7 delicious ways you can use frozen fruit to give your plate a boost of fiber and flavor

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Fresh fruit is a nutritional all-star (when consumed in moderation): It’s packed with vitamins and nutrients, including fiber and anti-inflammatory polyphenols. And the good news is, frozen fruit boasts the same benefits. But knowing that that bag of blueberries buried at the bottom of your freezer is good for you and knowing what to do with the frozen fruit are two different things. Here, nutrition experts share their favorite things to do with frozen fruit— spoiler alert: There’s nary a smoothie in sight.

First things first: To buy or DIY your frozen fruit?

The frozen foods section of your grocery store often gets a bad rap—the TV dinners and ice cream bars that reside there aren’t exactly known for their nutritional value. But frozen veggies and fruits are just as good for you as their fresh counterparts. “Packaged frozen fruit is usually picked at the height of its ripeness and then flash-frozen, which helps it maintain flavor and nutrient-density,” says Serena Poon, a certified nutritionist and chef. So go ahead and take a stroll down the freezer aisle (IRL or digitally) and toss a couple bags of frozen berries and bananas into your cart. If you can swing it, though, Poon recommends buying the fruit fresh from the farmer’s market and then popping it into the freezer. This way you can support your local farmers and cut down on packaging and plastic. If you’re planning on buying fresh fruit and freezing it yourself, there are some general guidelines Poon recommends keeping in mind. Buy ripe fruit for maximum flavor. Wash and dry berries, then put them in an airtight container and freeze. Store your fruit near the front of the freezer to prevent freezer burn, which will impact the fruit’s flavor and texture. Peel and cut fruits like bananas, peaches, and mangos before freezing. You can freeze citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and limes in slices for things like garnish and infusions or as juice for use in smoothies and recipes. Avocado can be frozen whole seed and all.

Add flavor to your water

If plain water makes you yawn, frozen fruit can help make it more enticing (and also make you feel like you’re at a spa). “Adding frozen fruit infuses the water and takes the flavor to the next level,” Feller says. The flavor possibilities are endless—think lemons, strawberries, cucumbers, kiwi, or mangos. Poon adds that you can toss the frozen fruit into your water to keep it cool— no ice cubes needed.

Make ice cream

Yes, you can totally make healthy ice cream with frozen fruit. Poon recommends using banana or avocado (you can find a recipe for avo ice cream here). “These two options make a great dessert because it only contains the natural sugar from the fruit and will still satisfy a sweet tooth,” Poon says. “The texture is so similar to real ice cream; you might not even notice the difference.”

Make a vinaigrette

Next time you whip up a homemade salad dressing, consider adding frozen lemons or raspberries. “Mixing just a small amount of frozen fruit into your dressings adds freshness, a bit of sweetness, a ton of flavor, as well as some viscosity,” Poon says. “Pro tip: You can also freeze herb batches for easy use in your dressings.”

Make freezer fudge

Are you craving a healthy dessert? Poon recommends making some strawberry coconut freezer fudge. Start by throwing in 2 cups of frozen strawberries, 1/2 cup of almond butter, 1/3 cup of melted coconut oil, and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup into a blender or food processor until it’s smooth. Spread the mixture into a 9-inch pan and sprinkle some shredded coconut on top. Pop it in the freezer overnight and voila!

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This content is strictly the opinion of Chef Serena Poon and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Serena nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.

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