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.
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!
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
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!