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#SundaySupper wants to help the flavors of summer last a little longer by giving you recipes and tips for saving the summertime harvest. I’m going to give you a few tips for freezing berries, plus my secret ingredient for how to make the creamiest Blueberry, Peaches & Cream Green Smoothies.
Blueberry, Peaches & Cream Green Smoothies
Perhaps it’s a terms that has gotten a bit overused, but I do consider myself a foodie. And not just a foodie that enjoys that flavors and aromas of food, but a foodie that enjoys making and experimenting with food – different foods, different preparations, different combinations, different techniques. But sometimes I feel like I haven’t earned that “foodie” title because there are some things I haven’t mastered, and many that I haven’t even attempted.
I can’t make a pie crust to save my life. Though I have worked with it, I’m scared of yeast, unless I’m just dumping it in my bread machine. I’ve only dabbled in gluten-free baking. Haven’t even attempted a macaron. Canning? Forget it. Nevermind the time and effort, which is usually spent
on Facebook cleaning up after spending quality time with my kids, and the fact that I can’t grow anything to save my life, I am scared to death of exploding glass jars, botulism, and all of the risks that everyone assures me are not really risks if you follow a few simple instructions. So while I do someday hope to perfect pie crust and make a swoon-worthy macaron, I’ll leave canning to the pros.
But one thing I can do is freeze stuff. I know you’re thinking that you can just chuck food in the freezer, right? What’s so difficult? Well, I’m not saying it’s rocket science, but after making homemade baby and toddler food in bulk for two kids, I have learned a thing or two. So here are a couple of my suggestions.
- For berries, wash and dry them thoroughly, place in a single layer on a sheet pan that you’ve lined with plastic wrap or parchment and place it in the freezer. Once frozen solid, transfer them to a freezer-safe storage container or plastic freezer bags, press out any excess air, and seal. The berries can then be easily measured out to put into smoothies, muffins, pancakes, and other recipes. This single-layer tip also works with steamed cubes of carrots or winter squash, and even broccoli and cauliflower florets or pear and apple slices. These are great to have on hand for not only the babes as they are first getting introduced to solid foods, but also for quick toddler snacks and lunches.
- And while the “green” side of me wants to use as few plastic storage bags as possible, don’t try to cram as much as possible in them because every time you open it up to get out some frozen fruit, you let in air and moisture. If it takes you awhile to get to the bottom of that bag, the last of its contents will be full of ice crystals and freezer burn, and you’ll just want to throw it away anyway, defeating the whole purpose of saving produce when it is at the peak of ripeness and the lowest cost.
- You can also great “smoothie packs” by portioning out just the right amount of fruit for your smoothie recipe into individual sandwich bags. Using frozen fruit gives it that frosty texture without needing to water it down with a ton of ice.
So now that you know how to freeze your fruit, you can make summer smoothies all year long. Oh wait, I promised you a secret ingredient…
What makes these Blueberry, Peaches & Cream Green Smoothies the creamiest, dreamiest ever? OK, I may loves me some Greek yogurt in pretty much everything, and while I do often put it in smoothies, like my Strawberry Cheesecake Smoothie, I actually love to use… wait for it… cottage cheese!
Wait, stop, hold everything! Cottage cheese? That curdly, funky stuff that you either love or hate (I happen to be on the love side, but that’s another story for another day)? OK, all you haters out there, just trust me on this one. I mentioned it to a cottage cheese hater, and this is the text I got back from her.
See! Trust me on this one, people! The curds disappear into a creamy base, there is no tartness like you can get from Greek yogurt, and the bit of salt really enhances the sweetness of the fruit, just like when you add salt to a brownie, cookie, or cake recipe. If you just can’t wrap your head around it, go on and use Greek yogurt. It’s all good. You’ll still enjoy my favorite late summer fruit combination in this yummy smoothie.
