I live in a fruit-challenged part of the country.
Don't get me wrong. We have fruit, just not the fruit I crave.
Ten miles up the road, in the area known as Apple Valley, you can find apples, of course, and also pears, blackberries and raspberries. Closer to my house, just a mile up the road, is Cherry Valley, but I don't know anyone who grows cherries there.
The fruit I love most -- grapes, plums, middle-of-winter casaba melons -- comes from valleys much farther away, so in order to get fresh fruit year-round, I keep flash-frozen fruit in my pantry.
Sounds strange, I know, but individually quick frozen (IQF) fruits, prepared commercially or in your own kitchen, frozen at the peak of ripeness, retain almost all of their flavor and nutrient value. And until I move closer to the valleys that grow my favorite fruit, I'll continue to stock up on frozen.
What is frozen fruit?
Frozen fruit is 100% natural, with no added sugar or preservatives.
How/where to store:
In the freezer, for up to one year.
More facts about frozen fruit, and ingredient photos, in The Perfect Pantry:
Frozen fruit (Recipe: fruit whiz)
Raspberry, lime and mint smoothie
An indulgent smoothie, made extra-special with frozen yogurt. Serves 2.
6 oz frozen raspberries
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
2 scoops vanilla fat-free frozen yogurt
Juice of two limes
6 spearmint leaves
1 banana, cut into chunks
Pinch of black pepper
Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Other recipes that use frozen fruit:
Almost-instant frozen fruit yogurt, from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen
Frozen mango dessert, from Andrea Meyers
Tropical fruit soup, from David Lebovitz
Triple berry French toast, from Culinary in the Country
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