Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Fruits of your Labors

Every once in a while I do something good. Something I’m glad I did. I've been canning, dehydrating and freezing everything I can get my hands on this fall. Lately I have tried not to rely on my freezer as much in case of a power outage (and it is a very old freezer)! I still try to buy in bulk but I’ve tried to do more drying and canning than freezing. However…. We have really enjoyed having smoothies this summer so I’ve frozen sliced bananas and strawberries, fresh blueberries, diced peaches and cantaloupe as well as tons of frozen red grapes just to use in our smoothes, all in 1 cup quantities in baggies. And they have all been delicious. However, I was thinking that I may have gotten carried away with all the fruit in my freezer. Then I made blueberry muffins and changed my mind. They were the best thing I’ve made in a long time. Well, the smoothies have been pretty good too.

Every once in awhile it’s time to just sit back, take a break from your hard work and enjoy the fruits of your labor, or in this case, the fruits of your freezer. Here are the recipes for the blueberry muffins and one of my favorite smoothies, the Purple Cow Smoothie. If you have a chance to freeze any of your favorite fruits before the season is over, do it. Not much preparation required, just cut them up, spread on a wax paper lined tray until frozen and store in 1 c. quantities to use in your favorite smoothies or muffins.

Streusel Topped Blueberry Muffins
1 ½ c. flour
¾ c. sugar
½ t. salt
2 t. baking powder
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1 egg
1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries (unthawed)
Streusel topping:
½ c. sugar
1/3 c. flour
¼ c. real butter, cubed (not too soft)
1 ½ t. cinnamon
Stir together dry ingredients. Whisk together egg, milk, oil and then add to dry ingredients. Stir just till blended. Gently stir in blueberries. For streusel topping: mix flour, sugar and cinnamon. Add cubed cold butter with a pastry blender or fork till crumbs for. Line muffin tins with liners. Fill ¾ full then sprinkle with topping. Bake 400º for 20-25 minutes. *Tip: For ease in removing muffin from muffin paper, spray paper liners with Pam before filling with muffin batter.

Purple Cow Smoothies
1 c. grape juice
1 c. frozen red grapes
1 c. vanilla ice cream
Blend frozen grapes and juice till smooth. Blend in ice cream. And yes, if you like you can substitute Vanilla yogurt for the ice cream.

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