(Image courtesy of Google, as my camera is not cooperating this a.m.)
Since my little strawberry patch is producing so well, what we don't eat, I flash freeze. This way, I don't waste any of these little jewels and I can have them on hand if I decide to make smoothies or shakes. The method of flash freezing that I use is this:
- For strawberries (or other berries) I rinse, cut the tops off, and cut in half (if they are very large). Then I lay the fruit out on a cookie sheet and freeze at least a couple of hours. Sometimes I forget and leave them overnight. Then I place them in bags and seal (using a straw to vacuum out the air).
- Afterwards, I remove it from the freezer, let it sit on the counter for a few minutes, then use a spatula to transfer it to a freezer bag. Freezing the fruit on the sheet first causes them to harden so that they don't all stick together when placed in the bag. :)
I also like to use this method with bananas. Since we often have quite a few that don't get eaten right away, this method of freezing bananas is perfect for smoothies, because you don't have to thaw the banana to peel it before throwing it in your blender (therefore creating a thicker smoothie/milkshake). Just peel the banana, cut it into chunks, and prepare in the same way as above.
Note: if the bananas are really, REALLY ripe..you know what I mean...as in the skin is totally black looking and the fruit is mushy, I skip cutting it into chunks and just throw the entire banana in the freezer, skin and all. I use these bananas for bread, usually, as all I have to do is thaw them a bit, slip the skins off, and mash the fruit. (I have found that these over-ripe ones don't do as well for smoothies and shakes, though. It might just be me, but I find that it makes the drink taste odd!)
What have you flash-frozen lately? I know that you all have something interesting to tell me!!! :)