Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Freezing Fruit and a Smoothie

strawberries, washed and ready strawberries, put to the knife

While I have a tendency to splurge on things like chocolate, peanut butter, and baking supplies, I do have some good thrifty habits. Like buying in bulk, shopping in Chinatown, and freezing stuff, especially fruit. I am a smoothie fanatic, so there's always a bag or two of frozen fruit in my freezer. I buy frozen fruit, but I like to freeze stuff myself as well - especially bananas.

This is a great trick for keeping fruit from going bad and preserving seasonal fruits at their peak (peaches and wild blueberries, hello!). Since frozen fruit lasts virtually forever, you can have summer berries in smoothies, pies, crisps, oatmeal, etc. even in the middle of winter. This is also something I do to take advantage of sales - such as the recent one on strawberries. So though freezing fruit sounds pretty straightforward (and I assure you, it is) here are a few tips to get you started.

Freezing Fruit
This technique works for most fruits, with a few slight variations for certain fruits. I've frozen mangoes, strawberries, pears, bananas, blueberries, and peaches, but this will work with just about any fruit.

1. Line a large baking sheet with parchment or wax paper and set aside.

2. Prepare fruit (wash and dry, peel, core, depending on the fruit you're using). If freezing fruit that browns (peaches, nectarines, or apples) mix the pieces with a splash of lemon juice and a sprinkling of sugar.

3. Spread the fruit out on the baking sheet, making sure the fruit is spaced evenly and not piled up.

4. Place the pan in the freezer and leave for at least 8 hours or over night. Once frozen, remove, and transfer the fruit to a freezer bag, breaking apart any clumps that may have formed, seal, and store in the freezer. Use in place of fresh fruit for recipes, or just add a handful to your morning porridge or cereal, or make a smoothie!

freezing strawberries

Peanut Butter & Jam Smoothie
This smoothie is delicious and filling - and it tastes just like pb&j! The peanut butter adds protein, and the blackstrap molasses gives this smoothie a good dose of iron.

1 cup Soy Milk (or other milk of your choice)
1 tbsp Blackstrap Molasses (make sure to buy blackstrap! It's available in any health or bulk store, and most grocery stores. Look for unsulphured blackstrap molasses, it's chock full of minerals, especially iron.)
1 - 2 tbsp Natural Peanut Butter
1 heaping cup Frozen Strawberries

Serves 1.

Pour milk into a blender. Add blackstrap molasses, peanut butter, and strawberries. Blend on high, stopping to stir things around if necessary. Serve immediately and enjoy!

strawberry & pb smoothie scraped clean

6 comments:

  1. Great blog, Liz! I also have become a big fan of frozen fruit smoothies. To boost the nutrition, I add a handful of frozen greens (cook first) like kale or swiss chard. If I blend it well enough, I can hardly tell they're in there.

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  2. Love this! A lot of fruit it grown where I live and in certain months it's so much cheaper to buy a lot and freeze it for later in the year. It's soooo worth the effort! The molasses in your smoothie sounds delicious - I need to try that! I'm always looking for more ways to get iron.

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  3. I love smoothies!! I've seen some blog posts lately of making little smoothie packets, using frozen yogurt and berries (so dump contents of bag into blender with milk/juice and quick smoothie!) and want to try making my own, but have no idea how to freeze fruit or what fruits to freeze, etc. This post has such great tips and info--I'll totally be referring to it again as I get ready to try freezing my fruit for smoothies! Thanks for sharing!! :)

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  6. Your smoothie looks really great, but I’ll never cheat on my juicing! You can try it too, that’s as amazing as smoothies, even better sometimes. Choose your first juicer like juicers in this article and start a new adventure!

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