10 Ten Reasons to Stock-Up on Frozen Fruit

berries

Article written by Cami Wells MS, RD, (cami.wells@unl.edu), Extension Educator in Hall County

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Frozen fruit is delicious and extremely versatile. It does not have to be washed, peeled or stressed-over to be used-up quickly. There are many different frozen fruit mixtures at the grocery store that can liven up any meal or snack. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Yummy Baked Goods – Frozen fruit can easily be substituted for fresh fruit in most quick bread recipes, such as muffins. Blueberries are popular but don’t forget about raspberries, cherries or mixed berries.
  2. Simple Dessert – An easy dessert or addition to a meal can simply be frozen fruit that is slightly thawed. For a special treat, top with a spoonful of frozen yogurt or ice cream.
  3. Smoothies – Place in a blender any type of frozen fruit such as strawberries or mango; add yogurt, milk or juice and blend until smooth.
  4. Fruit Slush – Cut slightly thawed frozen fruit into bite-sized pieces, add fruit juice and/or canned fruit such as crushed pineapple and freeze in small cups or bowls. Serve slightly thawed.
  5. Topping for Pancakes and Waffles – Make a delicious topping by heating frozen fruit in a saucepan on the stove. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally for approximately 15 minutes until sauce thickens slightly. Or try a quicker method of microwaving fruit until warm.
  6. Yogurt Parfaits – Thaw fruit and layer it with yogurt, granola or other dry cereal. Sprinkle with a topping of nuts or sunflower seeds for added protein.
  7. Gelatin – Add in your favorite frozen fruit with any flavor of gelatin to make it more nutritious. Mix well-drained, thawed fruit into the gelatin when it starts to set.
  8. Freezer Pops – Why not make freezer pops a little more nutrient-packed with frozen fruit? Blend slightly thawed fruit with fruit juice. Freeze in ice pop molds or use small plastic or paper cups. Cover each cup with plastic wrap and insert a wooden pop stick.
  9. Cereal Topper – Throw a few slightly thawed blueberries, raspberries or cherries on your bowl of cereal in the morning. Fruit adds zing to any dry cereal.
  10. Oatmeal – Oatmeal is delicious with the addition of frozen fruit. Not only think of berries but also cherries, mango and even peaches. Below is a basic recipe but, feel free to experiment with your favorite fruits and flavors!

Quick Berry Oatmeal

¼ cup quick oatsQuick Berry Oatmeal
½ cup non-fat or low-fat milk
½ cup frozen berries
2 teaspoons brown sugar (optional)
1 Tablespoon finely chopped nuts* (optional)

  1. Wash hands with soap and water. Place oats, milk, berries and brown sugar in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover. Microwave 1 ½ to 2 minutes until hot, stirring at least once. Watch mixture closely so that it does not cook over the bowl. Handle carefully as bowl may be hot.
  2. Top with nuts and enjoy! Makes 1 serving. Each serving contains: 154 calories, 1 g fat, 7 g protein, 28 g carbohydrate, 52 mg sodium without brown sugar and nuts (and with brown sugar and nuts: 225 calories, 6 g fat, 8 g protein, 35 g carbohydrate and 54 mg of sodium).

*If serving to young children, chop finely to reduce choking hazard.

Cook's Notes:

  • Consider using a larger bowl or even a microwave-safe liquid measuring cup with "space" at the top to heat oatmeal if problems with overflowing occur.
  • Adding berries after cooking oatmeal to help mixture to "cool down" is another option.
    Be careful when serving to children to make sure that bowl and oatmeal are not too hot.
  • Consider placing oatmeal in another bowl before serving to a young child.