Harvested and processed at the peak of its ripeness, frozen fruit gives produce enthusiasts the ability to enjoy flavorful fruit all year long, even at times when those fruits can't be purchased fresh. The convenience factor of these easy-to-store fruit bags can't be overstated, but certain fruits freeze better than others. We've gathered a list of five fruits that thrive when frozen, whether you're using them for smoothies, cocktails, baked goods, fruit salad, or any other culinary endeavor.
Frozen cherries make for a delicious snack right out of the bag; because cherries are so naturally juicy, they eat like tiny ice pops when frozen. They also preserve their flavor beautifully, and they maintain their nutritional value almost entirely. Be sure to seek out pitted frozen cherries; you won't need to risk biting down on a cherry pit if you snack on them, and it's easy to toss these chilly treats into a blender for smoothies or shakes.
Most mangoes purchased in grocery stores are imported from other countries, and that's why recipe developer Aysegul Sanford of Foolproof Living recommends seeking them out in the frozen foods section. "Frozen fruit gets picked at peak ripeness then frozen to lock in all the best flavors and nutrients," Sanford explains. She finds that frozen mangoes hold their textural integrity and lively flavor even after thawing, and if you'd prefer to skip the thaw, you can toss them into a blender to add tropical liveliness to a smoothie or a frozen cocktail.
Frozen pineapple, like frozen mango, brings tropical flair to blended smoothies, shakes, and cocktails. Also, chef and owner Josh Champion of Take It Personal private chef service in Florida likes to use frozen fruit in lieu of canned fruit in recipes like "stir fries, casseroles, and sauces."
Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries can be purchased frozen all year long, and if you want to thaw them out for use in a fruit salad, you can spread them out on a plate and pop them in the microwave at the defrost setting for 30 seconds. If you're baking with frozen berries, you won't need to thaw them ahead of time— just toss the frozen berries right in the batter.
"My favorite fruits to buy frozen are peaches, mango, and strawberries. There are a few reasons why fruits might be better to buy frozen. One reason is that frozen fruits are often cheaper than fresh fruits. Another reason is that frozen fruits can be a great way to add fresh fruit to your diet even when fresh fruit is not in season. Finally, frozen fruits often have a longer shelf life than fresh fruit," says recipe developer Jessica Randhawa of The Forked Spoon. The natural sweetness of peaches is amplified through the freezing process, resulting in an icy, delicately-sugary snack with vibrant aromatics.
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