Freezing Fruits for Summer Smoothies

Springtime often brings warm sunshine, cool breezes, fresh fruits…and the opportunity to plan refreshing treats for the hot summertime ahead. Fruit smoothies in the summer are not only a welcomed way to cool down but are also nutritious, delicious, and easy to prepare. Due to the popularity of smoothies, recipes are easy to find; look online, on product packaging, and in books and magazines. Once you get the hang of it you’ll be making recipes of your own.

A medley of frozen fruits from our global food suppliers helps you mix-and-match a variety of flavors with fresh fruits and berries that will be ready for harvest later in the season. Fruits like bananas, pineapple, and mango are not typically grown in the United States, but are available year-round at grocery stores. These three fruits in particular add consistently tasty flavor and texture to smoothies. Keeping them frozen allows you to use them in smoothies as you would otherwise use ice cubes- but fruit “ice cubes” pack a lot more flavor than regular ice cubes!

Freezing these fruits for smoothies is simple:

–          Make sure your freezer is set to 0°F or below.

–          Select fruits that are mature, ripe, and at their peak of freshness.

–          Work under sanitary conditions; freezing does not destroy enzymes or kill microorganisms, it just slows their effects.

–          Peel fruits, remove cores or seeds as needed, then slice into chunks about the size of regular ice cubes.

Pieces of Fruit on Tray for Freezing

–          Enzymes may still cause browning of fruits, so you may want to add ascorbic acid, citric acid, or lemon juice before freezing. Refer to http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/freeze.html for exact quantities.

–          You might also want to place the fruit pieces on cookie sheets or trays to freeze them individually before packing them for storage. This step makes it easier to separate them for use.

–          Store the pieces of fruit in a rigid container or plastic bag that holds one half-gallon or less so that all pieces freeze fast enough to produce a satisfactory quality. Choose containers that are moisture-vapor resistant, durable, leak-proof, easy to seal, and easy to mark. Label with the type of fruit and date for easy identification.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFrozen Fruits in Rigid Containers

Depending on where you live and from where you get your fruit, you might already be seeing strawberries fresh off the vine. Sooner or later you might also have fresh peaches, raspberries, blueberries, and/or blackberries. Whatever your local flavor, having some frozen fruits stored in the freezer will allow you to blend a fresh, cold smoothie whenever you like!

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