This is getting close for us! January is the main influx and I am being positive this will be a good year!
Firstly, much fresh fruit is eaten and I would not buy any other so money is saved right there. I keep some on the counter and some in the fridge. I will also see how I can use it in the meals. Last year I used peaches on the BBQ and topped with mascarpone cheese. These were gorgeous. I cut up peaches for breakfast. I made fresh crumble and it was gorgeous. Andy still talks about it!
I made a lovely nectarine, rocket and walnut salad. Loved this! All sorts of things to use the fruit fresh in both sweet and savory ways. So healthy and good.
So this is healthy and saves on grocery money while we have this produce.
I give the girls each enough fruit for their households as well.
With what I cannot possibly use up I set to work making into things and attend to the ripest fruit first as there is only so much you can do in a day. This buys you time. Sometimes it turns out I can deal with it all in a week or more. When you are really busy even a few minutes a day can keep fruit from being wasted.
I make things that we will use fresh, things for the freezer and also gifts. But a cooked crumble or stewed fruit will last a few more days when the really ripe fruit may not.
You will have your own recipes and do look online for recipes to use up what you have. Type in salads, "ways to use up..." and get a whole lot of inspiration! Sometimes I have had a light bulb moment on how to use something in a way I never thought of.
Here are some of my favorite recipes that I use year after year.
Use it up fruit cake.
This is beautiful! It keeps quite well for a few days. It will use up plums (pictured above), peaches, apricots, nectarines (below) ...
It is really easy to make a so good. It is a lovely gift too. You can also serve it warm or cold.
The recipe is here.
I always make a lot of jam. The easy microwave method is here. This is wonderful as it is so fast and easy. No chopping fruit. Also the colour of the jam is brighter. I do about a kilo at a time (2lbs roughly). However if I have a large amount to make I will still put a pot of jam on the stove. But this means you can make small batches and it is a big help. If you have never made jam try it as this will get you going. Many bread makers also have a jam making setting and I am told it works really well!
Muffins. These freeze so well and you can pack them full of fruit. They are so handy as they can be breakfast or a snack or a desert. This recipe will use up just about anything you have on hand. It's wonderful! I will use a lot fresh in lunch boxes and give a dozen each to the girls and as gifts.
Even though it's a different subject I am going to mention reasons to make plenty of jam!
There are so many things you can make later using jam. I probably have added many things to this list now but this is a starter and do read the comments as there are more! Take a jar of jam. As well, over the season you can end up with quite a few types of jam. A basket or box with one of each is a gorgeous gift. All the colours look lovely!
Another regular is a fruit cobbler. This is the easiest of all and you don't need pastry! This is the recipe.
The post also mentions stewed fruit which I also always make. This is summer breakfasts and some I freeze. This cobbler freezes perfectly so when it re appears in winter it is really good!
I make a lot of crumbles and pies. I have no recipe. The pies i just line a pie dish and fill with whatever fruit I have (uncooked) and add a little sugar. Taste to see if you think it's the right sweetness. Top and decorate. Usually bake around an hour, watch to see its nice and golden.
Pies freeze well also. Pies make lovely gifts!
Crumbles (crisps). I just grease a dish and fill with fruit. Add a tiny amount of sugar. In a bowl I melt some butter and add brown sugar and maybe half a cup of flour plus... crushed nuts and or crumbed cereal, oats or any crumb I have saved up or left over. Crushed nuts are really good and you only need a tablespoon or so. Mix together and taste it! Add or alter until it is delicious! Crumble this over your fruit. I like a good thick layer. Bake until golden and bubbly. This is heavenly! Crumbles also freeze.
This year I will be filling the crock pot with fruit and stewing it down to make baby food. I will take these around to Lucy after they are frozen in ice cube trays and emptied into containers. Stewed fruits pureed also make good ice blocks/icy poles for children.
Hopefully I will also find new recipes this year. HOPEFULLY i will get lots of fruit!
This is my strategy as we have abundant fruit here and so many people let it fall to the ground that by asking I have a lot of people that let me pick it. It really adds hundreds of dollars to my food budget and is just amazing.
But whatever comes your way make the most of it. And if you know this is a regular event plan ahead so you are ready. Anything fresh has a window of opportunity and if you leave it and time gets away from you the chance is lost. I would stay up all night working rather than waste it!
Next week we have a post by Teri and the subject is using foods that you have preserved. Being able to go to the pantry and put to use things you have previously canned, dried and so on. I find all year I am able to use the jam I made in summer as there are so many uses for it. I love this!
I hope you are having a good week! With love. xxx