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Scenario. I drink fruit smoothies (e.g. apple, milk, nuts, with protein powder) on daily basis.

Goal. Minimise my costs.

Thought. I guess if I buy my fruits (e.g. apples) in large quantities in the peak apple season, and store my apples somehow for 10 to 12 months, then I will minimise my costs.

Question. What's the cheapest way to preserve fruits, such as apple, for 10 to 12 months, in such a way that they are useful for making smoothies or milkshakes?

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    Welcome to the site. Have you considered a freezer?
    – GdD
    Sep 2, 2021 at 9:18
  • It depends on what equipment you have and what flavor compromises you're willing to make, each method has its own ups and downs (freezing, drying, pickling, canning, etc). As GdD said, what's wrong with just freezing fruits?
    – Luciano
    Sep 2, 2021 at 9:20
  • +1 for the freezer bandwagon. That's how most people make their smoothies and milkshakes anyway - liquid of choice, a bunch of fruit and other stuff they might add Sep 2, 2021 at 9:25
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    Freezing is also a valid option. However, I must know more about freezing method. E.g. should I put the apples as they are in the freezer? How good should the freezer be? Or should I cut them then put them in bags in the freezer to save space? Or should I soak cut apples in some acidic liquid (e.g. 5% acidic vinegar) for 10 minutes before putting them into the freezer bags to minimise them getting brown?
    – caveman
    Sep 2, 2021 at 9:26
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    @caveman what happens if you search for "how to freeze fruit for smoothies"? Sep 2, 2021 at 9:27

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It depends on what equipment you have and what flavour compromises you're willing to make, each preservation method will have its own downsides.

  • Freezing will give you good results, but you better make sure you vacuum pack the fruits to protect from freezer burn (might be counter productive if you have to re-seal it every day, or expensive if you use multiple bags). You can also use resealable bags, of course, but there will be some ice formation in the long run.
  • you could dry the fruits if you have a food dehydrator, but you'll need to re-hydrate the fruits before making a smoothie. Or use them dried but it might not have a nice texture.
  • canning could be a good option, provided you already have the equipment + canning jars. It will also change the flavour of the fruits.

I also drink smoothies on a regular basis, and I use two different methods:

For bananas I usually buy them unripe (it gets less bruised as I bring it home) then once it's just ripe I chop it and freeze it in a resealable plastic bag. It's easy enough to get just the amount of fruit I need and I'm not too bothered with freezer burn, since I consume it fast enough.

For berries I thought about also buying it for cheap when in peak season and freezing it myself, but I just buy the frozen version from the supermarket. Why?

  1. it's cheaper when buying big bags
  2. they're picked already ripe, so they are as tasty as they can
  3. they're usually flash-frozen, so less freezer burn. I can't flash freeze at home with a conventional freezer
  4. I can buy them any time of the year

For your apples you might consider chopping before freezing, and some people recommend pureeing (also bananas). I personally believe it's better to break down the fruit the least possible, so less of the fruit gets exposed to oxygen and subjected to oxidation (which will cause browning and change of flavours).

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  • Are there frozen bags of other fruits where you live? E.g. apples, peaches, oranges, mangos, etc. If not, any reason?
    – caveman
    Sep 4, 2021 at 18:25
  • @caveman I've seen mangos, avocados, peaches. Never seen banana or apples. Why not: how can I know? The markets here just don't sell it...
    – Luciano
    Sep 6, 2021 at 8:54
  • You can have educated guesses by analysing the context around you. The market is not fully random. If you absolutely have no clue, simply say "I don't know". No need to imply that it is unknowable.
    – caveman
    Sep 8, 2021 at 9:17

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