freezing your own fruit is one of the most fun, economical, and smart things you can do to make
your smoothie habit a total breeze. Let’s learn how to do this—there’s a wee bit more to it than
just putting your fruit in a bag and throwing it in the freezer.
Freezing is not for all fruits, sadly. The fruits that you always want to use fresh are apples, oranges,
tangerines, grapefruits, lemons, limes, grapes, and pears.
Freezing helps you have out of season fruits all year round. Frozen fruit helps you skip ice and get
both the cold and the fruit in one shot.
Frozen fruit also gives your smoothie a smooth, creamy texture. And most of all, frozen fruit helps you overcome the short shelf life of fresh fruit. You can extend that shelf life to months—thank you, freezer technology—and never waste a single fruit that might have perished before you got around to using it.
A few guidelines about freezing your fruit: First, don’t ever mix fruit. Give each fruit its own
dedicated zip-top bag. Bananas get their own bag, and each berry type also gets its own. You may
only need blueberries for one recipe, and you don’t want to have to separate out one frozen berry
from another. Organization is key here. Also, this way you can reuse the same zip-top bag for the
same fruit later. Don’t use plastic containers in the freezer. The fruit gets stuck to the sides of the
container and it takes up way more room than it needs.
Second, label your zip-top bags using a sharpie. It may sound like overkill, but it’s worth it. Take two minutes to write the fruit name and date you started freezing. It helps you sort things out so you use your oldest fruit first. You can keep fruit frozen for months, but I try to use up my frozen fruit in three to six months at most.
Which fruits you should freeze:
Avocado: I love adding frozen avocado as a low-sugar substitute for banana. All the creaminess, and none of the sugar. Plus you get a good dose of healthy fats. Avocados freeze very nicely. First wash your avocado and use a sharp knife to cut it in half (one side will have the pit). Then cut the half into another half, and the pit should come out easily, or you can use a sharp knife when you have the half with the pit, and stick it into the pit to grab it with the knife. Then you can slice off the peel from the half or the quarter avocado. Try to keep that size so you can measure easily. Throw away the skin and just freeze the meat chunks.
Banana: Use only ripe bananas. Peel them first, then use a knife to cut them in halves. That way youcan easily measure them when you grab them later. If you think you might get creative and not use onehalf or one whole banana, then have another zip lock bag with small banana chunks to experimentwith.
Berries: Berries have a very short fridge life, so freezing them is such a boon. You can freeze all
kinds of berries—my favorites are blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and
cranberries. Wash your berries well. Run them through lukewarm water for a few minutes using a
colander, then dry them with a paper towel before freezing them. Remove the leaves from
strawberries and cut them in half with a knife if they are a large size. You may want just a little bit in
Fig: Frozen figs are my top choice for smoothies. I prefer purple figs to the light green ones. They are especially heavenly when you add them to a recipe with soaked gluten-free oats and almond milk. When blended, frozen figs resemble an explosion of purple and pink rainbows. Sadly, figs are hard to find year-round. They come around during the summer months only. Before freezing your figs, wash them thoroughly and cut out the stem. Freeze whole or cut in half. You’ll never look back!
Kiwi: Kiwi is another favorite in smoothies. It is not on my top choice list, but it is a delicious fruit
and to its credit, it has more vitamin C than a whole orange. Kiwi also freezes nicely. I peel it before
freezing it and cut it in halves so it’s easy to measure. It’s a nice green color that can preserve the
color of a green smoothie!
Mango: Fresh mango is delicious, but so is frozen mango. You can freeze your ripe mangos. Either peel them first and cut out small chunks around the core. Or simply cut into halves and use a spoon to scrape out the meat. Put the mango chunks in a zip-top bag in your freezer.
Peach: Peaches freeze very nicely. You do not need to peel the peach, so be sure to wash it well.
Then just cut out chunks, throw away the core, and freeze them in a zip-top bag. Peaches do not add as much creaminess as a mango or banana to your smoothie, but it is a nice delicious fruit.
Pineapple: Wash, then peel your pineapple. Be careful not to cut yourself. Chop out the middle hard core section and cut the meats into wedges. Some people prefer to use the core, but it’s much too hard to break down if you do not have a high-powered blender, and even though I do, I still don’t use it. My rule is simple: If I can’t eat it in its fresh state, I don’t freeze it! Also try to remove the skin as much as possible. If you have a little bit of the ‘eye’ left, don’t worry, it’ll break down. Then put it in your zip-top bag and store it in your freezer.
Pomegranate: Pomegranate is expensive, and you don’t want a single seed of this lovely jewel to go to waste, so after de-seeding and washing, you can store them in a zip-top bag in your freezer for up to six months.