8 Ways I Use Frozen Produce

I used to not be much of a frozen food person until I learned how nutritious and inexpensive this option can be (especially in the winter!). Frozen foods are usually picked and frozen at the peak of freshness, which can even beat out the fresh alternatives when they’re flown in from halfway across the world. So, little by little, I’ve found ways to use those little bags of frozen goodness, and today I’m excited to share how I’ve been doing just that! Plus I’m always looking for new ideas so be sure to share yours with me in the comments.

8 Ways I Use Frozen Produce on 100 Days of Real Food

8 Ways I Use Frozen Produce

  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 (of course!)
    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. Not to mention the outcome is refreshingly cold when you go frozen!
  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 (and frosting)! 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 your best ideas for using frozen produce?

 

Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but 100 Days of Real Food will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us spread our message!

75 thoughts on “8 Ways I Use Frozen Produce”

  1. I don’t like frozen veggies in stir-fry because freezing makes them mushy. Besides soup, I wish I could find more uses for mushy frozen veggies.

  2. One thing that I recently discovered is to put frozen peas and carrots, etc. in a clean baby food jar to take on the road. It is the perfect healthy, on-the-go baby snack. And my baby LoVES then and kicks his legs for them. I thought they were quite tasty myself.

  3. Frozen cherries and mango are easier to use in smoothies because you don’t have to pit or peel. I like frozen peas and baby lima beans to add to my homemade minestrone. Frozen pearl onions are great added to stew. I freeze cranberries & blueberries to add to muffins anytime of the year.

  4. I heat up berries with the juice of 1/2 an orange until soft then let it cool, then refrigerate. I add the compote mixture to my yogurt.

  5. Try heating frozen strawberries in a skillet until they become soft — homemade strawberry syrup! Sometimes we add stevia, but if the strawberries are sweet, it’s fine without. Fresh blueberries work well too, but frozen blueberries tend to be too watery.

  6. Frozen broccoli and frozen spinach both make GREAT soups. “Green soup’ is a fall-winter staple in our house. Just saute onion, carrot, celery, add frozen green veggies and stock and salt or herbs to taste, and use the immersion blender once the veggies are tender. YUM!

  7. I pour some frozen blueberries into a bowl and top with hot oatmeal and some pecans. The oatmeal defrosts the berries and it’s almost like dessert :)

  8. We recently bought a flat of strawberries (local fundraiser) and I ended up freezing a lot. For Sunday breakfast this week, I made protein waffles (basically oatmeal, plain greek yogurt, eggs and vanilla) in my waffle maker and cooked the strawberries with a drizzle of honey and sprinkle of cinnamon and served them over the waffles. Yum!

  9. And another favorite way for my kids to eat frozen fruit is plain – let it thaw a few minutes and it’s a nice cold treat!

  10. I add unsweetened cocoa powder to my frozen bananas and then blend. Makes chocolate “ice cream.” My kids love it!

  11. I freeze raspberries and blackcurrants from the garden. I then use them for fruit crumbles with apples. Also cooked with a little sugar and blended into natural yogurt.

  12. I had not seen frozen pomegranates before, so I was thrilled to find them in a store I don’t normally go to. Yay, frozen pomegranates in my freezer now, love those things!

    Good ideas on this post.

  13. Thanks for the healthy food ideas. I had heard about banana ice cream from a friend of mine. She has no blender and descibed banana ice cream as follows; peel all your bananas and put them in a bowl. Using a fork, mash the banas and a little milk. Add chunks of organic peanut butter and some organic honey. Place ingredients into a ziploc bag, and put in your freezer. Two hours later you have a tastey treat.
    Thx again and p.s. – yours is the first blog i have ever read. Kinda cool and good for me. Andrew – almost 52

  14. Love these ideas! I’m a huge fan of frozen peaches for the same reason… I like to throw them, frozen, in a casserole dish with a little bit of cinnamon a few minutes before we eat. I love frozen any kind of fruit for smoothies, like to mix a scoop of frozen kale into tuna salad before heating it up as a tuna melt, and frozen peas are great to throw into a container and serve with lunch-on-the-go. =]

  15. I love this list! The idea that ‘fresh is always best’ isn’t exactly true, especially when produce is out of season (as you mentioned). And frozen fruits/veggies are just as good for you as fresh. Thanks for always sharing such great ideas!

  16. Frozen grapes or frozen blueberries are a sweet, yummy treat (especially on a hot day). I use frozen spinach, carrots, beans, etc in soups. Frozen broccoli works great in casseroles.

    Frozen chopped veggies are a great time saver. During the summer months or when prices are particularly good on certain veggies like carrots, broccoli, peppers, and such, I buy extras, chop them, and freeze them for use during the winter. If I buy fresh fruit and veggies and don’t get around to using the entire quantity, I freeze the extra for use later.

