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Super-Size Your Wallet + Smoothie Recipe

What’s crazy about buying two pounds of organic strawberries for five bucks? Okay, obviously, the price. But what’s crazy would be to buy the strawberries when bushels of them are oozing out of our garden beds.

Then why on earth did I buy any more berries? For one, these are premium, seasonal berries that are in their prime. Second, the cost is dirt cheap, compared to what I would pay for berries out of season. Even when buying frozen, these are still dirt cheap.

The next time you are at the store, why not buy double what you think your family will consume this week? Strawberries, blueberries, kiwis, cherries, bananas, mangoes, pineapple. Don’t limit yourself.

First, Divide your bulk purchase into two portions. One portion is for enjoying this week. The other half is for freezing and enjoying a few months from now.

Second, remove the inedible parts – the stems, any pits or tough skin. Wash and slice the way that you would for serving.

Third, place in an airtight freezer bag. Label the bag and date. That’s it! The next time you need fruit for smoothies, compotes, muffins, or other dishes, you’ll have it right at hand.

By taking advantage of low seasonal prices with fresh produce, you are doing the very thing that food manufacturers are doing with seasonal fruit. Only you are saving yourself money and time. I’ve been able to store my fruit for about 3 months this way with only mild traces of freezer burn. If you wish to use your frozen fruit in the winter time, adjust the timing when you purchase and freeze your fruit.

Summertime is when we can reasonably expect a boon of bargain bin prices on our favorite fruits. And, they taste much more alive because they are in season. They are fresher, which means you get more nutritional value for your buck.

So what will I do with all my extra strawberries? I’ll probably freeze the ones I’ve purchased, if we don’t eat them first. They’ve already found their way into a few veggie smoothies. We’ll eat the garden strawberries shortly after they’ve been removed from their stem. They are irresistibly sweet and juicy!

Strawberry-Cucumber-Beet Smoothie:

BEFORE. Best if using a strong blender.

Estimated prep time: 10 minutes

AFTER. I topped with broccoli flowers.

*You may need to adjust liquid somewhat to achieve a consistency you desire.

  • ~ 2 cups clean leafy greens, such as chard or beet greens
  • ~ 2 medium beets (scrub them well)
  • ~ 7 large red berries (optional)
  •  ~ 1/3 cucumber, sliced
  •  ~ 1 inch unpeeled ginger
  • 1/2 avocado
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon or lime
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 3-4 tbsp flaxseed oil
  • Water or almond milk, as needed
  • *** Substitute or omit any ingredient as needed! =-)

Directions:

  1. Clean all ingredients. Quarter large pieces, such as beets and cucumber to make it gentler on your blender.
  2. Add all items to blender.
  3. Add water until blender is appx. 3/4 full with water or plant-based milk. You can start off with less water and gradually add more as you see fit (depending on the consistency you like).
  4. Blend until smooth. It will vary, depending on the strength of your blender.

 

Now I want to hear from you. What fresh produce have you tried freezing? Can you offer any advice about smart storage and preventing freezer burn? Do you have fresh ideas for vegetable smoothies?

xoxo

Frances

 

 

 

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  • Kate Farris

    OK, here is some food for thought – no pun intended! Sam finally pulled out of a nearly 4-week food protest. He ate occasionally, but mostly just wanted milk and we were worried about him not getting all the vitamins and nutrients he needs. Our care provider, who is a very wonderful mother of two, said that she used Pediasure with her children when they wouldn’t eat. Well, when I went to the grocery store and read what ingredients go into Pediasure, I was not so sure! When I saw your veggie smoothies, I came up with the greatest question: Can I make something nutritionally equivalent to pediasure, at home, with real fruits, veggies, and other dairy products?

    • Frances Arnold

      Kate, this is such an AWESOME IDEA!! I love that you aren’t just taking the pediasure at face-value. It would be one of my last resorts to supplement a child’s diet, and there are good reasons to use it if absolutely necessary. But for Sam, it sounds like we could try other options.

      If you start off with the veggie-fruit base I described, you will be fortifying him with A LOT of lovely vitamins and minerals. The leafy greens do supply him with calcium as well.

      So what you really need is to add protein. For dairy, add yogurt, kefir, milk. Also try soaked almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sprouted mung beans or even chickpea flour. And of course, my favorite additions are ham, bacon, cheeseburgers or hotdogs. Hits the spot in a smoothie! =-D (wink!)

      Tell me how it goes!

  • Monika

    Kate, the winter is here, so this may not be the most useful advice, but something to keep in mind for next season. My friend has a tiny veggie garden and every morning takes her kids to collect chard leaves, has her kids wash the leaves and add them to a smoothie. The kids loved it and I was surprised that her 2 and 4 year old ate something green! Getting te kids engaged was the key!

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