Friday, June 6, 2008

Penny Wise Tip for Fruit Past its Prime: Smoothies and Popsicles

I can’t always keep up with the bounty of berries and fresh fruit I purchase on ambitious whim. When the price is right for copious portions, I pounce just like a tiger with claws and teeth exposed. If everything works out just right, the fruits will be eaten or used in recipes right from their perfect fresh state. But inevitably, we’ll go out of town, or get sick, or forget, or get invited to dinner and those perfect little specimens will begin the process of aging. Luckily, fruit freezes exceptionally well, so you can really get your money's worth. Try to catch it when it's just past it's prime or even a little before. Berries and stone fruits (cut in slices) can be frozen on cookie sheets (to prevent clumping) and bagged later for pies, crisps, and crumbles. Peeled bananas can be frozen in 2 inch segments or whole to be dipped in chocolate or baked in breads . Even pineapple, pears, melons, mangoes, papayas, and apples can be frozen for later usage in sorbets and granitas. And of course, there are always smoothies. Smoothies can be healthful, delicious, and darn right cheap-if you make them at home instead of running to Jamba Juice. For spring, its berry smoothies, but soon I’ll be adding slices of stone fruits as well. But here’s a tip on top of a tip. Make a big batch of any kind of smoothie and freeze the leftovers as creamy fruity popsicles. If you purchase little cups of yogurt, such as La Crème by Dannon, the empty container makes a perfect little round popsicle mold. Plastic or paper cups work well also.
Spring Berry Smoothies and Popsicles
Estimated Cost: $2.00 for a smoothie and two small popsicles
Notes: You can use double the milk and no yogurt, but you will need a bit of extra sweetener. You could also swap out the yogurt for ice cream, sorbet, or sherbet for a dessert version.
I like to reserve a spoonful of yogurt and a couple frozen berries for garnish.

1 and ½ cups frozen berries
Half a frozen banana (optional)
4 ounces vanilla or flavored yogurt (fat free and/or sugar free is fine)
½ cup low fat milk
1 tablespoon citrus juice (lemon, lime, orange, tangerine, grapefruit, pineapple)
1 tablespoon honey, maple syrup, or sugar
Blend all ingredients until smooth, adding more milk if necessary, to desired consistency. Taste and adjust amount of honey or sugar as needed. Pour any extra smoothie into paper or plastic cups. Insert a popsicle stick and freeze. YUM!
* You can make a swirled popsicle by mixing in a couple tablespoons of extra yogurt. You can also add in some whole frozen berries.Favorite variations: Strawberry (or mixed Berry) with Orange and Honey
Blueberry with Lemon and Maple
Raspberry, Banana, Lemon and Honey
Blackberry with Lime and Brown Sugar

The popsicles are a huge hit.

Coming Tomorrow:
Food and Furthermore and a Pressing Question....


Lisa said...

Great ideas! My kids will want to make these.

Mary Kate said...

These smoothies look like they taste so good and are good for you. It's so great when those two things can go hand in hand. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

What a cute idea! My kids would love these popscicles and the smoothie. And I wouldn't even have to tell that they're good for them too! You went to blog so early this morning, before I remembered to change the music! You're up so early you always beat me to the punch!=D

Anonymous said...

I forgot to tell you earlier . . .that little girl eating the popsicles looks pretty cute, too!

Prudy said...

It's definitely kid friendly and grown up approved!
MK and Catte:
Thanks-I'm sure your kids would love them. Annabelle, the birthday girl, asked Sailor if she liked her popsicle. I loved the birthday polka, by the way.

Sophie said...

I get the same way!!! Especially when berries are in season :D. This is a great treat. Usually I make muffins with the 'overly ripened' fruits, but during the summer, when it's ridiculously hot, I'd rather put something like this dessert together :D.

Jenny said...

Funny, I just went to the farmers market today and bought an over abundance of produce, I hope I can use it all! It's so hard to pass up great deals.

Great tips and yummy looking smoothies, especially when the weather starts heating up! Have a great weekend! Love the little cuties in the pictures!

Marcy said...

YUM! Great post...thanks for the ideas! My mom just brought me 3 pints of fresh strawberries this weekend and I need ideas for them! :)

Jaime said...

those are so cute! i love smoothies