Making fruit ice cubes for smoothies and homemade baby food is the best way to freeze excess fruit so it doesn’t take up excess room in your freezer!
One of the best ways to easily have my son to get some fruit, protein, and even veggies into his diet, especially on a day that he is being particularly picky, is with a fruit smoothie! One of his favorites is the Popeye smoothie.
Not all of his favorite fruits are available at all times of the year, though. So, I take advantage of when they are in season, and freeze some pureed fruits, all ready for making smoothies.
I call them fruit ice cubes or fruit smoothie cubes.
This all began after I had a bunch of leftover homemade baby food in my freezer.
I never did buy my son canned baby food. Well, actually I did, but it was only a few times, because of “emergency” situations, and he refused to eat them. Comparing the homemade food with the canned stuff, I have to say that I don’t blame him.
To have a supply always available, I ended up making bulk amounts of baby food all at once, and then freezing it in ice cube trays to have convenient amounts ready to defrost and serve as needed.
Eventually my son stopped eating pureed foods, but I still had a stash in the freezer, and I couldn’t let it go to waste. The chicken, beef, vegetable, and rice purees turned into dog treats, but I kept the fruit purees for us. They were perfect for making smoothies!
Making fruit ice cubes for smoothies or baby food is really very easy.
All you have to do is to throw in your peeled and pitted fruits into a blender, puree, and pour into ice cube trays for freezing.
At first, I used the ice cube trays that I already had sitting around, and even used silicone muffin tins for freezing the purees into serving size amounts. They all worked well enough, but I was sick of all of the baby food taking over my entire freezer! I bagged up the food cubes in bags, but the irregular shape of the cubes didn’t help save any space in the freezer.
The other day I went to the farmers’ market that is held downtown on Fridays. I bought some fresh strawberries, cherries, and figs. Strawberry and fig puree is very easy to make, of course. Cherry puree, though, takes a lot longer because you have to pit all of the cherries, which does take a bit of time. You can use it as a good excuse to sit at your coffee table and watch a movie that you’ve been meaning to watch while pitting them.
I was excited to find some perfectly cube-shaped ice cube trays!
Why was I so excited about it?
They were exactly what I needed to be able to neatly store away all of my frozen purees!
With perfectly cube-shaped ice cubes, you can line your cubes up in a ziplock bag, and then throw a bunch of different bags together in your freezer drawer. If you label them well, it is easy to flip through to get to the bag you are looking for. The bags line up perfectly, meaning no wasted space in your freezer!
A Rainbow of Fruit Ice Cubes
Clean and peel chosen fruits. I have listed the fruits shown in the pictures above, but you can freeze pretty much any fruit you choose.
Cut the fruit into smaller pieces and throw them into your blender or the container for a hand blender. With a mango, you can use the glass to help you peel it. 🙂
Puree the fruits.
Pour the puree into ice cube trays, and place them unstacked into the freezer.
For thicker purees, you can use a spatula to help you.
Remove the cubes from the trays and store them in ziplock type baggies in the freezer.
Something about seeing the fruits pureed changes their appeal in my son’s eyes. He refuses to try figs, for example, but loved the fig puree. I try not to put too many fig cubes in his smoothies, though, because the little seeds bother him when drinking the smoothie with a straw. Kids! 🙂
Having frozen fruit smoothie cubes ready, you don’t really need to add more ice cubes to your smoothie unless you want to water it down somewhat.
I usually peel, cut, and freeze browning bananas for smoothies, too, so that they don’t go to waste. Bananas are a great addition to smoothies because they make them smoother and sweeter.
So, what do we usually add to a smoothie?
I say “we” because my son loves to help me out. I lift him up on the counter to help add the ingredients and to start the blender for me.
We then add our fruit smoothie cubes.
I don’t usually add anything to sweeten the smoothies; I prefer using the fruit sweeten it naturally. Ripe bananas with brown spots on them are perfect for that job!! If the smoothie turns out too sour, though, or not sweet enough, I add some raw honey to the mix.
I often sneak veggies into his smoothies! Spinach is a great ingredient to sneak into kids’ smoothies, and it turns them into a beautiful shade of green! That’s how I naturally colored my shamrock shakes (and candida diet safe shamrock shakes) in March!
Lastly, I sometimes add in other ingredients like Spirulina or raw, pastured eggs into the smoothies for a bit of a protein boost, making a complete breakfast smoothie.
We generally experiment and change up the mix of the smoothie each time.
Pineapple is good with banana and some coconut milk, for example, for a tropical smoothie. Smoothies with pineapple in them can get bitter if made with milk products, though, if you don’t drink them up right away.
Even pumpkin can be good in a smoothie, especially if you add some cinnamon, cloves, and allspice.
Looking for some great smoothie recipes?
I have rounded up 150 great smoothie recipes to keep you busy for a while.
I love smoothies are a great way to let my son have a “treat” in which I can control what he is eating. It is healthier than a shake, and he seems to like them better too!
Do you have to have ice cube trays like mine?
I’m happy to say you can find them on Amazon. They measure out to be around an ounce a cube, which is good to know for when you are planning out baby food rations.
Things that store well in these cubes:
- baby food
- smoothie cubes
- homemade pesto and tomato sauce
- leftover homemade coconut milk
- homemade pumpkin puree
They are just too convenient!
This post is also available in Español.