Cherries were on sale last week at the grocery store. Like, big-time.
And you can big-time bet that I bought a whole bunch. I even pitted some and put them in my smoothies because they are so delicious. Plus, I was thinking of trying a couple of new recipes (cherry clafoutis, anyone?).
But guess what? Mangos were on sale too. Again: big-time. And they, too, are also delicious in smoothies and recipes.
I wanted to horde them all because I know in a couple months they’ll either be unavailable or cost four or more times what they do in-season.
You know what I hate, though? Buying fresh fruit and veggies, only to have them go bad before I can eat them. Ugh. So, no extra fruit for me.
And then I remembered. Doh.
My Grandmother’s Frozen Raspberries
Back in the day, my grandmother (“Nanny”) used to grow rows and rows of raspberries every year. Her raspberry pies were renowned – local restaurants would buy them from her for big bucks – and Nanny made the most amazing “fresh” raspberry compote even in the middle of January.
The berries weren’t mushy and nondescript mashes of goo, either. They were beautifully preserved … and it wasn’t because she did anything magical with them.
She just froze them.
And … duh! … I realized that with a teeny-tiny bit of time and effort, I can freeze practically any fruit I want, too, the same exact way Nanny did. I remember hanging out in the kitchen with her every summer during the not-so-elaborate freezing process.
I know this isn’t rocket science, but I spend a fair amount of time in the kitchen and I figure if this hasn’t occurred to me before, then it likely will be new-ish news to someone else. (I hope the mangoes are still on sale this week.)
How to Freeze Fruit for Smoothies and Healthy Recipes
- First, gather your fruit and thoroughly wash it.
- Then, grab a cookie sheet and line it with parchment paper.
Next, it’s time to prep the fruit.
- For larger fruits and/or those with pits, you will want to remove the skin or peel, and then slice them.
- Citrus fruits can be divided into sections or quarters.
- Fruits that turn brown – like apples – can be dipped into a solution with lemon and water to prevent them from discoloring.
- Berries need no additional prep beyond washing.
Once your fruit is good to go, all you do is place it on the lined cookie sheet, and then put the sheet in the freezer for 2 to 24 hours. After, you can put the fruit into containers (I use freezer bags) in portion-sized amounts so it’s ready for a quick grab & go.
Seriously, so easy!
Beyond smoothies, this frozen fruit can go a long way toward beating an ice cream craving. Just put some frozen fruit in a high-speed blender and whir it up into a sorbet-like concoction. Delish!
This morning I threw together a quick and easy smoothie from my fresh-frozen fruits.
- 1 medium frozen banana
- 10 frozen cherries
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 1/4 avocado
- 1/2 scoop protein powder
- 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
- Put it all in a high-speed blender and blend till smooth. Add more nut milk as needed.
Try it and let me know how you like it!
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Also published on Medium.