And if you still aren’t on the green smoothie bandwagon, leave out the greens, or go with baby spinach. That what I always use. My grocery store was out of the big containers of organic baby spinach last week, so I picked up baby kale, and I’m sorry, people, I just can’t get over the taste of it in my fruity smoothies. But spinach and I are totally cool.
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And check out the rest of today’s #SundaySupper Saving Summer Menu at the bottom of this post.
How do you preserve summer’s bounty?
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Blueberry, Peaches and Cream Green Smoothies
- A large handful of baby spinach or another dark leafy green
- 1/2 cup cottage cheese or plain Greek yogurt
- 1 cup of milk I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- 1 peach cut into cubes, fresh or frozen
- 1-2 teaspoons honey or maple syrup if needed, depending on how sweet your fruit is
- Optional 1-3 ice cubes if you want a frostier texture
- Optional 1 teaspoon flax or chia seeds
- Place all of the ingredients except the honey and ice in your blender in the order listed, and puree until smooth.
- Add honey or maple syrup, if needed, and ice cubes, if desired, and puree again until smooth.
Want some more smoothies?
Plus here are a ton of great tips, tutorials, and recipes for “Saving Summer” from the #SundaySupper contributors:
Learn how to …
- Dry Fruit – No-Dehydrator-Needed from Take A Bite Out of Boca
- Freeze Cherries from Pies and Plots
- Freeze Herbs from Rhubarb and Honey
- Make Freezer Harvest Soup Kits from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Make Pesto Cubes from The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
- Make and Freeze Rosemary Butter from Momma’s Meals
- Make Ready to Blend Smoothie Packs for Your Freezer from The Educators’ Spin On It
- Oven Dry Cherries from The Redhead Baker
Sip sunny cocktails and smoothies
- Blueberry, Peaches and Cream Green Smoothies from Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Green Tea and Chocolate Saketini from Ninja Baking
- Sangria from Confessions of a Culinary Diva
Scoop up special salsas and sauces
- Classic Freezer Tomato Sauce from Noshing With The Nolands
- Peach Salsa from The Texan New Yorker
- Pico de Gallo from Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
- Spicy Apple – Carrot Chutney from What Smells So Good?
- Spring Conserve from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Jump into jellies, jams and preserves
- Apricot Habanero Jam from Food Lust People Love
- Corn Cob Jelly from Daily Dish Recipes
- Hot Pepper Jelly from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- No Pectin Apricot Jam from Curious Cuisiniere
- Peach Preserves from Delaware Girl Eats
- Pineapple Mango Moscato Jam from Seduction in the Kitchen
- Raw Raspberry-Vanilla Chia Jam from Shockingly Delicious
- Savory Fig and Sweet Onion Freezer Jam from Peaceful Cooking
- Spicy Ginger Tomato Jam with Coconut Sugar from Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
- Spicy Red Pepper Jam from The Wimpy Vegetarian
Pucker up for pickles
- Bread and Butter Pickles from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Pickled Beets and Onions from Kudos Kitchen by Renée
- Pickled Green Tomatoes from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Refrigerator Pickled Jalapeños with Herbs from Magnolia Days
- Refrigerator Pickled Radish and Turnips from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
- Refrigerator Pickles from Webicurean
- Sweet Pickled Cauliflower from Because I Like Chocolate
Slurp and spoon soup and a side dish
- Easy Garden Fresh Tomato Basil Soup from Neighborfood
- Savory Summer Kimchi from A Mama, Baby & Shar-pei in the Kitchen
Dive into divine desserts
- Easy (no machine) Cherry Cheesecake Ice Cream from Mama Bee Does
- Freeze ‘em For Later Peach Berry Hand Pies from eating in instead
- Frozen Yogurt Covered Blueberries from Peanut Butter and Pepper
- Lemon and Blackberry Meringue Cakes from Happy Baking Days
- Lemon Curd Coffee Crumb Cake with Vanilla Drizzle from Wallflour Girl
- Vegan Strawberry Ice Cream from Killer Bunnies, Inc