Earlier this month, I purchased a bushel of peaches from a local farm. There is just NOTHING like fresh peaches, and once you've tasted them, you'll never look at the ones in the grocery store again. We ate quite a few while they were fresh, and then I canned up 12 1/2 quarts to enjoy throughout the year. Even canned, they taste better than the grocery store stuff! :-)
I opened my first quart jar earlier this week with a dinner. We ate most of them at that first sitting, but there were a few left that I finished off later in the week. Today I noticed the jar in the fridge with just the peach juice and about 3 small slices of peach floating in it. I started to remove the slices to eat with lunch and dump out the syrup (which was of the extra-light variety) as is the common procedure.
But then I paused, contemplating that yummy peach-flavored, lightly-sweetened liquid. I didn't want to drink it, but how could I use it in a less wasteful way? Inspiration struck and I pulled out the blender. I poured in the syrup, as well as the peach slices that had been in it moments before. I went to the counter and picked up an over-ripe banana, peeling it and adding it to the concoction. Then I opened my freezer and took out a small bag of strawberries I had frozen. I contemplated blueberries or blackberries, as I have those in the freezer as well, but the strawberries won.
I turned on the blender until I had a thick puree, then added some milk and pureed again. I ended up with a very cold, extremely tasty smoothie. I served it to the kids with their lunch today and they were mesmerized, asking for more before they had finished what they had! I didn't add a bit of sugar beyond what was in the extra-light syrup, so it was a fairly healthy beverage.
I'm going to make this a new habit - why waste the delightful syrup with bits of fruit in it at the bottom of the jar? If you enjoy commercially-canned fruits instead of canning them yourself, you could still do something similar - it would just probably have a bit more sugar and additives....but it would still taste great and if you add other fruits, would be just as good-for-you!
I wish I had a picture of the beautiful creation, but it was gone before I even thought about blogging about it. :-) You'll just have to trust me - it was G-O-O-D!!!!