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One Easy Way To Fight Food Waste With Your Freezer

One of the easiest ways to limit food waste is to freeze produce just before it goes bad and turn it into a smoothie when you’re ready for a cool, sweet treat. 

Why didn’t I think of that before?!

Some ideas are so obvious once you see them. Freezing our own fruit and making our own smoothie popsicles are definitely two of those ideas. There are so many reasons homemade fruit smoothie popsicles have been a welcome addition in house.

Limiting Food Waste Takes A Bit of Planning

A few years ago, M and I weren’t particularly diligent about limiting food waste. We never intended to be wasteful. However, I made weekly meal plans without being particularly thoughtful or creative about using food in our kitchen that was on the brink of going bad.

We also lived in a high-rise apartment directly above a grocery store and had less storage in our kitchen that we today. Our freezer, in particular, demanded a premium on space. It wasn’t always easy to throw something in the freezer that was about to go bad so we could come back and use it when we were ready.

Fighting Food Waste With The Freezer

Excuses aside, we’ve turned over a new leaf and have had far less food waste lately. I challenge myself to plan meals around what’s been hanging out in the pantry or freezer too long. We have a compost bin on our counter, which admittedly helps the environment but not necessarily our bank account if it fills up frequently. We’ve also been better about taking an inventory of our fridge every few days to make sure we catch something before it goes bad.

Specifically, we started a frozen fruit bag to collect any leftover fresh fruit from our fridge that we don’t expect we will eat before it goes bad. I used to buy frozen fruit from the grocery story for all of our smoothies. How did I not think to freeze our own fruit, as needed, before?! It seems so obvious, right? (But it wasn’t to me.)

The boys really enjoy making smoothies and often each make their own. We only add fresh fruit and enough fruit juice to arrive at the right consistency. They love to fill an entire cup with whatever their little hearts desire that day. They rarely eat such a large serving, so we refreeze the extra smoothie in popsicle molds. We have these smaller molds as well as these larger ones.

Popsicles With Breakfast? Sure!

When they ask if they can have a popsicle with breakfast, I have no problem saying yes. I know that it’s only fruit and a bit of juice, something with which I wouldn’t take issue serving them for breakfast anyway. Meanwhile, they think they just won the lottery eating popsicles with breakfast.

For now, we stick to fruit smoothies. Green smoothies are all the rage, of course, but I just can’t get on board with them. The leafy texture hiding out in so many green smoothies still rocks my palette. (I know, I’m a baby and slightly picky.) I also don’t care for milk, yogurt or bananas in my smoothies because I don’t love the creamy consistency of any of them. (Waa, waa… more whining about smoothie texture).

With all my persnickety guardrails, I’d love for you to share recipes for any green smoothies you think I might like. Link to a favorite recipe in the comments or share something on social media and tag me (@honestlymodern). I’m excited to see what you share!

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  1. This is one of many waste-reducing ideas I learned from my mom. My dad is very particular about bananas, only eating them at a certain stage of ripeness. When they got over-ripe, my mom would peel them and put them in a freezer bag. On hot summer days, my brother and I would be languishing when Mom said, “Time for a banana shake!” Just frozen bananas, milk, honey, and vanilla in the blender. Mmmm.

    I notice you’re using a Magic Bullet. We had one that really didn’t work well. I’m glad it’s working for you! We may have bought a dud, I guess. We now have an immersion blender that’s very easy to use and clean.

    1. Such a good idea. I have a bag of frozen peeled and sliced bananas in my freezer right now. I think my younger son would love the recipe you describe! As for the Magic Bullet, I think this is our second one. The first one wasn’t great but this was has hung in there for us. Hopefully I won’t jinx it. But after reading your post, our experience isn’t much different… We also have a regular blender, an immersion blender and a food processor. The Magic Bullet only makes our fruit smoothies and nothing else; and there are plenty of breaks and shaking and loud motors throughout the whole process. The tougher jobs are left for ‘the big guns’ in our kitchen. I would agree it definitely doesn’t live up to those infomercials I remember from so many years ago. Based on what you say about putting kale in a Magic Bullet, maybe that’s why I have an aversion to “leafy things” in my smoothies. I just need a new tool?! Ha. Thanks so much for the note.

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