9 Creative Ways To Use The Fruit In Your Freezer

by Lisa McCune, MS, MPH, RDN, LDN

Last Updated: June 29, 2020

Does anyone else feel like grocery shopping is a guessing game these days? We know we feel that way! We head to the store armed with a list, but quickly realize we need a new plan because many things on that list may be out of stock or have a higher price tag than was budgeted for. During COVID-19, you may find fresh fruit less plentiful on your grocery runs. No need to swear off fruit while in quarantine, use nutrient-dense frozen fruit instead.

Fruit is an important part of a healthy diet, not to mention delicious and naturally sweet. Including a variety of fruits in our diets can provide essential vitamins, minerals and fiber, which is an under-consumed nutrient according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2015-2020). Frozen fruit is a great alternative to fresh. It’s cost effective, convenient, and nutritious. The nutrients in frozen fruit are comparable to fresh, and in some cases Is even more nutritious, as it is frozen at the peak of its freshness. Frozen fruit will last almost indefinitely in the freezer, but for the best quality, try to eat it within one year. Frozen fruit can be used in almost anything that fresh fruit is used in. When choosing frozen fruit, make sure the only ingredient is the fruit itself, no additives. Here are 10 ways to enjoy frozen fruit:
  1. Smoothies
    This is the most obvious way to use frozen fruit, and one of our favorites. Fruit is usually the base of a smoothie and there are endless combinations to explore! Try using fruit straight from the freezer in a smoothie, which is very convenient. Smoothies are a smart way to get fruit into your diet, if you are on the go like most of us, or have difficulty eating fruit during the day. Smoothies are easy to customize based on what you like. Just be sure to look for frozen fruit without added sugar. Try this Berry Peach Smoothie or this Carrot Mango Smoothie.
  2. Sorbet
    With rising temperatures, cold ice cream is a go-to dessert. For another cool treat that’s lower in fat and added sugar try sorbet made with frozen fruit instead. It’s typically made with fruit, water, and a sweetener. Sorbet is a refreshing choice after a grilled meal or a summer get-together with heavy entrees and sides. Try this Simple Strawberry Sorbet at your next barbeque with the family or put this Patriotic Ombre Sorbet on your menu to celebrate July 4th in style.
  3. Popsicles
    Popsicles are a great way to utilize frozen fruit in the summer. They are fun to eat and can help your kids get the nutrients they need from fruit and veggies. Try this variety pack of popsicles with no added sugar! The kids aren’t the only ones that get to have fun, adults can enjoy popsicles too. Try these Black Raspberry Peach Popsicles that use prosecco as a fun twist to a traditionally kid friendly food.
  4. BBQ Sauce
    Nontraditional barbeque sauces are becoming more popular. Fruit-flavored sauces are a great way to use frozen fruit, as they add natural sweetness to your sauce. Try peach or cherry barbeque sauce, or if you are feeling adventurous, try this Slow Cooker Blackberry Barbeque Sauce.
  5. Vinaigrettes
    Don’t prefer fruit in your salad? Try topping it with a fruit vinaigrette such as this Raspberry-Rosemary Vinaigrette. Vinaigrettes are typically a better choice over creamy dressings, due to the healthy fats found in plant-based oils.
  6. Compotes
    Compotes are a delicious way to use frozen fruit. A compote is fruit cooked down, with water and sugar added (and sometimes other spices). It makes a delicious fruit sauce that can be used to top pancakes or waffles, cakes, pies, yogurt and more! See compote in action with this Lemon Protein Pancake and Raspberry Compote recipe!
  7. Toppings
    Use frozen fruit to top oatmeal, cold cereal or yogurt and granola. Frozen fruit makes topping easy because there is no preparation required. It can be thawed in the microwave before use or can be set in a bowl in the fridge the night before. Try fruit as a topper to poultry or beef for a sweet and salty combo.
  8. Cocktails
    If you are someone who enjoys an evening out with cocktails, you have probably shifted during quarantine to making those fun, indulgent drinks at home. Fruit purees are used in many cocktail recipes. By making fruit purees and cocktails at home, it gives us the opportunity to make a healthier version, as we are in control of the ingredients and can skip on things like added sugar. Use frozen fruit for your puree to make a refreshing cocktail like this Raspberry Rosé Cocktail.
  9. Muffins
    Frozen fruit is a great alternative to fresh for use in muffins and other batters such as pancakes or waffles. The best way to do this is to put the batter in muffin tins first, without the fruit. Then, drop the frozen fruit on top just before baking to avoid the fruit sinking to the bottom of the muffin.

Next time you are at the grocery store, swing by the freezer section and enjoy some frozen fruit! You may even try something new, like our newest favorite smoothie ingredient - frozen dragon fruit! If you need more help using frozen fruit to meet your needs, consider meeting with one of our Kroger dietitians! Schedule here.

Disclaimer: This information is educational only and not providing healthcare recommendations. Please see a healthcare provider.

Lisa McCune, MS, MPH, RDN, LDN

Lisa McCune, MS, MPH, RDN, LDN

Teaching people about the positive things that food can do for the mind, body and spirit, and helping them understand that all foods can fit into a healthy diet is Lisa’s nutrition philosophy. She believes food should be exciting and fun! Lisa encourages celebration of non-scale victories, which focus on what good nutrition can do for your life beyond weight. She loves food, but also loves to break a sweat whether it’s cycling, walking her dog or doing CrossFit.