The 8 Best Frozen Fruits to Always Have On Hand, Say Experts
We’ve all been there before; we buy a bunch of fruit at the grocery store, promise to ourselves we’ll eat it, and before we know it, the fruit has already gone bad. There’s no doubt about it; fruit is one of the healthiest things you can eat — many different fruits are high in antioxidants, vitamins A, C, D, and potassium. However, storing it is a different story. This is where these best frozen fruits come in.
Not only do some of the best frozen fruits last far longer than fresh, but they also are still packed with plenty of different vitamins and nutrients that can help you get your health to tip-top shape. In fact, a study by the Frozen Food Foundation, in partnership with the University of Georgia, found that frozen fruits have equal or greater amounts of nutrients than fresh fruit.
Plus, frozen fruit generally tends to be cheaper than fresh fruit. And beyond being healthy and more cost-effective, frozen fruit can also help you cut back on food waste — no more having to toss out spoiled avocados or containers of old berries because you didn’t eat them in time.
If you’re looking for ideas on which bags to buy (and how to use them), we asked the experts for their recommendations on the best frozen fruits to stock up on.
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1. Mixed Berries
Fresh berries, like raspberries and blackberries, often go bad quickly in the fridge. To remedy this, stock up on frozen varieties that can be used in countless ways.
“Frozen berries are a great way to get the nutrition you need without compromising on taste,” says Ashley Kitchens, MPH, RDN, owner of Plant Centered Nutrition. “Frozen berries retain all of their flavor, color, and nutritional value due to being quickly frozen at the peak of ripeness.”
Kitchens says that because of this, frozen berries can last exponentially longer than fresh ones. They may also be more cost-effective.
“Whatever your dietary needs, frozen berries can provide a great source of fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins that will help you stay healthy and energized,” she adds.
Cherries can be enjoyed all year round when you keep a frozen bag of them in your freezer.
“Cherries are high in antioxidants and can help reduce inflammation,” says Kristin Gillespie, RD and certified nutrition support clinician based in Virginia.
According to a 2018 review in Nutrients, cherries may help those with diabetes and arthritis and positively affect mood. The same review found that both sweet and tart cherries could help improve the quality and quantity of sleep, too.
Gillespie points out that frozen cherries are a “nutritious and delicious addition to smoothies, yogurt, and baked goods.”
Extend the life of your bananas by chopping them up and storing them in your freezer, or buying a bag of frozen diced bananas at your local supermarket.
“Frozen bananas are chock-full of fiber and nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, magnesium, and manganese,” explains Johna Burdeos, RD.
According to Harvard Health, bananas can help improve heart health. The potassium in this fruit helps the body rid itself of extra sodium in the urine, which, in turn, can take some pressure off blood vessel walls.
Burdeos points out that, similarly to berries, this fruit works well in smoothies, cereals, and yogurts. “You can also thaw them and add them to baking,” she says.
Jessie Carpenter, MA, MS, RD, LD, and owner of Nutrition Prescription, points out that although dragon fruit (also known as pitaya) may be up-and-coming in the freezer aisle, its health benefits are many. For instance, this colorful fruit contains antioxidants, including flavonoids, phenolic acid, and betacyanin.
“It’s high in fiber, which can help control blood sugar, and is naturally sodium-free, which is helpful if following a low-sodium diet,” says Carpenter. It also boasts a high water content and has many vitamins, including vitamin C and potassium.
This tasty fruit works excellently in acai bowls and is a perfect addition to mocktails.
Known for their versatility and tangy flavor, mangos are some of the best frozen fruits out there.
“Frozen mango is packed with nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber,” says Burdeos. “Eat as-is for a quick and healthy frozen sweet treat—I especially like mangos in smoothies because of their smooth and creamy texture.”
Mangos also especially work well in salsas, thrown into fruit salads, or included in savory dishes.
“Blueberries are my favorite berry,” says Carpenter. Blueberries are a great source of vitamin C and potassium and are filled with essential antioxidants. According to 2020 research published in Advances in Nutrition, blueberries positively affect cardiovascular health, can improve brain cognition, and may even help those living with insulin resistance.
Plenty of frozen blueberries are available in the frozen food section, but Carpenter shares that she likes Wyman’s wild frozen blueberries best. “They come in a large, three-pound, resealable bag; are picked, washed, and flash frozen within 24 hours, so they taste as fresh as possible; and it is a quality product from a small, family-owned business,” she says.
Fresh whole pineapple, although tasty, can be tricky to cut, so why not get a bag of frozen diced pineapple instead?
“Frozen pineapple is a great addition to smoothies, as it adds a sweet and tangy flavor,” explains Gillespie. “It’s also high in vitamin C and bromelain, an enzyme that can aid digestion.”
If you’re looking for a delicious brand of frozen pineapple, Gillespie recommends this option by Dole. “These sweet and juicy pineapple chunks are perfect for adding to smoothies or snacking straight out of the bag,” she says.
If you find your fresh avocados are going bad before you can use them, pick up frozen diced avocados during your next grocery store run.
“Frozen avocado is a convenient alternative to fresh avocados that can be used in various dishes,” says Kitchens. “It has all the same nutritional benefits as fresh avocados, but it does not have the same shelf life, nor does it require the same amount of preparation.”
She points out that frozen avocado helps add a creamy texture to smoothies and salads and can also be used to make guacamole and avocado toast.
Even better? This green fruit comes with a whole bunch of health benefits. “It is an excellent source of healthy fats and vitamins A, C, E, K, B-6, and folate as well as magnesium and potassium,” she says
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