Saturday, January 30, 2010

Frozen fruit Smoothies

Last fall, I froze some fruit for my storage and also purchased some frozen fruit in "large" (14 lb) quantities. I bought blueberries, marion berries (like blackberries), and whole strawberries. I froze my own cherries and peaches.

Since I have so much fruit in my freezer, I needed to find something to do with it, so we have been experimenting with making fruit drinks - smoothies included. I confess I haven't been very confident in my smoothie making skills - I always felt like I needed a recipe. Well, now that we've been experimenting, I've learned a few things I would like to share.

  1. Use a base for your smoothie - I prefer sherbet, and ice cream, but I know people who enjoy using vanilla or plain yogurt.

  2. Fruit juice adds flavor - you don't have to just use water or milk. Though, I usually use 1 part fruit juice and 1 part water or milk.

  3. Any fruit goes - your imagination is the limit. Add whatever you have - fresh or frozen.

  4. Adding Flaxseed to your smoothie is a great way to get that extra fiber your body needs.

  5. Ice adds thickness and can be easily added to your base.

So, here is one "recipe" we tried last night in our smothie adventures. It was really good... just the right sweetness and a little tangy twist to add some "spice."

Let me know if you try it - and what you think.

1 cup orange juice (not concentrate)
1/2 cup milk
4 large scoops pineapple sherbet
3-4 large strawberries
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon ground golden flaxseed

Blend in a blender. (We blend in stages - we don't just throw EVERYTHING in and then mix... put in a few things and then mix, add a few more and blend... get it?)


p.s. I use my blender on my Bosch Universal mixer and LOVE it - it mixes everything up so it is very smooth. Very rarely do I find "chunks" in my drink - unless I really try to create chunks.

p.p.s. I am also bringing this up because we have the opportunity to place an order for frozen berries - blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc. Orders need to be placed by Feb. 20, 2010 and delivery to my house will be close to the first week in April. You have to pick up your own berries... at my house. Let me know if you would like more information.

p.s. Important note on Canning butter

Once upon a time on this blog, a friend posted about canning butter. Well, I have since learned the following and think you should be aware of it:

The canning of butter is extremely dangerous and should NEVER be done for home consumption. The National Center for Home Food Preservation at the University of Georgia-Atlanta says that it is not an acceptable way to preserve butter. You aren't "processing" the butter to kills the are only heating the jars to form a seal. This still allows botulism to grow and flourish in the butter....and because botulism is odorless, tasteless and colorless, it can be toxic to your family!

Check out their website for more information. (The link will take you to a specific question about canning of butter.)

Until next time...

Friday, January 8, 2010

Where does food come from? Do you know?

A few interesting statistics that I read about today from a farmer in Illinois who was at a CCA meeting:
-70% of Americans at 4:30 P.M. will not know what they are eating for dinner.
-Most Americans say that food comes from the grocery store.
-These Americans don't care if your farm or my farm stays in business as long as there is food at that grocery store.

I find these statements rather ALARMING. I have a sister who taught school in Utah for ten years, she made the same comments regarding the students that she taught. So I guess this means the adults are failing to teach their children where their food comes from. My sister had a small lesson that she prepared to help them understand the link between her hometown farm and how the grains, potatoes, and beef were raised and then sent to the store. It is my hope that as the year progresses my family will keep you updated on what stages our crops are in from planting through harvest and finally shipping them to the store or farmers market as the case may be.

Take for instance today: I had an order for potatoes to deliver to a local store. I gathered up 17 boxes that would each hold 50 lbs and drove the 2.5 miles to our storage unit (spud cellar). It is here that we can control the temperature which we keep as close to 38 degress Farenheit using a system of fans and tunnels laid beneath the pile of potatoes. The temp outside today was -15 degrees, but inside it was 40. My brother helped me as we sorted out potatoes into a couple of piles: 1-nice smooth 8-10 ounce potatoes, 2-large knobby or unshapely potatoes, 3- small (under 8 ounce), 4 - frozen, badly damaged, way too small, way to rough, or spoiled potatoes. We had a very bad frost that occurred in the middle of our harvest so roughly 10% of our crop was frozen. These potatoes as time goes by start to go very soft and mushy so mushy your finger can go right through the potato. If you have enough of these bad spuds (approx 20%)in a pile you can't bring the temperature down and the whole pile will soon be rotten.

So I now have 1o boxes of large knobbies as I call them, and 7 nice boxes of bakers ready to go. Saturday a friend will help me wash them up and double check for blemishes hidden by the dirt and Monday we will deliver them to the store ready for people to buy. I also sell them from my home so if you're nearby and need a fresh supply let me know.

(Nathan) Subbing in for J since she is taking a needed break.


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