Summer Snacks through the Winter – Guest Post

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on October 8, 2009

grapes 3

Today’s guest post comes from KeriLyn at She Saved!  Go grab some grapes and stash them in your freezer!

My kids (and hubby, actually) got hooked on grapes last summer… because Grandpa has TONS of them along his back fence. Someone had the brilliant idea to freeze them.

(I actually think I saw Martha Stewart freezing grapes to use as decor in punch bowls…)

So we gave it a try…and it has become a favorite treat in our home…all year round! The best part about this snack is that it is super easy, not to mention healthy!

You just start with grapes right off the vine. Don’t have a vine???  Just purchase them at the grocery store if you find them on sale.

grapes 1

I wash them really well and then strain them to dry. I purchased (on clearance last year!) those plastic freezer containers that are right next to the canning supplies in the grocery store. They stayed great all year. We JUST finished our last container from last summer and it was as good as the first.

grapes 2

Inexpensive, EASY and healthy…not to mention delicious…And can be enjoyed all year long!!!

Any fresh produce you’re planning on stashing in your freezer to use throughout the winter???

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

sherri October 8, 2009 at 10:49 am

Great idea!

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Kristia@FamilyBalanceSheet October 8, 2009 at 11:18 am

I have several gallon size bags of strawberries that I picked at a farm in June. We make a lot of smoothies through out the year and those fresh local berries are soooo good. I also am in the process of making gallons of applesauce to freeze for the year.

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Karen October 8, 2009 at 11:34 am

I freeze TONS of my garden and use it throughout the year. Chopped green peppers store perfectly in ziploc bags. Frozen corn is delicious! I also blanch and then freeze broccoli, cauliflower, and green beans. I grate carrots and measure the amount my carrot cake and carrot muffins require, and put just that much in sandwich sized ziploc bags. I do the same thing with my grated zucchini for zucchini bread. I always freeze just enough pureed pumpkin to get me through the holiday season with pumpkin pies and pumpkin rolls. I also freeze lots of my herbs so I can have that fresh herb flavor throughout the year. My backyard garden and my freezer truly mean I rarely have to spend money on vegies all year long!

Karen at http://theexecutivemom.blogspot.com/

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Jennifer October 8, 2009 at 12:22 pm

We do this. I like to freeze grapes from the US in the summer, so that I am not having to buy expensive grapes in the winter that are from mexico or chili.

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Karen October 8, 2009 at 1:25 pm

will you be having guest posting after the baby comes?

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Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom October 8, 2009 at 1:26 pm

@Karen,

Yes some. If you’re interested in writing one, just let me know!

Erin

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Jessica October 8, 2009 at 6:14 pm

I love this idea. I was just thinking about how the grape prices were going to go up soon and my son LOVES grapes. I love them too, but not for 3.99 a pound!!!

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Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom October 8, 2009 at 6:18 pm

@Jessica,

In my area they are still on sale every few weeks, but time is running out on grape sales…so grab them when you can!!!

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Jessica October 8, 2009 at 6:42 pm

@Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom,

I know! My “price” is usually 99 cents/pound, but when I go to the store they are all gone!! Today I caved and paid 1.29..my son was smiling though! I think I’ll freeze some of them!

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Susie's Homemade October 8, 2009 at 6:17 pm

That is a good idea!!

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Tacy Melvin October 8, 2009 at 6:38 pm

Do you eat them frozen, or thaw them first?

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Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom October 8, 2009 at 8:43 pm

@Tacy Melvin,

Either way will work! My kids like them frozen! They thaw really quickly too!

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Shani October 8, 2009 at 6:57 pm

I’m new to really budgeting my shopping and your website is fantastic. I saved $30 on groceries this month with your coupon suggestions! And your recipes look amazing. I tried the beef and veggie stir fry (my first time ever cooking beef) and it was fast and delicious!

Thanks so much for the time you put in!

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Jess T October 8, 2009 at 8:43 pm

What a wonderful idea. I remember years ago “sneaking” frozen strawberries from my great grandma’s freezer. She’d pick them during the summer and freeze them for summer fresh berries all year long! I was about 20 when I found out that she refilled the bowl on the bottom shelf of her freezer when she knew I was coming to visit.

As far as what we’re freezing this year… ANYTHING we can get our hands on! Its become known that I don’t let food go to waste. During summer months its not uncommon for us to come home to a bag of tomatoes, some zucchini or a cantaloupe sitting on our porch! I say BRING IT ON!!! We have very little yard space for a garden and what we have is heavily shaded thru the entire day so I don’t usually have much of a garden of my own. I’m THRILLED to get whatever comes our way!

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Robbie @ Going Green Mama October 8, 2009 at 9:29 pm

I love to stock up the freezer! We are finishing up last year’s cranberries and have stored in-season regional blueberries as well. One thing you didn’t mention is it’s great to avoid food waste. If I don’t have time to make banana bread and the bananas aren’t doing so hot, I’ll peel and freeze for later.

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Marie October 8, 2009 at 9:46 pm

Thanks for the idea. I hardly ever buy grapes because it’s just me now. this way I can enjoy them all the time.

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Crista October 8, 2009 at 10:58 pm

I’ve been freezing grapes for a few years – my kids love them in the summer to cool off – we eat them frozen instead of ice cream! Right now I’ve got a ton of grapes, a few gallons of blueberries (hand-picked from Michigan and delivered to Iowa!), a few bags of strawberries from a you-pick place, tons of homemade jam, and I just don’t remember what else right now! I freeze whatever I can!

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Christina October 9, 2009 at 1:31 pm

Frozen blueberries are also delicious!! We used to eat them by the cupful from the freezer when we were kids.

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Becky H October 12, 2009 at 8:49 pm

Love this! My snacks all summer as a kid were always frozen grapes. Still some of my favorite memories include this snack. I had never thawed them though, so I’ll have to try and test my patience to see how they are thawed!

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Beth J October 17, 2009 at 10:13 am

I’m going to try this – what a good idea! I have a couple of questions – I just got some avocados on sale and wondered if anyone had tried freezing them for baby food in the next couple of months? (I have a 7 month old)
Also, wanted to freeze some strawberries I got on sale (Manager’s Special at Kroger! $.99 for a container!) but not sure if I need to blanch them or do anything to them before freezing? I’m new to this so please excuse my ignorance :)

Thanks for your tips!

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Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom October 17, 2009 at 12:53 pm

@Beth J,

Strawberries can be frozen as is, but they will thaw a bit mushier than when you put them in. I usually use them for smoothies after I’ve frozen them.

Avocados…puree them as you would for baby food…with a little breastmilk or formula…and then freeze them into ice cube trays as you would other pureed homemade baby foods.

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