Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Cool Treats to Beat the Heat... And Use Up Fruit Before It Rots!

With fruit so bountiful right now that it's going bad before we can eat it, I had to find some creative ways to make it keep longer.

Smooth(ie) Move, Baby!
For Baby, I froze up some smoothie (she's been okayed for yogurt and limited servings of dairy, plus she's had all the ingredients before, so no allergy worries.) In this case, my smoothies were made with apples (half-eaten ones with the bit areas cut off, and ones starting to go bad with the mushy spots cut off,) spinach, mango (on its last legs,) berry-applesauce (that Z wanted to try but didn't like,) and plain Greek yogurt.
I plan to start just using her regular baby foods to make these, but I had an abundance of smoothie mix, that Z said tasted like dirt (which it kinda did,) so I planned to freeze it in individual servings for myself. I thought I'd try a popsicle version, to get her to try it again, but Z still wasn't a fan. As I was finishing off the rejected one, Baby couldn't take her eyes off of it. So I made her some of her own.
(This one looks a little funky because she had started eating it
but didn't finish, so I added more baby puree and re-froze)
To make it easier for Baby to eat, I found these short hollow ice pop molds. She can easily gnaw or suck around the edge, and break or melt off little chunks of mush. Because the popsicle has a thin edge (roughly 1/2" thick,) it'll be great for relieving her gums when she's teething as well. She thought this was the best thing ever!

And when she gets older, I can still use these molds for frozen smoothies or fruit pops and put some fresh fruit in the center! Or if I can figure out a way to rest them on their handles once they're out of the molds (maybe they'll fit between the wires of the freezer shelves...?) I can put something else in the middle and freeze some more! Like those ice-cream-filled Orange Creamsicles, or maybe some kind of frozen Root Beer Floats!

Strawberry Lemonade Rocket Pops
Since Z wasn't a fan of my smoothie mix, I made her some Strawberry Lemonade Rocket Pops. I used Trader Joe's Pink Lemonade (it uses berries instead of Red 40 for the pink color,) and chopped up the strawberries from our U-Pick adventure with my sister. They were going bad at a rapid pace, and I had to use them up. I had thought about freezing them, so why not freeze them into a fun Summer treat? And this way I have a dye-free alternative to offer when that blasted ice cream truck comes tinkling around.
The "recipe" is so simple it hardly qualifies as one. 
Chop up strawberries into 1/2"-sized chunks and fill molds 2/3rds full. 
Pour in Pink Lemonade (although any juice that tastes good with strawberries could be used, or even lightly sweetened yogurt) almost to the top (save some room for the liquid to expand when frozen.)

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