I bet you have heard of blending frozen fruits into a yummy healthy smoothie. It’s fast, convenient, and delicious. But what if you prefer the lighter juice version to have with your meal? Can you juice frozen fruit? Can your juicing buddy handle it? Will juicy result be the same as the fresh ones?
We got you covered because like you, we have the same questions. First, let’s get to know the 2 major characters of this juicy affair – Mr. Juicer and Ms. Frozen Fruit.
The Man of the House – Mr. Juicer
Let’s get right to the question- can you juice frozen fruit? Well, the answer is yes! You may have to thaw them out before pushing them through the juicer. If you juice them right away, you may ruin the juicer (unless you get a good quality juicer) or get a bad case of brain freeze. But we suggest, you also look through your trusty juicer’s manual or call the customer service hotline just to make sure.
So now that you know you can juice frozen fruit, the bigger question is – do you want to? Is it good for you?
The Misunderstood Slush – Ms. Frozen Fruit
When we talk about juicing, the picture that flashes in our mind is fresh fruits going inside the juicer and going to juice heaven. For some reason, the thought of placing frozen fruit through a juicer just doesn’t make sense. And somehow, we believe that fresh fruits are healthier for us and has more vitamins than frozen ones.
Basically, freezing fruits is a good way preserve them and stock up on fruits especially if you live in an area where fresh fruits are not easily accessible.
You can either buy frozen fruits from your supermarket or get fresh fruits and freeze them yourself at the comforts of your own home. Commercially frozen fruit or Home-frozen fruits – which one is better for you?
Commercially Frozen Fruits or Store-bought Frozen Fruits
Commercially frozen fruits are picked at the peak of their ripeness which is also the state where they can give you the most nutrients. After being harvested, they are washed, blanched, cut, frozen, and packaged within a span of a few hours. That way their freshness and nutritional value are preserved. Some studies show that for some fruits, being in a frozen state increased their nutritional value and sometimes it even goes higher the longer they are in a frozen state.
Fresh fruits have a different journey. They are picked before this prime state and ripen during the travel from the farm to your supermarket, then eventually to your home. Then in your home, you have keep them for a few days before you consume them. That entire journey takes from 3 days or even months for some types of fruits.
A cool tip on picking frozen fruit – check if they are Individually Quick Frozen or IQF’d. IQF is a type of freezing method which freezes individual pieces of small fruit or vegetables (even meat or pasta) within minutes. The quick freezing time prevents the formation of large ice crystals inside the fruit’s cells which allows them to keep their shape, taste, color and smell. Personally, I experience this with frozen blueberries, they smell heavenly. Fruits being individually frozen also makes it easier for you to portion for your drinks or meals.
There are times when you prefer to or have to freeze fruits at home. It can be a personal preference or a way to prolong the shelf-life of left-over fruits or fruits you may have overbought because it was buy 6 get 2 for free at your supermarket. Either way, home-freezing is a good way to preserve your favorite fruit and avoid waste.
But, if you plan to freeze fruits at home, make sure to put a bit of acidity on them like ascorbic acid lemon juice to prevent them from oxidizing or turning brown. Then, put them in an airtight container or vacuum-sealed bag. Make sure your freezer temperature is at zero degrees F or lower and avoid leaving the freezer door open such that the temperature inside fluctuates because this will affect the quality of the home-frozen fruit.
And please don’t leave them in the freezer forever before using them. Since they didn’t go through the commercial processes of blanching and quick-freezing and may have been exposed to air and other things in the environment which could lead to growth of bacteria. It’s best to use them within a few hours or the next day.
Remember to cut them into smaller bites before juicing them. You will need to thaw them before cutting as even the best chef knife won’t be able to cut a frozen solid fruit (at least without damaging it).
Now that you’re ready to Juice do it, which one should you go for?
We mentioned earlier that commercially frozen fruits were picked at their peak ripeness, so they pack in the nutrients of this state from farm to your home.
Fresh fruits take a longer time to get to you and ripen along the way and on their own, without the nutrients from their mother plant or tree. By home-freezing you are freezing a not so prime fruit in a not so fast way. There is a lot of deterioration in nutritional value.
I guess our point in explaining the difference of commercially frozen fruit and home-frozen fruit is to debunk the idea that commercially frozen fruits are not as healthy as fresh ones. Besides, some fruits are only available to you in frozen form which is actually more nutritious.
But take note that juicing frozen fruits may not reap the same results. For one, the yield won’t be as much and consistency won’t be the same since freezing affects the fruit’s cellular composition.
Which one should you go for? If you ask me, both. Besides, some fruits may only be available to you in frozen form. At least now you know, frozen ones are just as good for you. So, the next time you visit the supermarket, don’t just drop by the fresh fruit area and give frozen fruits the cold shoulder, because they are good for you too!