Friday, 21 August 2015

Frozen Fruit Treats

When the weather is hot, we tend to reach for ice cream, lollies, and other sugary frozen treats. But, did you know that frozen fruit can be even more satisfying? We've listed our favourite frozen treats, to help cool you down this summer...

1. Frozen Grapes

Did you know that grapes are members of the berry family?  Grapes are super-sweet, but they are packed with health supporting nutrients such as Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin B and potassium. Not bad!

For the perfect frozen grape, rinse them off throughly, dry, and put them in the freezer overnight for a good even freeze. Once frozen, they will be crunchy on the outside, while the inside becomes a smooth sortbet surprise (these are our favourite!)

If you have more of a sweet tooth, you may want to try freezing red or black grapes. Green grapes are a popular pick for those who enjoy the sweet and tangy flavor. Whether you are in need of a refreshing snack after a tough workout or craving a cool snack on a hot summer day, frozen grapes won’t dissapoint!

2.Frozen Strawberries

Fresh strawberries are a healthy addition to any diet. The health value of frozen strawberries depends on the type you choose. Unsweetened frozen strawberries provide many of the same nutrients as fresh and their benefits are available year-round; however, sweetened versions can add too much sugar to your diet.

If you do not want to buy ready-frozen strawberries, you can make use of the lovely British strawberries available at this time of year, and freeze overnight for a gorgeous sweet treat.

3. Frozen Raspberries

While raspberries are available all year round, we're lucky to have lovely British raspberrries available at this time of year. The freezing process accentuates their sharp, fresh falvour, and retain their seductive perfume.

They are relatively low in sugar, which is good for anyone who wants to lose weight. Or if not, they are a good alternative to a sugar-laden lolly!

4. Frozen Bananas

Bananas are a great treat for any time of year, and are full of great nutrients like potassium. Frozen bananas become like ice cream, and are a healthy alternative to ice creams. Kids in particular love it!

If you do decide to freeze bananas, we have the following tips:

  •  Choose ripe to slightly overripe bananas. Bananas that have not fully ripened will not ripen correctly if frozen. As soon as a banana has ripened, it can technically be frozen. Freezing a banana just before it becomes overripe or during the beginning stages of being overripe tends to preserve a stronger flavor, though, and is generally preferred.
  • Decide whether or not to peel the banana. A banana can be frozen both in the peel and out. Freezing the banana in the peel takes a little less initial effort, but you should be aware that there are some downsides. Out of the peel, frozen bananas tend to last roughly one month longer than when stored in the peel. Peeling a frozen banana can also be difficult, since you must wait until after the banana thaws and since the banana tends to be extremely mushy afterward.Also note that the skin of an unpeeled frozen banana will turn black when stored in the freezer, but the banana inside is still edible. 
  • Place peeled bananas on a cookie sheet and freeze. To prevent the bananas from sticking together as they freeze, you need to freeze them separately before storing them together. Place the peeled bananas on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper, spacing them apart so that they do not touch. Put the cookie sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes, or until the bananas are frozen solid. Note that unpeeled bananas do not need to be frozen separately first.
  • Thaw before peeling bananas. If you kept the peel on, you will need to wait until the banana has thawed some before you can remove it. The process will likely be a bit slimy, but the banana should still be good.
  • Use unpeeled bananas either frozen or thawed. If you are using the banana in something like a smoothie, you might be able to blend it into the smoothie while it is still fully or partially frozen. For use in baked goods, thaw the banana first.

5. Frozen Blueberries

 Blackberries are full of antioxidants, and it may be that frozen blueberries have even more antioxidents than fresh, according to new research from South Dakota State Universtity.

While you may not want to eat these on their own, frozen blueberries are great either smothered in yoghurt (we love greek yoghurt!) or tossed in a smoothie.

Do you have a favourite frozen fruit? Tweet us @office_fruit

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