Thursday, November 20, 2014

Make it Yourself - Frozen Fruit

Why buy frozen fruit when you can freeze it yourself and make whatever combinations you want? Pick up fruit that is on sale or use what you have grown yourself, and you're in business for cheap! Although it takes a little bit of time, it is not at all difficult to produce your own frozen fruit medley. Since we use our frozen fruit for smoothies, I've been trying to figure out which fruits are best suited. For the purpose of this article I have purchased kiwi fruit, as I have not seen this particular fruit in the frozen foods section. We shall see how it fares in the world of smoothie making!

The tools for processing your kiwi fruit are simple, yet effective. A cutting board, sharp knife, and a spoon are all you need. First, cut off either end of the kiwi, and cut a slit down one side.

Using your spoon, peel back the skin all the way around, leaving behind a bright green barrel of fruit.

Once I was finished peeling, I cut my peels into manageable pieces and tossed them out the back door for the goats and birds to munch on. Here, I shall end the 'how to peel a kiwi' tutorial, and continue on with the 'how to make frozen fruit' tutorial.

When deciding how small to make your pieces, keep in mind how hard it will be for your blender to process your fruit. You want to make the pieces small enough to be blended easily, but not so small that you take all day to chop the fruit. Since bananas are soft and easy to puree, just peel and cut into halves or thirds. Remove stems from smaller berries, and halve strawberries (quarter if exceptionally large.) Peel, core and chop anything else.

Once your fruits have been chopped into appropriately-sized pieces, line a baking sheet with waxed paper and arrange the fruit pieces evenly over the surface. Store your baking sheet in your freezer (a deep freezer works best) for about an hour to an hour and a half, just long enough to freeze those puppies up firm. Remove your baking sheet from the chill chest, peel your now-frozen gems of deliciousness up from the wax paper and store in a zip-top bag.

Be sure to press all the air out, and return it to the freezer immediately. I always label anything that I remove from its original packaging, or process myself, with the date, and what is in the bag. That way you always know what you have, and you know how long it's been there!