During the bounty of the summer season, abundant amount of fresh fruit is available. Gather excess fruit from farm stands in overripe bins, or from garden areas. A multitude of exciting ways to enjoy this fruit include many of these following examples.

Fruit Pops

Fruit pops are a tasty favorite treat among children and adults during the warm summer months. Easy to make and fun to share, fruit pops are best eaten outside. Fruit pops are also a great way to use overripe or excess fruit. Just mix excess blueberries, strawberries, raspberries mixed with fresh herbs to create this remarkable and crowd pleasing summer treat. Here are several recipes which utilize extra fresh fruit.

Blueberry and Cream Popsicles

Frozen Berries

Mix 3 cups of blueberries with ½ cup of half and half, milk or almond milk. Blenderize and pour into popsicle molds. Place craft sticks from dollar tree into each popsicle. Freeze overnight and serve. Run warm to hot water over the mold to assist in releasing the pops.

Raspberry and Lemon Balm Popsicles

Frozen Lemons and Berries

Mix 3 cups of raspberries with ¼ cup freshly chopped lemon balm, picked fresh from your garden. Growing lemon balm in containers on patios is one quick easy way to have fresh herbs. Blenderize the fresh picked herbs, with the raspberries. Pour this mix into popsicle molds which are also frequently sold at discount stores for a significant savings. Freeze this mix overnight. Later run warm over the molds to quicken removal of the pops. Serve immediately.

Fruit Leather

Citrus Fruit and Rolls of Fruit Leather

Take excess fruit acquired from the overripe bin at a local farm store. Purchase as much fruit as is available. Blenderize the fruit, add desired sweetener, and pour into a dehydrator lined with parchment paper. Make the fruit thicker on the edges so it doesn’t crack on the edges. Set the temperature as directed on your dehydrator. When dry, cut the sheet into quarters. Roll each quarter in BPA free plastic wrap. Store in glass quart jars. Use watermelon for a delicious extra sweet treat. Cantaloupe, apples, pears, blueberries and strawberries also make incredible leather.

Fruit and Veggie Chips

Spinach, kale, apples and blueberry chips make great afternoon snacks. In a similar process to creating fruit leather, blenderize excess fruit. Pour this mix onto a parchment lined cookie sheet in a thin layer, bake at 350 F for 10 to 15 minutes. With kale pour ¼ of olive oil over the kale, salt and then bake.

Compote

Apple compote cooking in a pot

Chop excess fruit. Chop 2 cups of leftover fruit into small pieces. Add ¼ cup to ½ cup of sugar to fruit. Let cook for 15 minutes while stirring. It thickens as it cooks slowly. Add ¼ cup honey or maple syrup if you do not use sugar. This compote is tasty over vanilla ice cream. Favorites include strawberry rhubarb, blueberry, apple cinnamon, and pear ginger.

This recipe can be adapted as a scrumptious topping for cheesecake. A gelatin based syrup, is spread over a luscious bed of fresh fruit or excess frozen fruit. Make this gelatinous syrup out of strawberries, blackberries, marionberries, silvan and Himalayan berries.

Fruit Crumbles, Cobblers, and Crisps

Historically, these three toppings were put over excess fruit. Cobblers are made with biscuits while crisps are typically made with oats and cobblers are basically made with a flour base mixed with oats. This mixture is place on top of the cooked fruit and sauce mixture. Look up several, exciting new recipes online for more information. Combinations of different kinds of fruits include: plum, strawberry/ rhubarb, mixed berries, apple and cinnamon. Refer to specific recipes for the details like baking temperatures and cooking times.

Ice Cream Recipes

In David Lebovitz’s “The Perfect Scoop”, he recommends using extra fruit sauces including these kinds: chunky raspberry, strawberry and a mixed berry coulis available with a mixture of several Oregon berry types. These include raspberry/ peach, strawberry/ rhubarb, blueberry lemon and marionberry raspberry. In this book, he also has an entire chapter dedicated to vessels made for holding ice cream but which would be a great idea for inserting fresh extra fruit into. These also include crepes, meringue nests, and ice cream cones which could be used with extra fruit and a form of custard or other kind of pudding.

A basic recipe for a combination berry almond milk or half and half based ice cream is:

½ tb butter

2 cups mixed berries or other fruit of your choice

1 to 2 tbs lemon juice.

1 tb coconut/ almond or other flour mixture

1 cup coconut milk or cream

4 tablespoons honey, maple syrup or sugar

4 egg yolks

Melt the butter or coconut oil first. Mix in the berries, lemon juice and flours in a saucepan and stir until everything is combined. Cool this in the refrigerator. Then mix the almond milk or half and half, honey or maple syrup over low heat for 8 minutes until the spoon is coated. Add to this warm mixture carefully to the whipped egg yolks stirring smoothly until all of the eggs are mixed. Mix in the berries and chill this in the refrigerator from 8 to 2 days. Freeze this in your ice cream maker according to instructions.

Makes 1 quart.

Using excess fruit in a multitude of ways often leads to creating more examples of what is possible. Seasonal food transitions create a unique and bountiful way to savor your life more fully.