With the right method, freezing produce for smoothies is easy to do at home. Learn how to freeze different fruits and vegetables and keep them for a long time.
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Freezing Fruits and Vegetables
If you regularly make smoothies, it’s a good idea to freeze fruits and vegetables at home. It will extend the lifespan of your produce, ultimately reducing food waste. You’ll also be able to cut fruits and vegetables the way you want before freezing them.
Freezing slows down the breakdown of nutrients. This means frozen fruits and vegetables are nutritionally similar to fresh ones.
There’s a proper way to freeze every type of produce. The correct technique will ensure the fruit or vegetable maintains its flavor and texture in the freezer.
To limit plastic waste, freeze fruits and vegetables in reusable freezer-friendly silicone bags. You’ll be able to use the silicone bags over and over again.
Avoid overfilling the bag.
When placing produce in a silicone bag, don’t add too much. This will make it hard to close, causing air to enter the bag and lead to freezer burn.
Remove excess air.
Before sealing the silicone bag, push out any extra air. It’s another easy way to avoid freezer burn.
Label the bag with the date and item.
Although fruits and vegetables can last indefinitely in the freezer, they taste best during a certain time frame. Always label the bag with date and type of produce. This way, it will be easy to remember when you should use the item.
Frozen bananas are one of the most common ingredients in smoothies so it's a good idea to freeze them yourself. They make drinks creamy, thick, and sweet.Always cut bananas before freezing them. Whole frozen bananas can damage your blender. A simple technique is to cut each banana into 6 equal-sized pieces, so you know that 6 pieces equal one banana. You can also cut the bananas into smaller pieces, like coins, if you have a less powerful blender.
When frozen, strawberries can be used instead of ice in smoothies. They'll add a delicious sweetness too.Freezing your own strawberries lets you cut them however you'd like. You can freeze them whole, halved, quartered, or sliced. Just be sure to use ripe strawberries. Pick ones that are plump and red for the best flavor.In the freezer, strawberries will last a long time, about 8-12 months.
Follow this easy step-by-step tutorial to learn how to cut pineapple and freeze it properly.Frozen pineapple is so good in smoothies, where it adds a bright yellow color and sweet flavor. It's especially great when blended with kale since it'll help mask the earthy kale flavor.You can cut fresh pineapple into cubes or wedges, depending on the strength of your blender. Choose cubes for low-powered blenders.The frozen pineapple can be added directly to smoothies in place of ice.
The best way to freeze blueberries involves spreading them out on a baking sheet, then placing them in the freezer. Once frozen, the blueberries can be transferred into a freezer-friendly silicone bag.Avoid putting fresh blueberries directly in the bag and into the freezer. Otherwise, the berries will clump together, making it hard to measure for smoothies.Frozen blueberries will last a long time compared to fresh. They'll add a pretty purple to smoothies, along with antioxidants and fiber.
If you want to keep raspberries for a longer time, put them in the freezer. They'll last for about 8-12 months when frozen properly.Start by choosing ripe raspberries. They should be bright red-pink, plump, and free of discoloration. Keep the raspberries separate when freezing them on a baking sheet. This will avoid clumping.Add frozen raspberries to any smoothie when you want a tart, sweet flavor and extra fiber.
Naturally sweet, frozen mango is a tasty smoothie ingredient. It pairs well with other tropical fruits like banana and pineapple.This tutorial explains how to cut mango into cubes and wedges. You can then freeze the mango for later use. For the best flavor, pick mangos that are mostly orange-red. Green mangos are not ripe and are too bitter for smoothies.Frozen mango will last much longer than the fresh kind, making it convenient to prepare mango smoothies.
The flavor of fresh ginger can decrease over time, even if it's kept in the refrigerator. Freezing will preserve it for longer.By mincing ginger and storing in the freezer, you'll be able to quickly add ginger to any recipe. This includes smoothies, where ginger adds a spicy kick. It's especially delicious with ingredients like pineapple and turmeric powder.Plus, ginger is high in anti-inflammatory nutrients, making it excellent for healthy smoothies.
Kale, like many leafy greens, doesn't last very long in the fridge. It can quickly go bad before you use it in smoothies. A simple way to extend its shelf-life is to store it in the freezer. Here, it will last about 6 months.Note that frozen kale doesn't have the same texture as the fresh kind. So you should only use it in smoothies, rather than fresh recipes.Frozen kale has a similar nutritional profile as fresh kale. It's still high in antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins.
Whether you have regular or baby spinach, it's easy to freeze the leafy green for smoothies. After washing and drying the spinach, simply put it in a reusable silicone bag and place it in the freezer. You don't need to freeze it separately on a baking sheet.Frozen spinach should be added directly to the blender. Avoid letting it thaw, which can make the spinach mushy. In smoothies, frozen spinach will add thickness, nutrients, and flavor.
Fresh avocados are known for quickly going bad, especially in warm weather. Freezing them is a great solution, as they'll last for 3-6 months when frozen. The key is to freeze them properly.Avocados can be frozen as cubes or wedges. Cubes are best if your blender is low-powered, but wedges are ideal if your blender is more powerful.Add frozen avocados to smoothies whenever you want an extra dose of anti-inflammatory fats and creaminess.
Sweet and juicy, frozen grapes are a nutritious addition to smoothies. They're rich sources of fiber and antioxidants.Frozen grapes aren't sold at the supermarket, but it's easy to freeze them yourself at home. Be sure to remove the stem from every grape before freezing them. Otherwise, the stems might be blended into your smoothies.Use frozen grapes in place of ice, or whenever you want to thicken and sweeten a smoothie.
It's easy to freeze cherries at home in just a few simple steps. From making smoothies or as a cold topping for ice cream, frozen cherries are not only delicious but good for you.Instead of having cherries last a week before it starts to go bad, freeze them and use them for months.
Prepare baking sheet.Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
Wash and dry the blueberries.Place the blueberries in a colander. Wash them under cool running water for 10 to 20 seconds. Transfer the blueberries on a clean towel. Pat dry. Make sure the blueberries are completely dry.
Place the blueberries on the baking sheet in a single layer. Freeze for 1 to 2 hours, or until the blueberries are frozen.Make sure the blueberries aren't clumped together. For the best flavor, use frozen blueberries within 8-12 months.