Monday, July 2, 2012

First Preserves

I got our first good-sized harvest of strawberries yesterday. Plans were to make them into strawberry jam but the day got away from me so last night I put them in the freezer to use in smoothies. (A very quick and easy way to process them. I don't add any sugar, honey or sweetener of any kind . . . just the mashed berries in a freezer container.)

These three bowls were full of cleaned berries but after they were smooshed down, they filled just five quarts. But a quart lasts us for several smoothies because I make them with mostly kefir and/or yogurt and coconut milk with the berries for flavoring.

Last year I froze a dozen quarts of strawberries and that was about the right amount.

20 comments:

Katidids said...

Yum! How refreshing those will be. Our berries are taking off again, much smaller the secod round of course & are sending runners out like crazy.

Sue said...

Last year I froze and froze and froze. And ate well all winter. But this year.....
:(
Looks delicious. A "box-o sunshine" for the middle of winter.

Kim said...

We use frozen strawberries in our kefir smoothies too. I love seeing summer's bounty in the freezer!

Jane @ Hard Work Homestead said...

Yum...I love homegrown strawberries. A very poor harvest this year and now the plants were ready to make a second harvest and then no rain for two months. So I will be coming up to steal some of yours.

Susan said...

That sounds so good! I just froze about a gallon of peaches - my favorite fruit (besides blueberries). It's always such a surprise when you smash them down and what looks like a humongous amount is not. Lucky you to have strawberries. What some of my chipmunks? I'll trade ya!

judy said...

I just cut about 3 pints of strawberries ,but that is just for dinner

Mama Pea said...

Katidids - Even the first of my berries this year don't seem as big as usual. Wonder if I've just pushed my "old" plants too far and they're tired and need to be replaced?

Mama Pea said...

Sue - Even out of the freezer I am always amazed at the wonderful strawberry aroma! A box-o'-sunshine, indeed!

Mama Pea said...

Kim - I froze too many raspberries last year and still have some. We don't seem to eat as many of them over winter as blueberries and strawberries. (They're a little seedy in smoothies!)

Mama Pea said...

Jane - You wouldn't have to steal 'em, m'dear. I'd load you up!

Mama Pea said...

Susan - A gallon of peaches? Oh, be still my heart! I love peaches, too. But the organic ones available up here in our co-op cost an arm and a leg so we do without. :o(

I know you're a very generous person . . . but please do NOT send any of your chipmunks my way. Ours don't seem to know about strawberries and I wouldn't want yours to put any baaaad ideas in their little pea brains!

Mama Pea said...

judy - 'Tis strawberry season (at least up in our neck o' the woods) so get 'em while you can. Can't beat 'em fresh!

Sparkless said...

YUM! Unfortunately we just buy frozen berries cause we can't grow that many. My fave is fresh berries popped in a smoothie and whizzed until frothy. Ahhhh, that is one of the blessings of spring and summer all the berries.

Lisa said...

Your smoothies sound delicious and healthy. Probably smooshing and freezing your berries for smoothies are a healthier alternative to the strawberry jam you originally wanted to make?!

Stephanie said...

Delish!

Mama Pea said...

Sparkless - Yep, it's hard to beat the fresh berries. The drawback to having an adequate amount of our own is that I eat so many (even as a meal sometimes) that I will get a tum-tum ache. Terrible disadvantage, huh?

Mama Pea said...

Lisa - I'll still get around to making some jam but I can tell you we have cut our consumption of homemade jams way, way down in the last few years. And that's no doubt a good thing!

Mama Pea said...

Stephanie - Smooshing the strawberries creates such a wonderful aroma, too!

Erin said...

I'm so late checking in to blogs this week, the storms and heat have done me in but wow, the preserves look great! Looks like you are deep into the berry harvest and I have a lot of catching up to do!

Mama Pea said...

Erin - I got out into the garden to weed this morning before it turned hot and wanted to pick berries, too, but they were still too wet from the rain yesterday and humidity today. I don't think the harvest is going to be fantastic this year, but hopefully enough for our winter needs.