I love being able to make Parker’s blenderized diet every day. I envision all the micro nutrients, immune boosting super powers and antioxidants heading straight where they are needed most. There’s not a lot I have control over with Parker’s health, but his diet is something I can make as perfect as possible.
Fresh, unsprayed fruit plays a huge role in Parker’s daily fare. I’ve chosen to feed Parker organics, and may I just say, organics, and healthy food in general, is costly stuff. So when I know of someone who has extra fruit and vegetables to share, I jump at the opportunity.
Today I froze peaches. I follow the same directions when I freeze apricots and pears. (I freeze my grapes whole, and pit my cherries before I freeze them, leaving the skins on.)
You want to start with fresh, ripe fruit. The same fruit you would choose to bite into at it’s peak of flavor is the same fruit you want to choose to freeze.
Wash your fruit. It always surprises me how much dirt winds up at the bottom of my sink after I wash my fruit. Yuck.
Peeling your fruit is much easier when you first put it into a pot of boiling water for about 30 seconds. You don’t want to cook the fruit, just loosen the skin enough that it comes off easily.
When the 30 second hot water bath is done, transfer your fruit to an ice water bath. Now the skin will slip off easily.
I use a sharp knife to cut my fruit in half, removing any pits, blemishes and seeds. The pits and skins go into a ‘garden bowl, because these make great compost!
The fruit halves go into a bowl of lemon juice to keep them from turning brown. You could also use a citric acid bath or sprinkle your fruit with fruit fresh.
When my bowl of fruit is full, I transfer the fruit onto baking sheets. Then I cover the baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper and place the baking sheets in the freezer to ‘flash freeze’ each piece of fruit. By ‘flash freezing’ each peach half individually, I’ll be able to pull just what I need out of the bag without having to let the entire bag thaw out to get the cup of fruit I use in Parker’s diet each day.
When the fruit is frozen, about an hour later, I put the fruit into FoodSaver bags and vacuum seal them shut. Doing this insures my fruit won’t get freezer burn and helps to keep everything fresher longer.
Before I had a Food Saver I would take my frozen pieces of fruit and store them in the freezer in mason jars or freezer bags. It still works, but it won’t stay fresh as long as it does if you vacuum seal it.
If you would like you could place the fruit, unfrozen, in freezer bags, filling the empty spaces with either apple juice, white grape juice or a syrup made with sugar. My goal is to be able to grab what I need out of the bag for each day’s smoothie or blenderized formula, so I want my fruit to freeze in individual pieces.
A small bag of organic frozen peaches runs about $3.50 at my health food store. There might be all of a cup in a half in that bag. Being blessed with fruit from my friends’ trees really helps to save money, even when using the Food Saver bags. (BTW, Food Saver runs specials on their bags all the time, and you can pick them up for a reasonable price at Costco…….I even found several brand new, unopened boxes of Food Saver bags at a yard sale!)
In my freezer I have frozen apricots, cherries, grapes, nectarines, blackberries, raspberries, currants and a couple bags of plums. I’ll be adding the 30 pounds of organic local pears I picked up for .69 cents a pound to both the freezer and dehydrator tomorrow. I love to pop different melons into my Vitamix, whirl them up, spoon them into baby food ice cube trays, freeze them, and then vacuum seal the ‘melon cubes.’ I make sure I use my ‘melon cubes’ within a couple of months, they don’t last as long as other fruits do.
Lately I’ve been adding not just the date to my bags of frozen fruit, but also the name of the person who gave us the fruit. It will be fun to remember the thoughtfulness of my friends and neighbors as I open up their sweet gifts of summer on a cold winter’s day.