Let’s face it, keeping fresh fruit and vegetables in the kitchen sounds like a great idea but it’s not always the most practical to keep a surplus of because it goes bad so quickly. At least in my house it does! That’s why this list of 8 ways to use frozen fruits and veggies is so amazing! Thanks to mom-blogger Lisa Leake of 100 Days of Real Food, you can get the great benefits of daily produce without having to worry about the spoiling!
1. Pomegranate Seeds Mixed into Yogurt (or oatmeal)
I have to credit my daughter for this one. She loves pomegranate seeds, but let’s face it – this isn’t the most convenient fruit to prepare so I’m often hesitant to buy one and presumably watch it sit on my counter and rot. Even if you buy just the seeds (fresh) they don’t last long. Then one day she was shopping with me and noticed you could buy the seeds frozen. This is now our new favorite, and they’re lovely mixed into yogurt (or oatmeal)!
2. Berry Mix Added to Cereal
It’s no secret I love a bowl of homemade granola cereal to start my day! But it honestly isn’t complete without berries on top. I of course love fresh berries, but usually opt for frozen when they aren’t in season (i.e. available from my continent). They’re cheaper and – as I stated above – likely more nutritious purchased frozen in the winter. And, in case you didn’t know, it’s super easy to freeze your own so be sure to stock up when you hit the farmers’ market this summer!
3. Blueberries or Raspberries Added to Muffin or Waffle Batter (no need to defrost!)
I almost never use fresh berries when I’m making muffins or waffles – almost seems like a waste! And since there’s really no need to defrost frozen produce before adding it to the batter, it doesn’t get much easier than that.
4. Peaches and Pineapples in Smoothies
Truth be told – you blink and peach season is basically over, and it’s pretty hard to find fresh organic peaches the rest of the year. Pineapple may be easier to come by, but then you have to do all that trimming and cutting. These are just some of the many reasons we almost always go for frozen produce when making smoothies at our house.
5. Frozen Peas Added to Mac and Cheese (and it rhymes, too!)
Adding frozen peas to our mac and cheese has basically become routine at our house. This is usually what we give the kids for dinner when we have a babysitter coming over, and it has all sorts of benefits in my mind. It turns this dinner into a more well-rounded “one dish” meal (score for convenience) and also quickly cools off the pasta to the perfect temp.
6. Veggie Mix for Stir Fry or Fried Rice
Frozen veggies are sold in all sorts of blends, and I’ve personally become fond of the “stir fry” type options out there. It’s hard to beat NOT having to wash and chop your veggies on a busy weeknight. And just like when I’m adding berries to my muffin or waffle batter, I don’t even take the time to defrost any of them first!
7. Bananas for Banana “Ice Cream”
If you haven’t tried this “trick” yet you’re definitely missing out! The consistency of banana ice cream is almost identical to real ice cream, and it’s made by simply blending frozen bananas together with a little bit of milk. My kids absolutely LOVE this one for a fun treat! One tip though – be sure to take the peels off before putting your bananas in the freezer.
8. Raspberries and/or Blueberries for a Colorful Cake Decoration
Move over artificially flavored/dyed sprinkles! We’ve got a better way to add color (and flavor) to birthday cakes. I recently added frozen raspberries on top of my daughter’s ice cream cake and it was devoured by all!
What are some of your ideas??