Spring has sprung and summer is poised to pounce. Berries are budding on the vine in my backyard. We’ve planted blueberries, raspberries, grapes, and three fruit salad trees bearing a total of thirteen varieties of apples, citrus, and deciduous fruits. Oh, and one lowly pear tree.
My fruity bushes, trees, and vines are likely to provide a tasty harvest — I can hardly wait. Because many of my fruits will ripen at once, I thought I’d share some tips on how I store fruits for smoothie-making.
It’s typically best to use fresh, whole, homegrown fruits, but that’s not always convenient or practical. When I see blueberries on sale, I stock up. When I get an opportunity to buy locally grown strawberries and mangoes at the farmer’s market, the bags I lug to the car are heavy enough to leave red stripes across my arms for the rest of the day.
When I get home, I wash the fruits thoroughly, and then cut them up into bite-sized pieces. I peel bananas and slice them into “coins.” Arranging the fruit onto large glass platters, I place them in the freezer for maybe thirty minutes or so. The fruit is then frozen and ready to store. Using a small spatula, or even the back of a spoon, I pop the chunks off the plate and put them into baggies or freezer-safe storage containers.
Frozen bananas, berries, and mangoes provide awesome flavor, antioxidants, nutrients, and fiber to my smoothies. Summertime in every sip. There’s an added benefit, too. The frozen, icy texture of the fruit chunks also provides an extra thickening boost. Yum.
Plopping frozen fruit chunks into my blended smoothies makes a refreshing, summer, or anytime treat. Just before I shut the blender off, I often sprinkle in toasted flax, slivered almonds, or raw, cacao nibs for a bit of a crunch.
I was planning on oatmeal for breakfast today, but I’m re-thinking that idea. I believe a banana-blueberry-flax smoothie awaits. What add-ins are your favorites? Tell me what makes your smoothies groovy!