • 3/4 cup grated carrot, firmly packed


  1.  Preheat oven to 180°C, fan forced.
  2. Soften butter and use an electric beater to whisk butter, sugars and the egg yolk together. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl sift flour, ginger and salt. Fold the dry ingredients in with the wet, followed by the oats and carrot. Mix well.
  4. Spoon tablespoons of mixture onto two baking-paper lined trays (you should have about 20 cookies). Allow some space between each cookie, although they won’t spread far.
  5. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Recipe and image by Julie Crean, rediscover.co.nz