Summer is the best season to stock up on fresh fruit and there are so many wonderful ways to use summer fruit even after the season is over. One of my favorite tricks for making delicious fruits that are abundant in summer last all year round, such as blueberries and strawberries, is freezing them for long term storage. In fact, fresh fruit is much cheaper in the summer, and it can be more economical to freeze fresh summer fruits instead of buying it later in the winter when it isn’t in season. Try my favorite ways to create delicious dishes in the last few months of summer as one of the best ways to use summer fruit right up!
1. Make Smoothies
Most of you who have read some of my articles by now will know I love smoothies, so they are definitely one of my favorite ways to use summer fruit right up! One of my favorite things to do as summer nears its last few months, is to make smoothies for my family routinely. Blueberry banana, mixed berry, strawberry peach, and peachy banana are all favorites around my house. I also love to take berries and use them in my everyday smoothies the last few months of summer. I even freeze a batch of about 7 smoothies and store them in my freezer in case I need one in pinch or I’m in a hurry. Then I can just thaw for 30 minutes on the counter and drink it right up!
2. Bake up Some Muffins
I adore strawberry muffins, fig muffins, blueberry muffins and raspberry muffins, so another great way to use up your summer berries or other fruits, is to obviously, make muffins! I tend to batch bake, so when I make muffins, I make a lot! This is a great way to take advantage of all that fruit you’ve got stored up too. Bake large batches of muffins and wrap them individually in foil after they cool. Then place them all in a large freezer safe bag and freeze them for up to six months to enjoy a couple muffins each day! All you have to do is thaw about 30 minutes on the counter before eating, or an hour in the fridge. You can also do the same with pancakes and waffles too! There’s nothing like whipping a strawberry waffle out of the freezer whenever you feel like it, especially knowing you made it and it wasn’t made in a foreign factory somewhere!
3. Whip up Some Chia Jam
Have you had chia jam yet? It’s the new healthier version of jelly! All you have to do is puree fruit, let it sit overnight in the fridge with some chia seeds mixed in overnight and you’ve got jam! The chia soaks up into a gel, much like pectin that is used in jams and jellies does. You don’t need any other ingredients except fruit and chia seeds. Use about ¼ cup chia seeds to every 1 cup of pureed fruit. You can distribute little jars of the jam to your neighbors, friends, family, or even freeze them for up to six months and thaw as needed. I like storing mine in freezer safe jars like mason jars, even if I leave them in the fridge. They’ll keep in the fridge about 3-4 days. I adore using fresh figs to make fig chia jam. Strawberry and blueberry jam are also some of my favorites, and strawberry raspberry jam is pretty tasty too!
4. Bake and Freeze a Few Cakes
If you get a craving for some fresh blueberry cake or strawberry chocolate cake in the dead of November, but your supermarket’s berries are out of season and bland in taste, then this method has you covered! I like to bake a few loaf cakes like blueberry, strawberry and even cherry coconut loaf cakes as summer ends each year. Then, I wrap them in foil, place them in a large freezer safe bag and freeze for long term storage. All you have to do is thaw these for an hour in the fridge or 30 minutes on your counter, and they’re ready to eat! These also make wonderful treats and gifts for people during the holiday season!
5. Use Them in Your Omelets
Don’t knock this until you try it! Fruit in omelets is extremely tasty in case you didn’t know. I adore using chopped strawberries in my omelets. Something about the sweet and savory flavors combined is so delicious. Blueberries and raspberries are excellent in omelets too. Just throw some in right with your eggs, and you’ll have this warm, delicious fruit-filled omelet that is incredibly satisfying. In fact, I bet you’ll never go back to your boring plain omelets again!
6. Make Fruit Ice Cubes
Another fantastic way to use up your fruit as the end of summer creeps up is to puree your fruit in a blender with a little water and pour the mixture into ice cube trays. Freeze these and store them in a large freezer safe container and you’ll have fruit ice cubes to use all year! You can use these in smoothies to make a super thick smoothie, or just pop some in your iced tea, green tea, or even your water, to give your beverages a low-calorie flavor boost! The pop of bright colors in your glass is a nice touch too!
7. Make Popsicles
Just like you can freeze fruit ice cubes up for the year, you can also do the same with popsicles! Instead of buying those at the store that are made with artificial ingredients, processed preservatives, way too much added sugar, or other foreign ingredients, just make your own! Blend some fruit with some yogurt in a blender, or with some almond milk or even water. Pour the mixture into popsicle molds and after they are frozen, just store them in your freezer. If you want to make large batches, you’ll have to have multiple popsicle molds. Either way, this makes a great way to use up your fruit. Strawberry coconut pops are one of my favorites if you need a good starting point, by the way!
Everyone knows summer pies and tarts are a way to use up summer fruit, but try these methods instead this year, which give a fresh spin on all the original ideas. What’s your favorite summer fruit and ways to use it?