After making jam last week, I still had several pints of strawberries staining the refrigerator shelves, so we tried to eat them all. We had them on cereal. We ate them whole. I sliced them over ice cream. I discovered sliced strawberries are heavenly in this recipe when swapped for chocolate chips. But there were still more, and most were on the verge of overripe mush.
The ruby jewels are too precious to toss in the compost just because we couldn't get our grub on quick enough. So I gave them a rinse, sliced their little green tops off and dropped them in the blender. After a quick whiz, I had a brilliant red puree. Here's where I stole a trick from my baby-food-making recipes: I poured the puree into my silicone muffin tin (yes, it's not technically a tin, but I just can't make any other name stick) and popped them in the freezer. If you don't have a silicone muffin tin, use ice cube trays. A few hours later they are frozen solid and can be popped out and transferred to a plastic bag or other airtight container.
So what could you do with frozen strawberry hockey pucks? Well, toss one in the blender with plain yogurt for a smoothie. Add thawed puree to your morning oatmeal. Or use it for baking cakes, muffins or making pancakes. Blend it with cream cheese and sugar for a delicious frosting. Pour it over ice cream or sliced pound cake. Add it to your lemonade, or better yet, your margarita!
Unlike the shelf life of a strawberry, the possibilities are endless. The bottom line is, there is no need to let your fruit go to waste. If you can't eat it in time, take five minutes to puree and freeze it. It's just one little way to stretch the summer season.