Saturday, December 19, 2009

Freezing Surplus Fruits and Vegetables-Food Storage




Long time, no blogging! I'm making an early resolution to blog a couple of times a week.
So, I woke up this morning at 8 am. Well, actually, I woke up at 6:30 am to feed and potty the dogs, then I went back to bed, and woke up at 8 am. Gotta keep my facts straight! Anyway, I had a plumber here to fix a previous contractor's poor work. What does all of this have to do with pumpkin, pomegranates and cranberries? I was up early enough to work on processing all of these foods today.

I started with the pomegranates. I had about 6 of them, and wanted to get them peeled and ready to use. I had seen a cool video of how to peel them underwater (makes less mess), so I tried it out. It worked well. Now I have 2 containers of pomegranates arils (the red seeds). Here is a link that tells you how to do it. I didn't cut mine up, just gently tore it apart in a bowl of cold water. I like the fact that they can be frozen. I like to use frozen fruit in my morning smoothies.

Next, I made some Cranberry sauce with my fresh cranberries. There is nothing quite as nice as some fresh cranberry sauce with turkey or chicken. I've been cooking turkey breasts in the crock pot lately, and now I have some fresh sauce for the next time I cook one. I put the rest of the large bag (costco) of cranberries in the freezer for future use.

Finally, I got to work on the box of pie pumpkins sitting in my garage. I put it out there to keep them cool until I could make a little time to process them. I got them at Albertson's for 50 cents a piece after Thanksgiving. That was a great deal on pie pumpkins!

Having my new range really was wonderful in helping me steam the pumpkin. I used my Vitamix to puree the cooked pumpkin, then put them in freezer containers. Pumpkin is the "new" banana. After reading a report about all of the pesticides used in banana growing, I've discovered that pumpkins are perfect for replacing banana in smoothies. You don't taste it, but it adds a nice texture. Also, there is a wonderful vitamin A perk that you don't get with bananas.

My smoothies are something like this: 1 c. spinach, 1/2c. pumpkin, 4 frozen strawberries (costco has huge bags of delicious strawberries), 1/2 c. yogurt (sometimes I make it myself in the crock pot) and whatever other fruit is hanging around (pear,pineapple,etc) and some water. It is usually around 350 calories, which is just about right for my breakfast.

So, it was a busy day of processing food, but it is done and the freezer is filling up nicely!