Saving Summer . . . or should I say savoring summer?


It’s been a crazy busy summer.  I spend a lot of time contemplating how I am going to suck the most that I can out of summer.  Spending time at the cottage, gardening, and traveling are just some of the things I try to pack in. The cooking is fabulous with all of the wonderful fresh produce available . . . a virtual cornucopia of choices.  My cottage happens to be in one of the most incredible fruit belts in Michigan and it is also the asparagus capital of the world.  I just drool at the thought of Stony Lake Inn deep fried asparagus.  Then the parade of fruits:  strawberries, blueberries, cherries, peaches and apples.  I love the little fruit and vegetable stands around here.  It is not summer without a trip to Cherry Point in Silver Lake or the Fox Barn Winery.  Whippy Dip or Country Dairy for ice cream, fresh butter and cheese.  Mac’s Meats for bacon and brisket.  Oceana County is a cooks paradise.

So what do you do when you have a refrigerator full of beautiful produce and you have an opportunity to leave the cottage to see your lovey loves–my grandbabies?  I’ve discovered that my Vitamix is my life saver!

Well, my Vitamix and my freezer.  After consulting the expert, my daughter Emily, I created what I call my smoothie starters.  Some savory, some sweet and some a combination of both.  I surveyed the refrigerator and took out everything that would not survive the trip.  I had kale, spinach, parsley, leeks, tomatoes, grapes (white and red), peaches, celery, carrots, blueberries and apples,

I took the tomatoes, parsley, celery, leeks and spinach and a 1/2 cup of water.  Pureed the heck out of it and frozen it in small plastic containers, labeled them and froze them.  Now when I am making a stew or soup or a smoothie I can whip one out and add it to whatever I am making.  Imagine someone dropping by at cocktail hour and you are caught without a snack.  Whip out a can of chick peas and a savory frozen bundle.  Add garlic and olive oil and there you got yourself a fabulous hummus.

Then the fruit.  I always add celery to my fruit smoothies.  It is such a refreshing flavor and so good for you.  I made several combinations and added kale to them all too.  Now, when I wake up in the morning I can whip up a great smoothie and I don’t have to add ice because my fruit is frozen.

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Label them well.  Throw in a little lemon or lime zest and coconut water, ice tea or any other fun liquid.  Enjoy a quick snack and a healthy summer.

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