Freezing excess apples from your tree can help preserve them, but you may be wondering what they can be used for once frozen. Specifically, could frozen apple chunks make a good base for a refreshing smoothie? Would there be any issues with the texture or flavor, and can you still enjoy the nutrients in the fruit. We looked into these questions and summed the information up in this post.
You can freeze apples for making delicious smoothies even past apple season. Adding frozen apples to your recipe chills the smoothie while boosting it with nutrients. You can experiment with various types of frozen apples to achieve different kinds of textures and flavors in your smoothies.
Freezing apples is a great way to add a fun twist to your smoothie while keeping it healthy. Read more to know what to do with frozen apples and some great smoothie recipes that are worth trying out.
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How Should Apples Be Frozen For Smoothies?
Even with freezing apples, there are a few steps needed to get them smoothie-ready. In case you already have apples stored in your freezer, you can use them. But if you have the time, preparing them can do you wonders. The preparation you make before freezing your apples will depend on what works the best for you. Take into consideration factors such as how much time you can spend on it, how you want your apples in your smoothie, and what you'll be mixing them with.
When freezing apples, you don't necessarily have to peel them beforehand. However, this can affect how the smoothie turns out.
Do You Peel An Apple for a Smoothie?
One of the first steps in preparing apples for your smoothie is deciding whether to peel them or not. Usually, this would depend on your preference. Some people tend to leave the peels for added texture. Peeling the apples gives your drink a smoother consistency while keeping them on will give it a chunkier texture.
Other than an addition to the smoothie texture-wise, apple peels come with nutrients as well. Studies show that a raw apple contains higher levels of vitamins and nutrients than a peeled apple. When you keep the peels on when making your smoothie, it's likely to provide more nutritional value.
Tip #1: Mix water and lemon into a bowl and dip your cut apples in them. This slows down the oxidation process, therefore keeping them from browning quickly.
Tip #2: Whether you'll be peeling them or not, remember to take out the core and seeds of the apples before you add it to your smoothie. These have a certain component that can cause cyanide poisoning when consumed.
Below are ways you can freeze apples to get them ready to mix in a smoothie:
Freeze Them on a tray
The tray method is the most common and simplest way you can freeze your apples. You can also do this with a plate if you're looking to freeze only a few. Here's how to do it:
- Cut your apples into the size you prefer. (Tip! Mix water and lemon into a bowl and dip your cut apples in them. This will keep them from browning.)
- Put parchment paper on the tray and place the apples.
- Leave them to freeze for a few hours.
- Move the apples to a freezer bag when they're ready.
Turn Them Into Ice Cubes
A unique way to use frozen apples in smoothies is by turning them into cubes. This is a fun way to incorporate the fruit into your drink. This is how:
- Cut your apples into chunks small enough to fit your ice tray.
- After dipping them onto your lemon water mix, fill up your ice cube tray with the apples.
- You can add a bit of water if they appear too dry. This will help it freeze better.
- Let them freeze.
- When they're completely frozen, you can easily pop them into the blender or put the cubes in your drink.
How Long Do Apples Last in the Freezer?
The shelf life of apples significantly increases when they are kept in the freezer than if they were left in the pantry or chilled. Freezing fruit can slow the changes that occur in them, particularly in terms of quality and spoilage. If the fruit is properly frozen, even the freshness and nutritional value can be preserved.
When apples are properly stored in the freezer, they can last for up to 12 months in their best condition. Even after this period of time, they may still be safe to eat under the condition that they were kept frozen before consumption. Although fruits carry a best before date, these don't necessarily mean they will spoil past the date. These are simply estimates of how long the fruit will stay in their best quality under regular conditions.
Why Don't They Sell Frozen Apples?
When you go through the fruit section of a grocery store, you might notice they don't sell their apples frozen despite this lengthening their shelf life. You might think it's odd, but a lot more care goes into these apples before they reach they get ready to ship to stores.
Apples are only harvested during a certain time of the year. To keep them fresh the next harvest, they undergo two types of storage namely: regular refrigeration and controlled atmosphere. Apples harvested and sold closer to the season are kept refrigerated until it's time to distribute them to grocery stores and markets. They usually stay in these big warehouses kept at 34 to 38 degrees Fahrenheit.
For apples that will be sold much later, they are handled through controlled atmosphere storage. Here, the warehouse's temperature is greatly lowered. The main purpose is to reduce the levels of oxygen present, which will hold the growth process of the apples. As a result, the apples go through little to no difference when they are moved from storage.
Frozen Apple Smoothie Recipes
Now that you know how to handle frozen apples, here are five refreshing recipes for you to try out:
Classic Creamy Apple Smoothie
- Prepare your ingredients: frozen cut apples, frozen cut bananas, peanut butter, milk.
- Add the fruit, milk, and peanut butter into your blender. If needed, you can add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water.
- Blend until smooth and liquified.
- Add ice to get a slushie-like consistency and blend again until smooth.
Apple Pie Smoothie: A Fan Favorite!
- Get your ingredients ready: frozen cut apples and bananas, milk, plain yogurt, oats, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla extract.
- Blend together your apples and bananas.
- Add in the rest of the ingredients and keep blending until smooth.
- Mix in the ice and blend it again.
- Top with oats, cinnamon, and syrup.
Apple Berry Mix Smoothie
- Prepare your frozen apple ice cubes, bananas, strawberries or raspberries, and coconut water or milk.
- Put all your ingredients into the blender, adding the apple ice cubes last.
- Keep blending them until smooth, adding more ice if needed.
- Transfer to your cup and serve.
Yogurt and Apple Smoothie
- You will be needing: low-fat vanilla yogurt, frozen apples, honey, a can of orange juice or lemon, ice cubes.
- Put the ingredients into the blender one by one.
- Blend them together with the ice cubes until it becomes smooth. You can adjust the amount of honey and citrus depending on how you want it to taste.
- Top it off with a teaspoon of honey and some sliced apples.
Autumn Apple Smoothie
- For this recipe, prepare frozen apple cubes, almond milk, plain yogurt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and honey.
- Blend the ingredients together. Adjust the amount of honey to suit your taste.
- Blend together with ice to get a slushier texture.
- Serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top!
Freezing apples is a great way to keep the fruit preserved without sacrificing the quality. When it comes to making smoothies, pre-freezing your apples saves you time when preparing your ingredients. Depending on how you freeze them, they also make a fun addition to the process, as with making them into ice cubes. Frozen apples are also good to make other great treats like apple pies and more.