The Million Dollar Question?

Want to know what we get asked most often when we talk to groups of people about food storage? Ok, we’ll tell you. People always say, “I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, how do I incorporate that into my Food Storage Plan?”.

Well we have been working on ways to answer that question. On our BabyStep 8 page, we talk about growing, canning, dehydrating, and freezing. Storing fruits and vegetables can be such a road block for so many people in food storage- ourselves included.

Today, Julie is going to share with you some things she is doing to get closer to having that part of her food storage under control. It involves GREEN SMOOTHIES, AIRPLANES, AND I TOLD YOU SO’S.

So for awhile now I have been into “Green Smoothies”. I got introduced to a website “Green Smoothie Girl” by my neighbor, and am just scraping the surface of some of the great stuff on her site. For those of you who make these, you know how amazing they make you feel, and how frantic you get when you don’t have your daily dose of fabulous fruits and vegetables. When thinking about WHY FOOD STORAGE, there are many reasons I have food storage. I choose to have food storage for emergency situations, but ALSO for situations where I might not have access to stores, or if money is tight. Having said that, I do a portion of freezer food planning in my food storage. Ideally I’ll have a nice, and fancy generator to power my freezer in case of no power situations, but we’re doing this ONE BabyStep at a time – remember!

Anyways, about a month ago, my sisters were trying to find airline tickets for a trip they were taking. I had a couple of free flights from points I haven’t been able to use for FOREVER, and offered to sell them my free flights for a discount of what they were going to pay for their tickets anyways. My points were good for something after all! So, I did something I rarely do- I SPLURGED! I have been drooling, and I mean DROOLING over Blendtec and Vitamix blenders for months. Each morning when I had been making my smoothies, I told myself- one day- one day- I would have an AMAZING blender. Well to make a long story short, with my free flights money, I bought a Vitamix (I did some SERIOUS research and debating on which one to buy, and finally went with Vitamix , but there are bonuses to Blendtec that might make it the right blender for you, I’ll do a post on just that later).

So with my Vitamix , I make so much fun stuff, smoothies being one of them. I went out of town without it, and barely survived – Ok- I’m being dramatic here, but seriously I LOVE it. Since I’ve made making smoothies a part of my daily life, I thought – I NEED to figure out how to store for this. This is where the “I TOLD YOU SO’S” come in. When I was a girl I would get SO embarrassed when I was grocery shopping with my mom and she would buy TONS of stuff on sale. Well, I’m going to confess. I’m turning into my mom. I am using Deals to Meals to buy my produce for so much cheaper then Walmart prices (I told you about this a few weeks ago). Earlier this week, I found myself buying huge amounts of fruits for freezing and I just had to laugh. Freezing this fruit when buying it for so cheap is a great way to build up my fruit storage, and save money at the same time. My plan is to keep buying 3-4 times the amount of produce I normally buy, when it’s at great prices, and keep on freezing. Ideally I would love to have fresh always, but just in case…

So here are some tips I have learned from readers about freezing fruits. Please share your tips in the comment sections below:

-Clean, wash and dry fruit first
-Place fruit on cookie sheets or platters to freeze (this avoids clumping)
-Put the powder that keeps fruit good on things like peaches
-Freeze for a few hours
-Place in ziploc bags
-Label the bag with the date (I need to do that part still)


  • Descall

    What is meant by “Put the powder that keeps fruit good on things like peaches”?

    • http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net Jodi and Julie

      There is a powder you can purchase that helps fruits from browning…. like apples stay fresher longer if you put it on it. I don’t know what it is called though?!

      • http://www.facebook.com/robin.debunce Robin DeBunce

        The powder you are refering to is called Fruit Fresh, usually located in the canning section of your store. It is basically Citric Acid so if you can find it in bulk you might save some $ but so far I’ve haven’t located any.

  • Delma Merrill

    When you freeze your bannas do you put something on them to keep them from going brown? I tried this and they all went brown. It was ok cause I just put them in a smoothie. But I was wondering if there is a trick so they don’t

  • connie

    Julie,
    Hi I just joined your list and I go to the local market in summer and get LOTS of swiss chard, spinach, kale and other greens. I come right home and Blanch in boiling water for 1-2 min. then into a COLD bath to stop cooking process – drain on paper towells, onto cookie sheet -making little mounds to what I think I can use in omlettes, or in my green smoothies,and freeze til solid. Then I take the mounds (about a good handfull) and put into ziploc plastic bags(small) so each is individual servings, and fit several into a larger ziploc freezer bag, and into the freezer, ready to pullout whenever I need it.
    Connie

  • connie

    Julie,
    Hi I just joined your list and I go to the local market in summer and get LOTS of swiss chard, spinach, kale and other greens. I come right home and Blanch in boiling water for 1-2 min. then into a COLD bath to stop cooking process – drain on paper towells, onto cookie sheet -making little mounds to what I think I can use in omlettes, or in my green smoothies,and freeze til solid. Then I take the mounds (about a good handfull) and put into ziploc plastic bags(small) so each is individual servings, and fit several into a larger ziploc freezer bag, and into the freezer, ready to pullout whenever I need it.
    Connie

  • gwenbru

    The powdered stuff is probably Fruit Fresh–it’s ascorbic acid (I believe) and it is found in the canning section of stores. It keeps the fruit from turning dark. Lemon juice will do the same thing.

    Bananas will darken and turn somewhat gummy after a lengthy stay in the freezer (maybe a month?) However, they are still perfectly fine for smoothies, banana bread, etc.

  • Beth

    The only thing I have to add is don’t wash your blueberries until they come out. They have a waxy coating that protects them in the freezer and they freeze tons better if they are washed afterwards.

  • Julie

    I need to find the name of the powder, I’m not sure what its called. I’ll do a post on the differences – they are both great though. The long story short, the tamper (the stick) the vitamix has, and the fact that I have a Wondermill to grind wheat (the vitamix requires a seperate bowl, the blendtech does not – i might have thought twice if I needed the vita for grinding) made me choose Vita.

  • Julie

    I put them in smoothies, and my son loves eating them. He thinks they are a treat – better then fruit snacks!

  • Pam

    Curious – what do you do with frozen grapes?

  • Gllake

    Yes, I’d like to know the name of the powder and how long each of the fruits can last in the freezer? I’d also like to know why you chose Vitamix. I’ve seen them at Costco and wondered between the two as well. What was the deciding factor for you?

  • Carol

    I just wanted to thank you ladies for everything you do. Just popped my own tray of bananas into the freezer! You’ve got me baking whole wheat bread from scratch (thank you) and making my own yogurt (thank you) and my three month food storage is almost topped off (thank you for the baby steps and the worksheets). And to think, I found you looking for directions on putting my 72 hour emergency supplies together for hurricane season here in Florida. Thanks, ladies!

  • KaseyG

    How long can you keep things such as bananas in the freezer? Sorry if you already answered that, I just didn’t see that anywhere.

  • Rebecca

    Yum smoothies! As a side note, some berries its better to freeze them and wash before using. I know with blueberries, if you wash them then freeze the skins will get tough.