We all really love smoothies. Often referred to as “healthy fast food”, smoothies are really popular because they can be made in a hurry and make a quick and delicious breakfast or snack; smoothies are also infinitely customizable and, like fresh juices, smoothies are a great way to eat more raw food.
Fresh vs. frozen fruit smoothies
We often wonder, is fresh fruit superior to frozen? Fruit that has been frozen and packed prior to sale is usually picked ripe and processed almost immediately afterward. The process of freezing ‘locks in’ many of their important nutrients and mostly is additive-free. If you live in a place where there are plenty of fruits all year round, it makes more sense to buy these, but if you live in a remote area where you haven’t got so many options, buying frozen fruits or freezing them would be a smart choice.
It’s an easy way to save the great flavors of ripe in-season fruit that can be enjoyed during the whole the year. For the most part, freezing a fruit is not a problem, but knowing how to prepare your fruits is the most important step in getting most out of your fruits and making tasty smoothies.
Advantages of using frozen fruit for smoothies
Freezing makes transportation much easier and puts delectable fruits on the menu throughout the whole year. But, that process changes flavor, appearance, and texture of the fruit. The good news is that freezing doesn’t significantly reduce the nutritional content of fresh fruit and can even help in preserving some water-soluble vitamins. When we put a fresh fruit into a home freezer or if the fruits through an industrial freezing process, ripening, and decay processes slow dramatically.
Because regional products are no longer confined just to a narrow growing season or a small area, the fruit becomes more widely available. Shipping frozen fruits are less expensive and much easier for growers and processing companies, putting fruit within reach of much wider economic range. Far from reducing nutrient content, rapid fruit freezing may help preserve nutrition.
Disadvantages for using frozen fruit for smoothies
Many frozen fruits keep most of their fresh flavor, but some fruits lose something on their trip from the field to the fridge. Fruits with high water content like watermelon and oranges can become pulpy or mealy when defrosted. As the water in the fruits freezes, the ice crystals punch through cell walls and fruit becomes soft; any recipe that needs fresh, firm fruit will not work as well with thawed fruit from the fridge. Some fruits also lose their color when frozen, browning or darkening, although they stay safe and good to eat.
Before they are flash-frozen, fruits must be ‘blanched’ or briefly boiled; a process during which some health benefits are lost. This is where the content of micronutrient of many of the water-soluble vitamins is reduced by an average of 20 to 60 %. And even more, loss of antioxidants (which are needed to fight free radicals) also occurs. Still, frozen fruit is a solid choice for those looking to pack in the produce. For the healthiest frozen fruits, look for bags with 0 or minimal added ingredients, including sugar, artificial colors or salt.