Monday, March 26, 2012

Frozen Fruit Cups

Pioneer Woman hosted a Kid Swap Sleepover a few weeks ago on her show.  Her girls spent the night at her friend's house while she hosted her own boys and her friend's boys at her house for the night.  To make things extra fun, she decided to have breakfast for dinner and dinner for breakfast.   My kids LOVE having breakfast for dinner, so we all tuned in to watch her show and see just what she would make at the ranch.

One of the recipes she shared was Frozen Fruit Cups.  She explained that she had been given the recipe years ago by her homeschooling friends and that it was a great way for her kids to eat fruit.  I had been given a similar Frozen Fruit Cups recipe by some women from Upper Arlington Lutheran Church in a Women of Titus 2 Class I took years ago.  The recipes were similar, so I took both recipes and sort of created a new version.  The result was a hit with my family.  These frozen fruit cups were well received last week during our March heatwave when temperatures in Columbus reached 89 degrees!  They were sweet, tart, slightly slushy, and very refreshing!  I think they'll be making a regular appearance on our snack or breakfast choices menu during the summer months.

Frozen Fruit Cups
Sweet, Tart, Slightly Slushy, and Very Refreshing!

What I like most about this recipe is that you can spend a few minutes making a huge batch (18 cups) that will last for several meals or snacks.  I also love that you can make this in individual servings so you can take out just as much as you need.  About the only trick to making this recipe be a success is to use FIRM bananas, not green, but no brown on the skins.  I think you could probably use whatever fruits you like and it would turn out fine.  My kids pick out the cherries from Fruit Cocktail to eat them first, so rather than a whole can of fruit cocktail as The Pioneer Woman suggested, I just put in a jar of cherries.  I think next time I might try adding frozen blueberries or raspberries from my freezer stash.

Here's the recipe:

Frozen Fruit Cups
4 cups frozen peaches, thawed slightly and diced
1 or 2 lg can(s) crushed pineapple, drained
2 lg cans mandarin oranges, drained
1 small jar maraschino cherries, drained and halved
5-6 firm bananas, diced
1 small can of orange pineapple juice, thawed
1/3 cup lemon juice

1.  In a large bowl, combine the peaches, pineapple, oranges, and maraschino cherries.
2.  Add the bananas.
3.  Pour the thawed orange pineapple juice concentrate and the lemon juice over the fruits and stir gently to combine.
4.  Using a ladle, fill plastic disposable cups with fruit mixture. 
5.  Cover cups with plastic wrap and freeze cups on a cookie sheet until firm.
6.  Remove cups from freezer at least one hour before you want to enjoy them.

If you don't want to use disposable plastic cups, you can just make these in muffin tins instead and pop them out like ice cubes when you are ready to eat them.  I don't use very many plastic disposable cups, but I like to for this recipe.  The plastic cups make this a very portable, healthy snack alternative.  I think these would be great to stick in our insulated snack bag this summer for a refreshing treat during the rest periods at the pool.

I could not find a small can of orange pineapple juice concentrate, so I just bought a big can and then used about half of it in this recipe.  I mixed the other half with 1 1/2 cans of water, and we had orange pineapple juice for breakfast!

What's your favorite frozen fruit treat?

I've linked this recipe to Eat at Home's Ingredient Spotlight Bananas. 

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