Your reliable partner for frozen foods
The best I can manage during the hectic gardening season is to collect my blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries and freeze them.
When pears and apples have a good year, the same thing takes place. I wash and cut up small mounds of imperfect fruits, then freeze them for another time.
Because the majority of us are full from rich cakes and pastries, this gives us the chance to celebrate fruits from gardens, and the fact that it is post-holiday season complicates matters.
Here are six wonderful alternatives to baking that you may do with the half-forgotten fruits in your freezer.
Take this as a gentle reminder to make healthy smoothies with frozen fruits such as cherries, strawberries, and other fruits with few seeds. You can use peaches, blueberries, currants, and all of their relatives. You can also add any leftover kale or spinach from your winter garden to the blender.
I prefer to remove the seeds from seedy blackberries and raspberries and consume the tart juice, which is a fantastic addition to herbal beverages. The process is easy: In a large pot, add a quart (liter) of frozen fruits such as raspberries or blackberries.
Over medium heat, add one-half cup (100ml) of water and simmer. Use a potato masher or a big spoon to mash the heated berries.
Remove the mixture from the fire and let it cool after it is steaming hot. Remove the seeds by pouring through a strainer; the leftovers will surprise the neighborhood birds.
Frozen strawberries and cherries' cell walls are broken down throughout the freezing and thawing processes, which is advantageous if you want to dry some of your frozen berries for chewy, wholesome snacks.
You can dry frozen strawberry or cherry halves directly in a dehydrator, but I've found that coating the sliced fruit in sugar and letting it sit in the freezer for a day prior to drying it greatly enhances the overall quality of the dried fruit.
Although frozen blueberries and currants dehydrate more quickly and effectively than fresh ones, dried versions of these berries will still be extremely acidic and little seedy.
It would be lovely to have homemade raspberry vinegar on hand for the impending salad season, or perhaps a rich purple vinegar prepared with blackberries or blueberries.
Any kind of vinegar can be combined with frozen raspberries or blueberries, which should be left to sit at room temperature for 5 to 7 days to become brown. After removing them with a strainer, put your blueberry or raspberry vinegar in fresh bottles.
Small amounts of fruit preserves or syrup can be quickly and easily made by thickening hot fruit with organic cornstarch and adding just enough sugar to enhance the flavor of the fruit. Lightly cook frozen fruit in a heavy saucepan until it thaws.
Start with 2 teaspoons of sugar per cup of frozen fruit and add more to taste. Use 1 teaspoon of organic cornstarch per cup of frozen fruit to dissolve it in a separate bowl of a modest amount of cold water.
After bringing the fruit to a vigorous simmer, add the cornstarch mixture and stir continuously for one minute. Remove from the fire, let cool, and then refrigerate in clean jars.
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