  17. I have always used frozen vegetables (though we prefer and use fresh more often). I have gotten into frozen fruit lately – mostly because I have been making a lot of Simple Green Smoothies for myself and my kids. I am glad you said you use frozen fruit – still frozen – in your muffin recipes. I always thought to let them thaw. Now I won’t waste the time letting it thaw. Though the juice does turn the batter a really cool purple color!

  18. Here’s a good thing I discovered recently-it doesn’t exactly fall under the category of frozen produce-it’s frozen cream! I like to use heavy cream when I’m making frozen coffee drinks (like Starbucks frappucinos) but organic cream goes bad within a couple of days! So I decided to freeze the cream in an ice cube tray (which conveniently ends up being one tablespoon per cube) So now when I make the coffee, I just use 2 less ice cubes and sub 2 cream cubes! It works great, tastes exactly the same as using fresh cream and it never goes bad!

  19. I freeze orange segments with peel attached still and on a busy morning just grab a few for my son’s packed lunch box. They defrost well by lunchtime. My son however loves to eat frozen fruit as a treat, even frozen orange, pineapple etc…grapes really taste almost like candy!

  20. Maybe I’m doing something wrong but anytime I’ve tried to use frozen strawberries or blueberries for cereal or even just to have my kids eat, they seem soggy and mushy once they’ve thawed. Do I just need to adjust my expectations or is there a method for properly thawing frozen fruit? My younger (and pickier) daughter loves strawberries and often eats them at every meal but this time of year they’re obviously hit or miss at the store.

    Also, any idea how long peeled frozen bananas will keep? I’ve gotten into the habit of peeling them and throwing them into a ziplock bag in the freezer if I don’t use them in time but I’ve questioned how long they actually keep. Thanks!

  21. I like to use the frozen peas and carrot mix for chicken pot pie. Fire roasted corn makes for a great addition to salsas and salads.

  22. I make berry ‘syrup’ for pancakes and waffles by cooking 2cups of frozen berries in the microwave. That’s it. No other ingrediants. No sugar needed, but you may want add a dash or two after cooking to suit your taste.

  23. Mary Elizabeth Tait

    I have used frozen vegetables for years and have had many people judge me for serving them to my family. When money was scarce, frozen vegetables saved the day!

    I use blocks of frozen spinach often to add an extra side dish to our meals. Take a block of frozen winter squash and add it to beef stew to thicken the broth and add flavor and nutrition.

    Hooray for frozen fruits and veggies!

  24. I discovered something by accident. We we leaving on vacation and I still had 2 large tomatoes, 3 kiwi and 2 nectarines left. I just threw them in the freezer. When I eventually found them, I used the kiwi and nectarines in smoothies and the tomatoes in a cooked dish. Just leave them at room temperature for a few minutes and the peels come right off then you can chop them up. I now buy extra’s when on sale and just throw them the freezer. Not sure how long they will keep as I use them up within a few of weeks but they are still very fresh.

  25. I use frozen fruit to top waffles and German pancakes. My favorite combination is peaches and cherries. I just stick them in a pot on the stove, no added sugar or water or anything except maybe cinnamon. By the time breakfast is ready they are perfectly cooked, a sweet topping that is much healthier then syrup. Adding a dollop of Greek yogurt on top is even almost as good as whipped cream.
    I also add frozen chopped spinach or broccoli to scrambled eggs sometimes.

  26. I agree entirely about de-seeding the pomegranate. I can’t even begin to describe some of the mishaps I’ve had. Flying pomegranates anyone? I’ll have to scour the freezer section for the frozen kind on our next grocery trip! We freeze and can a lot of fresh produce in the summer and fall, so I personally like using frozen veggie mixes for things that require a mix of veggies without opening a ton of bags and jars – shepherd’s pie comes to mind.

  27. My kids love frozen blueberries in their oatmeal – adds great.flavor and cools it down so they can eat it much more quickly. I also like to throw a bag of frozen broccoli on top of my pasta when I am cooking it in my Instant Pot (electric pressure cooker) and mix it in with some meatballs or sausage. Yummy, one pot meal.

  28. Great ideas – I never thought of freezing pomegranate seeds! Now that I have a garden, I’ve been experimenting with freezing fruits and vegetables. Right now, I have a big bag of homegrown frozen cherry tomatoes that I’ve been using for soups, chili and tomato sauces.

    1. I buy onions and leave them in the fridge for a day or two and then take them out and cut them up, freeze them flat on a cookie sheet and then dump them into a freezer bag. Tear free chopping and one less vegetable to clutter the cutting board.

  29. I love this post! I was just telling my husband that it’s hard to find organic fruits and veggies this time of year, so I keep buying the same few over and over. I buy frozen fruits and veggies from time to time, but I’m in such a rut I haven’t done a good job at incorporating them into our daily recipes. Thanks for the fresh inspiration!! :)

  30. I agree with everything on this list (will have to try and track down those frozen pomegranates, that’s a new one for me!)

    Another option I love for Mac and cheese – frozen broccoli!

