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Next year for university I'm moving into a new house with a large chest freezer (a big upgrade from my current freezer drawer). I've always been a fan of making fruit smoothies with banana, milk, yoghurts, berries and what not however the biggest problem with this is that since I've moved out I can't afford to keep buying fruit for it to go off. So I have essentially 2 questions

Firstly is it realistic to buy fruit from the market where its cheapest, I'm thinking all fruits from apples to bananas and from berries to mangoes and then just throw them straight in the freezer, will this preserve them ?? Then the next day get them out and throw them straight into a smoothie.

Secondly and more preferably would I be able to buy a lot of fruit make it all into smoothies then put these into containers and freeze them, then get them out the night before so they will defrost and I can drink them for breakfast in the morning.

Thanks in advance

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In professional smoothie/frozen youghurt/fruit shake shops, you'll usually see the fruit frozen in small pieces for easy portioning. So raspberrys and blueberrys are fine, but you'd wnat to quarter strawberrys and cube mangoes or apples or kiwis or whatever before freezing them.

The freezing process itself is important to the strucutral integrity of the fruit, and will affect its texture. However, if you only want them for smoothies/blended drinks, that isn't very important.

As a usage note, remember that a home freezer compartment is usually at -4 degrees Celsius, whereas a chest freezer (deep freeze) would more commonly be at -18 degrees. A good blender won't mind either way, but your lips might find it a bit cold.

Also, you might find you can buy the fruit pre-frozen from the same vendors the shops get them, in which case it will be prepared for you, and all you need is to defrost and blend. Aside from saving you the work of peeling and chopping, their freezing process may be better, and it'll probably end up being cheaper too.

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    If your blender is strong enough to work through the frozen fruit, its friction heats up the liquid enough to not be unpleasant for drinking. And +1 for frozen fruit, it's very convenient and frequently better quality from fresh, as fresh is transported somewhat unripe to prevent squishing. – rumtscho Dec 18 '14 at 21:16
  • Do you have a source for freezer compartments only being at -4C? Everything I can see online about freezers says, basically, "A freezer should be at -18C", without differentiating between different types of freezer. For example, the US FDA says "The freezer temperature should be 0°F (-18°C)." It would be very strange if governments were giving that kind of advice when anyone using a freezer compartment in a fridge would be so far from being able to follow it. – David Richerby Dec 19 '14 at 18:08
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If your blender is powerful enough, it should have no problem dealing with frozen fruit.

I've seen quite a few recipes that call for frozen blueberries, peaches, bananas, etc, in smoothies. Typically, you want to prepare them so that you don't have to deal with trying to cut up frozen things when you want to use them ... so hull strawberries, core and cut up apples, peel and segment oranges, etc.

The only concern would be if it's too cold for you to drink once you make it. Extra time in the blender might help to warm it up some, or just let it sit out for a little bit before serving. (you might want to leave it in the blender, then give it another whiz just before serving).

  • I´ve once frozen a banana, after a few days it came out all brown and slushy. Any specific method on how to freeze those? – Saaru Lindestøkke Dec 19 '14 at 10:37
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    @BartArondson : Mine do, too, but I freeze 'em in their skin after they've already gotten dark, as I use them for banana bread. I've heard they don't get that way if you peel & bag them before freezing, but I've never tried it myself. It might be worth asking this as a separate question so it gets more visibility. – Joe Dec 19 '14 at 10:45
  • @Joe Definitely worth asking as a separate question. Questions should be questions, not comments. – David Richerby Dec 19 '14 at 18:09
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When I buy large amounts of fruit for smoothies, I take an afternoon to break them down: peel, core, and/or stem the fruits (depending on the type), cut into slices or small chunks, measure out single servings of a blend I'll enjoy, and portion it into baggies. The baggies get labelled with the mixture and put straight into the freezer. That way you can just dump a baggie into the blender, add liquid and yogurt to taste, and blend.

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I've found freezing fruit works fantastic. The main reason I started freezing fruit is to save money and to have quality fruit even off season. For example, when cherries are in season, the price is lowest and the quantity and quality is usually highest. So I buy a bunch of cherries, take out the seeds, then bag and freeze them.

The same applies to just about any fruit. However, some fruits, such as bananas, are available cheaply year round, so I never freeze those. The main fruits I freeze are cherries, berries, and mangoes. Basically any fruit where the price fluctuates a lot in the off season I freeze.

I always clean and dry the fruit before freezing. For strawberries, I cut off the green leafy tops. For other berries, you can just freeze them straight. Basically, I do it so that when they come out of the freezer, they are ready to be thawed and blended.

Mangoes are so large that I cut them in chunks. I also peel and take out the seed first. For most other fruits I do not cut in pieces. My blender is a commercial vita-mix and has no problems with anything. I can throw in a whole apple and it obliterates it. Although I have never tried a whole frozen apple:)

I freeze in 1-2 pound bags. I use a simple plastic bag and tie the top in a knot. Then I bag it again. I'm not sure if double bagging helps, but I like to think it does. The longer its frozen the more sealed you want it to be. A vacuum sealer would probably be the better way to go but I have never bothered with it.

I thaw out the frozen bags in the refrigerator when I run out of fruit. When blending, you can use frozen fruit instead of thawing it out, but you typically need to add a lot more juice (or milk) if you do this. I use less juice and more thawed out fruit from the fridge, and then mix in room temperature fruits such as bananas and apples.

As for freezing the smoothie instead of the fruit, I suppose you could do this but it might effect taste and quality more. I suppose it has to do with keeping the fruit as whole as reasonably possible while frozen. After blending its broken down and may not retain its taste as much when frozen. Although I could be wrong but thats my hunch.

If you freeze a fresh fruit, then thaw it out a month later, its still very high quality. I have frozen fresh strawberries for a year and when thawed they still smelled and tasted fantastic.

Also because I mix in non-frozen fruit and juice, I feel its best to freeze the fruit and not the smoothie. I do however, make large smoothies in the morning, then refrigerate in a sealed container and drink half of it for lunch.

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Smoothies are great with frozen fruit. Don't throw fruit in the freezer whole, if it is going to need peeling or coring -- that's much easier to do fresh. For me, the most important thing is not to grind up the fruit before it is frozen. It will immediately start to oxidize and lose flavour and freshness. Fruit frozen whole or in chunks has enough structure to prevent large ice crystals from forming, just as it does in nature if there is a hard frost. That makes it easy to blend into a "smooth" smoothie. I wouldn't try to make bulk smoothies and freeze them, because it takes way more freezer space; large gritty ice crystals will form; the milk/yoghurt will pick up off-flavours in the freezer; you need to time the defrosting; you might change your mind in the morning. I've tried making a fresh double-batch and having some-now-some-later. The some-later is never as good!

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