I’ve always made different fruit purees for BG’s desserts and breakfast (just add some oat cereal before serving and you have a fruit porridge!) but it wasn’t until this week that I started freezing them in the ice cube tray. This isn’t a new idea- I had just never had any need to freeze them in smaller portions- special ice cube trays for freezing baby food can be bought just about anywhere. I don’t think you really need to buy a special tray other than for ease of use. All you really need is something to cover the food while it freezes (aluminium foil) and before putting the cubes into another container or snap lock bag. It’s very easy to get crumbs on top of them otherwise, especially when you rummage around the freezer later that night for your dinner ingredients. Here’s a pic of my frozen smoothie cubes:
The frozen cubes of smoothie purees are handy when going out- just pop 1-3 cubes into a container and they can defrost slowly so that when you are ready to eat them, they have slightly defrosted (sorbet) or have fully defrosted. The smoothies also contain no added extras so you know they are just pure, wholesome goodness- what a perfect snack or dessert!
My purees include as wide a range of fruit as I can possibly get my hands on. Unfortunately, it isn’t much up here and BG gets a burn-like nappy (diaper) rash when she eats mangoes so that rules out the most common fruit in PNG for her. I am yet to try her on Pawpaw (Papaya) which is the next most commonly grown fruit here and have read that steaming it is a good method of preparation for it.
The following are some recipes for fruit smoothie purees that you can try at home but the combinations are endless and with a little imagination, you can come up with some wonderful ideas with fruit that isn’t even in season (dried fruits for example)!
Apricot and Pear Smoothie
8 – 10 dried apricots
2 ripe or semi-ripe pears
1. Place dried apricots in a small bowl, cover with water (just enough to cover them) and soak until plump (approx 1-2 hours).
2. Remove skin and cut pears into pieces approx 1cm to 1.5cm in size.
3. Place apricots and pear pieces into your steamer and steam for 15 minutes- remember to save the water from the apricots!
4. Once your pears and apricots are cooked, transfer to your blender with the water from steaming.
5. Blend away! You may like to add more water from soaking the apricots to thin it out.
6. Spoon puree into ice cube tray, cover and place in freezer once cooled to room temperature.
Note: The same method above can be used for apples, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries (be careful with these though! Lots of allergies), peaches, blueberries, prunes, bananas (can constipate so don’t over do it), kiwi fruit, and more!
You can also stew/slowly simmer the fruit in a small amount of water and achieve the same effect. The key is to use the water in the puree that you cooked the fruit in to ensure that all the sugars, fibres and nutrients normally lost in cooking are thrown straight back into your end product for added goodness.
Happy smoothie making! 🙂