    I find frozen green beans work REALLY well for stir fry’s and curries. I know green beans aren’t the first thing you probably think of in those dishes, but they stay nice and crispy unlike a lot of other frozen veggies.

    1. I mix frozen fruit into plain yogurt, using a blender or a food processor. One cup of yogurt to one cup of fruit — usually mixed berries, but sometimes other fruits. The sweetness of the fruit is enough to sweeten the whole thing without adding any additional sweetener.

  31. Great tips on adding frozen fruits and vegetables, I was so tired of fresh fruits and vegetables going bad in the frig, It’s a waste of money, so I will be buying frozen, Thank you.

  32. I use frozen strawberries and blueberries when making your Berry Sauce recipe. You could use all kinds of different fruits. However my son doesn’t like his sauce to crunch. So no raspberries or blackberries.

  33. I am not much of a morning person so I always eat breakfast once I get to work. I keep frozen mixed berries in our work freezer. I pour some in the bottom of a bowl, add some quick oats and water, and microwave them all together. The berries get even sweeter from being cooked and it makes a great, filling, low fat breakfast. Sometimes I add a 100 calorie pack of plain mixed almonds and walnuts for some crunch.

  34. I also LOVE frozen fruits & veggies, and we do a huge “blueberry pick” every July near home, freeze them on cookie sheets, bag them up & have them from the freezer all year. But my favorite trick is storing fresh spinach (stuff it in by the large handful, then gently press flat) for smoothies in sandwich bags in the freezer, since spinach can go bad SO fast in the fridge, I never seem to use a whole bag before part of it starts to get funky! :O)

    1. My husband likes a snack of frozen blueberries with milk poured on top which makes the milk freeze. It sends chills up my spine just thinking about it. Brrr!

  35. Layer oats yogurt and frozen berries for overnight oats. The oats soak up the yogurt and juice as the berries defrost overnight. Great breakfast. (My daughter actually asks for it as dessert sometimes to)☺

  36. Easy jam for my littles (from my good friend Jessica)
    1 10 oz bag of any frozen berry/fruit (we like mixed berry, strawberry, or figs) You can also do fresh during season
    3 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
    Bring to boil and cook about 10 min until fruit softens.
    Next add 3 tablespoons Chia seeds. Simmer another 10 min.
    Use blender if you want smooth jam or use potato ricer for chunky style jam.
    Cool and keep in fridge. Lasts about 3 weeks (if my kids don’t scarf it all down).

    I’ve added this to 100 Days whole wheat muffin mix and they are awesome. Good for yogurt/ice cream topping/just about anything you would put fruit on!

  37. For my toddlers’ Mac & Cheese I add peas but ALSO a nice couple scoops of cooked quinoa. It’s a small enough amount that they don’t notice and I know they are getting a more complete meal. Usually use pasta shells and the quinoa bunches up perfectly inside the shell :)

  38. You can also roast frozen vegetables in the oven with a little bit of olive oil and salt. I put them in frozen, and they take a bit longer to roast than fresh (obviously). They are a bit more mushy than roasted fresh vegetables, but in a bowl with sauce for lunch they are delicious!

      1. I use whatever I can come up with – peanut sauce, garlic herb “cream” sauce (I make cream sauce from nuts because I don’t eat much dairy), coconut curry sauce.

  39. I love thawing frozen peaches to put in my yogurt! And last year I was given a huge bag of pomegranates. It was a LOT of work, but I prepped and froze them. And it was totally worth the effort! Also, you forgot frozen veggies in lunch boxes. Seriously the most convenient lunch packing tip ever! :)

  40. I was just staring down some frozen fruit in my freezer yesterday and wondering what exactly to do with it. Thanks so much for all that you do to keep us all inspired to feed ourselves and our families real food!

  41. My kids love corn on the cob. I have found it frozen; so sweet and easy to cook up. Perfect for the winter. And it’s on the cob; even my 1 year old loves it.

  42. I have a small freezer that I filled last summer/fall with local fruits and vegetables from the farmers market. Field peas, green beans, corn, okra, carrots, peaches, apples, blueberries, strawberries. We’ve been feasting all winter.

  43. I love this post. I had a great conversation with a local famer who told me the very same thing; frozen fruits and vegetables are “flash frozen” immediately while the fruits and vegetables at your local stands and groceries are the left overs!!.
    Thank goodness for the frozen organic fruits. Makes it easier to know I always can have on hand!

  44. I recently heard Dr. Furhman speak and he said that “fresh” organic berries that make it to the supermarket are sprayed with something to keep them “fresh” where frozen berries are picked to fresh and don’t need to be sprayed… I loved hearing that!

  45. I love frozen berries//fruit for all of the above reasons! My oatmeal tastes like berry pie with my frozen berries and soy milk. And I never get hungry before lunch time!
    the days I have to do a smoothie (early gym…) i make my oatmeal in a smoothie and add the frozen banana that i already sliced before freezing. YUM

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *