When I was a little girl I remember going to U-Pick farms with my mother, grandmother and sister. We picked strawberries, tomatoes, and all sorts of other goodies.
Once we got them home we'd freeze, can, and dry everything at the peak of its freshness so we could enjoy it all year long. My grandmother's pantry in Eastern Washington was a veritable cornucopia of canned and preserved goods. She had everything one could pack in a jar – apricots, beets, onions, green beans, peaches, pears, cherries – even elk meat! The list seriously goes on for a while.
My mother took it one step further and dried foods in addition to canning some. She made the best fruit leather under the sun (Sun...get it?! Dried..sun...never mind.)
Now that I am (according to the government at least) an adult, I haven't been to a U-Pick farm in ages. So, when a friend invited me to tag along for the day I couldn't resist. We picked raspberries, black raspberries, and beets. Having spent the early portion of my life on a defunct raspberry farm, I was eager to gather a haul to bring home to preserve.
Sadly, I forgot just how unpleasant it can be picking fruit in a field all day and that I have very limited space for preserving anything for an extended period of time. So, I limited my picking to just what I could use in the next week or two. When I got home I flash froze half by washing them and laying them out in single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet and freezing them solid. Then I tossed them in a zip-top bag and they're perfect for last minute smoothie additions.
The other half I turned into frozen yogurt popsicles. Considering the ridiculous heat wave we've had in the DC area and the recent storm knocking out our electricity, I was thankful to have something cool and refreshing in my freezer with which to chill out.
Frozen Raspberry Yogurt Popsicles
32 oz nonfat plain Greek yogurt
8-12 oz fresh raspberries, rinsed
½ cup organic sugar
Mix all ingredients together. Freeze in popsicle molds. Dip the popsicle mold in warm water to loosen. Remove from popsicle mold. Enjoy.