Ok, this is an in-progress post and we hope to figure out this challenge soon. The goal is to figure out a way to make smoothies that doesn't take forever and is healthy and delicious. We also found ourselves with an abundance of fresh fruit that was ripening before we could eat it!
So, we decided to take a cue from a new product we recently saw and freeze our fresh fruit. This way, it would be ready to be blended into a smoothie! So we cut and froze white peaches, strawberries, blueberries, and melon all at once and put them in airtight glass containers.
Now what would have been ideal would be to simulate individually quick frozen (IQF) products. If you buy frozen products, you will have noticed that some packages of frozen pasta and vegetables have individually frozen pieces that don’t stick together. The food industry calls that IQF or individually quick frozen where the pieces are quickly frozen individually so that they don't freeze into one giant block or clump together. It's great for portioning frozen food without have to thaw it first.
You may also remember the boxes of frozen vegetables that are one giant block such as peas or mixed vegetables. Yeah, that’s not IQF and that’s essentially what we did. We made blocks of frozen fruit and even though they would be blended, they weren’t easily released from the glass containers.
So, we added the blueberry and strawberries, releasing them with a bit of chipping, added a very ripe banana and some fresh pomegranate juice. A bit of blending in the Vitamix and…
We had a deep purple-licious smoothie. It was really really good!
But it wasn’t as simple as we had hoped. So, for round two, I’m thinking about freezing the exact proportion of fruit in a Ziploc for easy release. We could freeze them individually on a cookie sheets but that seems like too much trouble for something that will be blended. And we will be experimenting with adding milk vs juice. Stay tuned.