Smoothies are a fantastic, easy way to start your day with a healthy boost, but should smoothies be made with fresh or frozen fruit? You’ve probably noticed that many smoothie recipes call for frozen fruit. What are the benefits of using frozen over fresh fruit, and does it make a difference?
In smoothies, frozen fruit has the advantage because it minimizes preparation time, chills your drink, and thickens the texture. However, not all fruits freeze well, and you may be limited in your variety. Fresh fruit may be more abundant in season and will not damage blender blades.
I always pick up a bag or two of frozen fruit chunks or frozen berries when I do the groceries. Having the frozen fruit on hand can save a lot of preparation time, especially when I’m in a hurry. There are good reasons frozen fruits are great for making smoothies and some reasons you may prefer to use fresh.
I’ve also added some of my go-to smoothie recipes later in the article.
Fresh Fruit Vs. Frozen Fruit In Smoothies
I’ll show you the pros and cons of using fresh and frozen fruit, so you can decide which makes more sense.
Using Frozen Fruit
- The fruit is already washed, cut, and prepared, saving you time.
- Frozen fruit can be kept in the freezer for longer, whereas fresh fruit will spoil sooner.
- You can replace ice cubes in smoothie recipes with extra nutrients.
- Frozen fruit helps make your smoothie cold.
- The frozen fruit improves the creamy, thick texture of a smoothie.
- They are often cheaper than fresh fruit.
- Frozen fruit is picked in season and may have higher nutritional value than fresh.
- The frozen fruit’s nutritional value won’t decrease with storage.
- Because there’s less risk of throwing away rotting fruit, there is less food wastage.
- Some blenders cannot cope with frozen fruit or ice cubes, which damage the blades.
- Not all fruits tolerate the freezing process, which can affect the taste.
- You may be limited to certain fruits or mixes of fruits – for example, you will rarely find frozen pear.
- Flash-freezing can decrease the antioxidants in fruit.
- Some fruits get a mealy texture when frozen. However, this might be less noticeable if you blend the fruits for a smoothie.
- You won’t find seasonal discounts if there has been a good harvest.
Using Fresh Fruit
- Fresh fruit can offer you a wider variety of produce, depending on the season.
- Fresh fruit harvested at its peak will taste better and have the right texture.
- Some fruits will not freeze well, so you must use fresh fruit to get particular tastes in your smoothie.
- Fresh fruit will not damage the blades of your blender.
- If you hate icy drinks or have sensitive teeth, you may prefer fresh fruit.
- Fresh fruit may need to be peeled, cored, and prepared before use, which can waste time.
- Loss of moisture and taste can happen after the fruit is left out.
- Fresh fruit can work out more expensive per pound than frozen.
- If you want an icy cold smoothie, you must blend in ice cubes, which can water down the taste.
- Fresh fruit doesn’t last long, and if you don’t use all of it before it goes off, you’ll waste food.
Can You Put Frozen Fruit Straight Into A Smoothie?
You can put frozen fruit straight into your blender to make a smoothie. Ensure you add enough liquid to your smoothie; otherwise, the fruit won’t blend properly, and you risk damaging the blades.
If you have a very powerful blender, it will make short work of blending frozen fruit. If you have a less powerful blender, you’ll need to add more liquid to your smoothie to avoid stalling the blender.
One trick is to take your frozen fruit out about five minutes before using it. This short time allows the fruit to soften, making it easier to blend.
Avoid throwing all the frozen fruit into the blender in one go. You can prevent the blender from burning out on a lump of mushed frozen fruit by adding a few fruits at a time and using a liquid such as nut or soya milk.
Why Do Lots Of Recipes Recommend Frozen Fruit?
Many recipes recommend using frozen fruit, and there are several reasons why:
- Using frozen fruit cuts down on prep time.
- Pre-cut frozen fruit is usually a good size to add to a blender.
- The blended frozen fruit gives you a thicker, creamier texture.
- By using frozen fruit, you make your smoothie cold rather than at room temperature.
- Frozen fruit can replace ice cubes and make your drink cold while adding extra nutrients.
Can You Use Fresh Fruit Instead Of Frozen?
You can usually replace frozen fruit with fresh fruit, but your drink will only be cold if you add extra ice cubes.
You should also add a little more liquid, depending on the type of fruit, as frozen berries can release more juice into the smoothie.
When using fresh fruit, remember to wash, peel, core, and chop them. You want to rinse off all traces of pesticides and ensure the fruit is the right size to blend evenly.
Some fruit that you eat whole can also go into a blender without chopping, and some fruits don’t need peeling.
You can also prepare fresh fruit in advance if necessary. I like to slice a few bananas and spread them on a tray in the freezer. Even a few hours will ensure my smoothie has a creamy consistency.
In general, however, you can easily exchange fresh fruit for frozen in your smoothie recipes without trouble.
How Long To Freeze Fruit For Use In Smoothies
Once you’ve chopped your fresh fruit and dried it with paper towels, you’re ready to freeze them. Lay the fruit slices or pieces on a parchment-lined baking tray, and freeze them until firm (3-4 hours).
If you plan to keep the frozen fruit longer, transfer them to a Ziplock bag once they are thoroughly frozen. Doing it this way prevents the fruit from clumping together.
Some fruits freeze better than others. Freezing very soft fruits like strawberries, peaches, or melons, mean they become mushy when they thaw.
Best Frozen Fruit Smoothie Recipes
These are some great smoothie recipes that use frozen fruit to create a delicious, creamy cold drink:
Dairy-Free Tropical Pineapple and Coconut Smoothie
To make this tasty island treat, use frozen pineapple, flaked coconut, and almond milk.
I love adding oats to my smoothies. It helps me feel fuller, and I know that oats are a powerhouse food packed with fiber and essential nutrients. Add frozen berries and ice – a great way to start your day.
An Envigorating Mango and Ginger Smoothie
I love finding sneaky ways to add extra protein and fiber to my meals without the chemical aftertaste of a protein powder. And that’s why I am a massive fan of this smoothie that uses frozen mango, ginger, and carrot juice, with cooked red lentils.
Can your frozen fruit smoothie have a little caffeine boost—why not? This drink is a perfect morning pick-me-up, using frozen bananas, mango, coconut milk, baby spinach, and matcha green tea.
Hopefully, you now know a bit more about whether frozen or fresh fruit is better for smoothies.
Frozen fruit is an excellent way to make fruit smoothies as they help chill your drink and make the texture thick and creamy. Keeping a pack of frozen fruit in the freezer means you can grab a half cup quickly without adding extra time to your morning routine and add them to your smoothie liquids.
You can use fresh and frozen fruit in the same recipe, or only use fresh if you prefer. To chill a drink made with fresh fruit and get that thick texture, you’ll need to add some ice cubes to the blender.
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