I’ll admit it; I go a little hog-wild this time of year at the farmer’s market with the fruit. And then I end up with overripe summer fruit. Here’s what to do with it.
I can feel the season where I get to eat perfectly ripe peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries just slipping away from me, so I buy extra, and then….it gets a bit soft before I get a chance to eat it. And then what?
The idea of wasting it is just so sad! I can feel my Midwinter Self just kicking me for not enjoying the bounty enough before the season’s over. (Yes, this is the demented way my brain works! Various versions of myself arguing and reprimanding the current one.)
Being that I’m not quite the food preserver I’d like to be (my grandma taught me how to can, but I’m just not that ambitious), I’ve come up with three surefire ways to deal with my fruit glut.
FREEZE IT: SMOOTHIES
Ok, I can only drink so many smoothies in a day, but I can absolutely freeze overripe summer fruit for future smoothies! (Ah, my Winter Self is already nodding in approval.)
The Trick is: Cut up all the overripe fruit while you are making your smoothie, toss them in a plastic bag and store in the freezer—because you are already cutting the fruit for the smoothie it’s easy to deal with it all.
YES, Even if fruit is bruised and leaking juice it will still work in a smoothie, I promise. If anything looks particularly icky, just cut those parts off. A fruit doesn’t have to look “perfect” to eat, or, especially, to smoothify.
My SuperEasy Smoothie Recipe
-1 cup Unsweetened almond milk
-Overripe peaches and plums, strawberries or blueberries, apricots or pears
-Raw, local honey to taste (about a tablespoon, but less if the fruit is really ripe, because then it’s naturally very sweet)
-1/2 teaspoon of Ceylon cinnamon (Ceylon’s healthier for your liver)
-1 tablespoon raw almond butter
I like to blend the almond milk, almond butter, and fruit together first, then taste, to see how much honey I should add. Then add honey and cinnamon.
BAKE IT: COBBLER
- 4-6 fresh, ripe peaches
- 1 tablespoon butter or coconut oil (per peach) or ¼ cup for 4-6 peaches
- 1-2 tablespoons almond flour (per peach) or about ½ cup for 4-6 peaches
- dash of vanilla extract (Madecasse’s Madegascar is my fave)
- If making the cream: 1 cup heavy whipping cream, ½ tsp vanilla, 4 drops (or more to taste) of stevia tincture. Put in blender or immersion blender and blend until creamy. Don’t over-blend or you’ll get butter!
- If the peaches aren’t organic or if you don’t like the skin, peel the peaches and cut into slices (about 8 slices per peach).
- Melt the butter or coconut oil (Dr. Bronner’s is the BEST) in a skillet.
- Add the peach slices and cook approximately 5 minutes or until just starting to soften.
- Add the almond flour and vanilla and stir to coat peaches.
- Cook an additional 1-2 minutes and serve.
- Top with cream if desired.
Vegan? Check out Ani Phyo’s recipe for a super-decadent raw coconut cream here.
COOL IT: REFRIGERATOR JAM
Refrigerator Jam is just the kind you can make that doesn’t require the whole sterilizing of the jar thing, nor do you need the mysterious pectin. Now, since you haven’t sterilized your containers, this type of jam also won’t be able to be stored for long periods of time—but if you are stuck with 4 or 5 too-ripe peaches, you aren’t going to have enough to make a whole batch of storable jam anyway. This recipe needs to be refrigerated afterwards, and lasts for up to a week (I usually find it lasts more like two weeks) in the fridge.
It’s a great way to use up extra overripe summer fruit of any kind, and works to top ice cream, cheer up morning granola, or serve with cheese and crackers. Of course, you can always make a delicious PB&J sandwich with it too!
2 pints (about 5 cups) of very ripe organic berries/peaches/plums, etc.
1.5 cups sugar (or 1 cup of honey)
lemon juice to taste
Directions via The Kitchn:
1. Wash, de-seed and chunk 2 pints of very ripe organic berries or stone fruit like peaches or plums
2. Combine in a heavy sauce pan (I used a Dutch oven) with sugar or honey and cook over a medium flame, mashing down on the fruit with a wooden spoon.
3. Bring to a rolling boil and cook a few minutes more. Carefully spoon into very clean jars and let cool. Screw on lids and refrigerate.
(I like to add a little fresh lemon juice to the jam before jarring it.)
Related on Eco-Chick:
- Is Honey More Healthy Than Sugar?
- Ani Phyo’s Decadent Raw Coconut Cream Recipe
- 3 Ultra-Satisfying Fall Soup Recipes
This story has been updated since it originally appeared in August, 2016.