Who doesn’t like smoothies? They are an excellent choice of beverage to add to your daily breakfast routine, or you can even have them after working out. Smoothies are considered healthy as they have high fiber content, and can help you get energized for the whole day. Some common ingredients used in making a smoothie such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, etc. are rich in fiber. Adding fruits to smoothies gives them a great flavor and texture, and kids love fruit smoothies.
Most of the fruits are seasonal and are not available throughout the year. But the good news is that you can freeze fruits to use them later. Fruits used to make smoothies can be stored for up to 6 months without going bad. Isn’t that great? However, there is a special way to freeze these fruits, and some fruits are frozen in a different way than others, just like strawberries. So, here in this article, we have got all the information you need about storing and freezing fruits to make smoothies all year round.
How to Freeze Fresh Fruit for Smoothies?
There is no rocket science about how to freeze fresh fruits. Follow these simple tips and steps to freeze fresh fruits for smoothies:
Freeze Ripe Fruits
The first and the most important trick about freezing fruit is to freeze them when they are super ripe. This enhances their natural sweetness. So, when you use them, you do not need to add any sugar. The natural sweetness of the fruit will be enough to make your smoothie taste great.
Wash the Fruits
Another important step is to wash the fruits thoroughly. Make sure that you use cool running water to wash off all the dirt or bacteria from your fruit. Washing the fruit before freezing them can prevent you from several foodborne diseases.
Dry the Fruits
Make sure that you dry all the fruits very well before putting them in the freezer. This prevents the forming of icicles and other unwanted freezer burns. Use a paper towel to pat the fruits or use a cloth to dry all the moisture from the fruits before you put them in the freezer.
Prep the Fruits
This step includes the cutting of fruits into smaller slices or chunks to prep them for freezing. Cutting them into smaller pieces makes it easier for you to blend them whenever you are going to make the smoothie.
Prep the Baking Sheet or Tray
The last step before putting the fruits in the freezer includes the prepping of the baking sheet. This is not only useful for baking, but in fact, it is used to freeze stuff as well. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Then spread out the chunks of fruit on it, and place it in the freezer. Spreading the pieces of fruit in a single layer prevents it from sticking and forming giant pieces.
Use Freezer Bags
Take the baking sheet containing fruits out of the freezer after a few hours. The fruit will be completely frozen by then. Now you can put the pieces of fruit into frozen bags and put them in the freezer again. The fruit pieces are now hard enough that they will not stick to one another.
Which Fruits can be Frozen?
Almost all fruits can be frozen. Here is a list of these fruits that you can freeze, and use later in smoothies.
How Long Can You Freeze Fruit for Smoothies?
You can freeze fruit for a smoothie for up to 6 months. It is advisable to use the frozen fruit within 6 to 9 months after freezing. During this time, the taste and nutritional value remain the same, but later than that the texture and nutritional value will be affected. Smoothies require frozen fruit, so that is a plus point about freezing all your fruits.
How to Thaw Frozen Fruit?
If you plan to thaw your fruit before using it, then transfer it to the fridge a few hours before you are going to use them. Another way is to keep the frozen fruit bag in a bowl of cold water. Thaw the amount of fruit that you are going to use right then, and avoid refreezing the fruit. The texture of thawed fruit is different, and it can only be used in such recipes that require the fruit to be mushy. You can use this fruit for baking recipes such as pies, pancakes, etc.
Why Frozen Fruit is Used in Smoothies?
You must have seen on the internet that all the recipes for smoothies require frozen fruits. Have you ever wondered, why? Well, we have the answer to this. There are 4 main reasons why frozen fruits are used in smoothies. Let’s talk about them.
Freezing ripe fruits helps in locking in their natural sweetness. So, when you make a smoothie, you do not need to add any additional sugar or honey. The frozen fruits have an enhanced sweetness that makes your smoothie taste delicious.
Using frozen fruit in the smoothies gives it a smoother and creamier texture. It improves the overall texture of the smoothie. Smoothies made with fresh fruits have a thin consistency while smoothies made with frozen fruits have a thick consistency like a milkshake. The thick and creamier texture makes it a treat. Read here to learn more about how to make a smoothie thicker!
