Learn how to freeze fresh fruit for smoothies and enjoy the taste of fresh seasonal fruit year-round.
This post is sponsored by NewAir, all opinions are my own.
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A smart way to cut food waste and save money is to freeze fresh, seasonal fruit from your latest farmer’s market picks or the produce section in your grocery store. Not only can you make delicious smoothies with frozen fruit, but it can be used in a wide range of recipes. Be sure to stock up on your favorite fruits in season and prepare to freeze them for later use.
What you will need to freeze fresh fruit
- Parchment paper
- Baking sheet or cookie sheet
- Freezer-safe container, stasher bag or ziploc bag
- Paring knife
- Fresh produce
What are the best fruits to freeze?
There are lots of fruits that are good choices for freezing to use in smoothies. Here are my favorite fruits to freeze.
- Berries – I love freezing strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries as they beautifully maintain their flavor and texture. Berries are also great for adding a pop of sweetness and color to smoothies.
- Bananas – Adding frozen banana slices to smoothies is an excellent choice because of their natural sweetness and creamy texture. To prepare them, peel ripe bananas, slice them, and freeze the slices. Freezing overripe bananas is also a great way to avoid food waste while adding a thick and delicious smoothie base.
- Stone fruits – Peaches, nectarines, and mangoes can be quickly frozen while maintaining their delicate flavor and aroma. They make a great addition to smoothies or any dish with their sweet taste and subtle floral notes.
How to prepare and freeze fresh fruit for smoothies
Preparing fresh fruit for the freezer is a simple process with a few steps, here is a quick overview to prepare fresh fruit.
- For the best results, choose ripe fruit that is of high quality and not too soft or bruised.
- Wash the fruit properly to eliminate any dirt or pesticides, and dry it thoroughly using a soft towel or a paper towel.
- To prepare, remove any stems, seeds, or pits and peel if necessary.
- When preparing fruit, it is important to slice or chop it into appropriate sizes and shapes, such as wedges, chunks, or slices. The best size and thickness will depend on the intended use. For optimal blending in smoothies, it is recommended to use small pieces of fruit.
- After slicing or cutting the fruit, I’ve found the best way to freeze it, is to place the pieces in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet making sure the pieces don’t touch each other.
- Place the baking sheet lined with parchment paper into the freezer and let it completely freeze, which can take 3 to 5 hours, depending on the thickness and fruit.
- Once the fruit is frozen solid, remove it from the baking tray and place it into a suitable freezer-safe container. I like to use stasher bags for this, but you can also use sealed freezer-safe containers or plastic bag.
- Store your frozen fruit in the freezer for up to 6 months.
- Another easy way to freeze fruit, especially overripe fruit, is to puree it in a blender and pour it into a cupcake pan or ice cube trays for individual portions. Once frozen, pop them out and store them in a plastic bag.
- Make smoothie packs by storing portions of mixed fruit in a plastic bag, mason jar or stasher.
Once you get used to freezing and enjoying seasonal fresh produce throughout the year, you might need a second freezer. With another freezer, you can store not only store fruit fruit, but leftovers, and meat.
My personal choice is a compact 5 cu. ft. mini deep chest freezer from New Air (affiliate link). It’s just the perfect size, has digital temperature control, fast freeze mode (I love this feature), a stay-open lid, and a removable storage basket!
This freezer is also great to stock up on sale items, and planning your meals.
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The perfect smoothie formula
There are so many smoothie recipes, but I have developed a simple formula for creating smoothies. You can use any fruit that you like, along with a few other fresh ingredients. The result is always a thick, delicious, and creamy smoothie.
Start with a generous handful of fresh spinach or kale for a dose of veggies for fiber and vitamins, and add about 1/2 cup or more of any combination of your favorite frozen fruit, which will provide some more essential vitamins such as vitamin C. Next, add about 1/4 of an avocado cut into chunks for a creamy texture.
Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of filtered water or plant-based milk such as coconut milk, almond milk or oat milk and a scoop of your favorite protein powder. Blend it up and adjust the consistency to your liking and enjoy!
Freezing whole fruits may not always be the best option unless the fruit is small such as blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. When larger fruits are frozen whole, can take longer to freeze and will be difficult to use in recipes in their larger form.
Citrus fruits can be frozen. However, they have a high water content, which will cause the texture of the fruit to change. If you do freeze citrus fruit, peel it and separate it into small segments for the best results.