Thursday, April 03, 2008

Freeze the Fruit!
When the supermarket or produce stands offer outstanding bargains on fresh fruit, don't hesitate to stock up. Freezing the fruit is simple. Our local Plant City strawberries are here, abundant, red, ripe and ready. They are easy to prepare for freezing. I wash the berries, carefully remove the green stem and layer them on paper towels on a cookie sheet and slide into the freezer to allow them to freeze individually. Once frozen, I pop them into a plastic storage bag. This simple method is not intended for long term storage, but it's a way to take advantage of good prices without waste. The fruit I've prepared this way has been fine for 3 to 4 weeks.

With the abundance of producing papaya trees in the area, I've been inundated with more fruit than I can immediately eat. I follow the same routine with papaya, peel it and cut it into cubes and lay the cubes out on a lined cookie sheet or cake pan and place in the freezer.

This week, I indulged in two beautiful canteloupes (granted they weren't local).These two big beauties provided more melon than I could manage before fermentation set in. I peeled, seeded and cut one into cubes—placed the pieces on paper towels in a couple of 9" cake pans and popped them into the freezer, when the pieces were frozen, I just transferred them to a couple of quart plastic bags and found they make a terrific smoothie addition.

The cantaloupe puréed with a couple of room temperature bananas and a good handful of chard gives this light green smoothie a mild pleasant taste similar to a creamsicle.
Swiss chard has a much milder flavor mixed into smoothies than one would guess. Alternating the greens in my morning smoothie helps to provide a wider variety of nutrients and eliminates the boredom of having the same old — same old.

Try chard or kale in place of spinach for a pleasant surprise and a great taste treat.

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