When summertime is here, I overdose on the fruits of the season. Strawberries, melon, watermelon, grapes, peaches, cherries, pineapple…. all so very good. The off-season is long and uncolorful so I feel like I need to get my fill, and that of a few others, right now.
This ‘recipe’ is extremely straight forward.
Frozen fruit treats?
I’m talking about literally freezing fruit and enjoying a nature made treat.
A very, very cold treat.
This is not new information. I am not the first to do this. But, at least for me, this was a great reminder that sometimes, all you need in a freezer.
Any fruit works, though certain ones will take it better than others. If you like it and will eat it, give a whirl with the deep freeze. Peaches, pineapple, oranges and apricots are more than 85% water, strawberries, watermelon and grapefruit, more than 90%. More water means more hydration for your body. Something very important for hot weather.
I am overly fond of strawberries and peaches, borderline territorial even, so my freezer experiments didn’t include them but grapes, watermelon, cherries and pineapple were fair game.
Freezing does change the compounds and molecules of the fruit so once it’s frozen, it’s not going to return to its pre-frozen form. This is the reason freezing humans hasn’t gotten very far. :)
I remember the first time seeing frozen grapes promoted in a magazine as a healthy alternative to sugary sweets. So simple. But they are great! They honestly taste like a frozen dessert and they are a welcomed snack on a hot day.
Grapes are good directly from the freezer into your mouth. They don’t get over hard and are easily chewed. Place them in a bag, vine and all, or pluck each one, either way works.
Ruby red cherries caught my eye in the grocery store and since they were in the fridge, I tried them in the freezer.The first few went in and I found them to be a bit on the tart and not a good tart, side. I sprinkled a little sugar on the next batch and they were better. Go easy on the sugar. Just enough to get them perked up a bit.
The bummer quality of the cherry is the hard, inedible pit at the center. Freezing it all together is just asking for a broken tooth but removing the pit can sometimes leave cherry mash behind. One way to avoid cherry mash is to put the cherry over the mouth of a bottle, like a glass beer bottle or a wine bottle. I haven’t tried a plastic bottle but I think it would work. Place the cherry with the stem part up (stem removed) and the bottom of the cherry in the center of the bottle opening. Using a skewer, poke through the cherry to the pit and push it out into the bottle below. Much simpler than dissecting the cherry and clean up is a breeze.
Place the cherries on a skewer or toss in a bag for the freezer. They are fairly easy to chew immediately from the freezer, though waiting a few minutes might make it easier and more flavorful.
Frozen watermelon is the closest thing to an actual popsicle of the fruits I tried. With its high water content, it freezes very hard. But how fun! Instead of pulling out fruit flavored pops, why not nosh on actual fruit?
MJ picked the watermelon and did a great job and chose a seedless one. I sliced the melon, cut away the rind and then cut it into triangles, working to waste as little as possible. The waste was properly disposed of in my mouth. Seedless or seed-full, remove the rind, leave the rind, it’s really up to you. Then I skewered them and laid them on a foil-covered cookie sheet in the freezer until frozen.
As I said above, the watermelon will freeze solid. Once you remove it from the freezer, allow it to warm up for a few minutes before biting into it.
This was my favorite of the frozen fruits, barely taking the win from the grapes. This is the second pineapple we’ve had in one and a half weeks. I’m fairly sure I was the one who ate most of both. The sweetness and chewiness, I had to restrain myself from eating them all immediately.
I envisioned popsicle-like pineapple though I’m sure cutting it into wedges like the watermelon would work just as well, just make sure to remove core. I skewered mine and laid them on a foil-covered pan in the freezer. I haven’t moved them to a bag yet and a few days later, they are still okay.
The pineapple is hard straight from the freezer. Again, give it a few minutes to defrost and then enjoy it like any other frozen treat, nibbling it away as it warms. I think it’s best to skewer the pineapple because if its put in a bag, all lumped together, you will create a block-o-pineapple.
If you want individual blocks, lay out the chunks on a aluminum foil covered cookie sheet. Once they are frozen, they can be placed in a bag and they won’t stick together.
So give it a try. Freeze some fruit. Have an assortment and bring it out when friends stop over for a visit. Treat yourself with a refreshing snack after a hot and sweaty
walk to the mailbox workout. Not only will you be giving your body a much deserved, replenishing kick of vitamins, nutrients and water but the little ones at your house will benefit just the same.
Good habits start young.