Prolong Shelf Life
Sometimes you buy fruit, and before you get the chance to make a smoothie, the fruits get spoiled or get overripe. To prevent this from happening, it is better to freeze the fruits. By freezing fruits, you can enjoy seasonal fruits throughout the year in your smoothies.
Having frozen fruit in your freezer is a convenient option. You will never have to think about going to the market, buying the fruit, and then making the smoothies. You can just make them easily for your breakfast or at any time you want.
Freezing Instructions for Different Fruits
The process of freezing is not the same for all fruits. There are different techniques to freeze different types of fruits, such as freezing grapes. Let’s discuss the freezing method for some of these fruits.
Method of Freezing Kiwi and Mango
Kiwi and mango can also be frozen in the same way. For kiwis, cut the bottom and top of the fruit. Then peel off the skin, and cut it into quarters. Do the same thing for mangoes, and cut them into chunks. Put the fruit slices or chunks on a baking tray, freeze them, and then put them in freezer bags.
Banana is a common ingredient used in a smoothie and is often helpful in relieving constipation. To freeze bananas properly, make sure to peel them, and then cut them into slices. Spread these slices on a baking tray with parchment paper. Keep the tray in the freezer for some time, once the slices are frozen, transfer them to freezer bags and put them in the freezer again. Freezing the bananas in this way prevents them from turning brown. You can grab a few slices to add to your smoothie easily.
Method of Freezing Berries
Berries do not require any special preparation before freezing. Just spread them on the baking tray covered with parchment paper, and put it in the freezer. Once frozen, transfer them to freezer bags. All kinds of berries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries are stored in the same way.
Method of Freezing Citrus Fruit Juice
Freezing citrus fruits can be difficult as they get soft and mushy once they are frozen. However, the juice of these citrus fruits can be frozen. You can blend the fruit to take out their juice, and then transfer this juice into ice-cube trays, and store them in the freezer.
How to Freeze Other Smoothie Ingredients?
Apart from fruits, other smoothie ingredients can also be frozen to be used later. Ginger and spinach are two important ingredients for any smoothie. The whole root of the ginger can be frozen. When you need to use it, you can grate the frozen ginger easily. For freezing spinach, take their leaves, wash them, and dip them in the boiling water. Then these leaves are ready to be placed in freezer bags and the freezer.
Which Fruits and Vegetables Cannot Be Frozen?
People tend to store all sorts of fruits and vegetables, but some fruits become soft and mushy upon freezing. Some of these fruits and vegetables are:
- Citrus Fruits
- Green Peppers
Smoothies are one of the healthiest beverages as they are rich in fiber content. What makes smoothies so special is their flavorful taste, coming from the fruits we add to them. Fruits to be used in smoothies can be frozen for up to 6 months so that you can use them at any time. Frozen fruits retain their nutritional value for up to 6 months. Fruits are frozen when they are super ripe as they enhance their sweetness in this way. Almost all smoothie recipes require frozen fruits because frozen fruits give an improved texture to the smoothie, and you would not need to add sugar as frozen fruits retain their natural sweetness. Enjoy smoothies all year round by using frozen fruits.
Is it important to thaw the frozen fruit before making a smoothie?
No, it is not important to thaw the frozen fruit before making a smoothie. You can add the frozen fruit as it is, and then blend it with a blender.
Is it possible to freeze the fruits for a smoothie with yogurt?
Yes, it is possible to freeze the fruit with yogurt. Blend the fruit with yogurt until it is smooth, and then freeze it.
Do frozen fruits have the same nutritional value as fresh fruit?
If you freeze the fruits just after they have been freshly picked, then they will retain their nutritional value after freezing. If the fruit has been shipped or stayed on the shelves for a long time, then the nutritional value will be less than the fresh fruits.
What to add to a smoothie to make it healthier?
You can add green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale, yogurt, protein powder, and unsweetened almond milk to make your smoothie healthier.
Jeannie has achieved her Master’s degree in science and technology and is further pursuing a Ph.D. She desires to provide you the validated knowledge about science, technology, and the environment through writing articles.