Frozen vs fresh fruit

I know smoothies have a been a big deal for awhile now, smoothie shops have popped up all over the place. I have been slow to sign onto the smoothie thing, I preferred traditional methods of eating fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately,  in recent weeks my daughter has lost interest in milk.  I thought the introduction of smoothies would help her consume at least 2 cups of milk a day. I also thought that this would be a great way to introduce more fruits into her diet. The question is frozen vs fresh fruit.

I do not know about you but I try to avoid food shopping more than once a week. I remembered seeing frozen fruit so I checked out the frozen fruit assortment on my most recent visit to the grocery store. I was amazed at the selection. Obviously,  the stores also know that smoothies are a big deal. I seemed to be the only one missing the craze. After checking out the choices, I chose a large bag of strawberries, blueberries and mixed berry. So far, my favorite smoothie flavor is strawberry. It must be everybody’s favorite as well as there was only one bag left.

I did wonder about the nutrient level of frozen vs fresh fruit. I know that frozen fruit is more convenient than fresh fruit, there is no slicing and dicing. In addition I do not have to worry about the fruit going bad which means one less trip to the grocery store (Yippie!). One of the benefits of berries is that they are an excellent supply of anti-oxidants.  I questioned the anti-oxidant level of frozen vs fresh fruit. Would freezing the fruit alter the anti-oxidant level? I thought I would look into this further.

Frozen vs fresh fruit -nutrient level

If you are going to chose fresh fruits, ensure they are in season when the nutrient level is the highest. The minute a fruit or vegetable is picked, it begins to lose nutrients. Out of season fruits are shipped from Central or South America and are picked before they are ripened. The longer you wait to eat the fruit, the less nutrients are available. Frozen fruits and vegetables are harvested when they are ripe.

Nutrient level and length of time before you eat the fruit

“The amount of time produce sits in your refrigerator also makes a big difference. In a study in the Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, researchers replicated how most people buy, store, and eat their fruits and veggies, and measured the nutritional content of three types of produce: fresh, frozen, and “fresh-stored” (purchased fresh and stored in the refrigerator for five days). Surprisingly, the frozen versions consistently outperformed the “fresh-stored” ones in tests of several key nutrients.” Business Insider

“In two out of three cases, frozen fruits and veggies packed higher levels of antioxidants, including polyphenols, anthocyanins, lutein, and beta-carotene. This conclusion supports previous research, which found that freezing produce does not destroy its nutrients.” Source ABC News- Leatherhead Food Research and University of Chester

“New research from the University of Georgia found that frozen fruits and veggies are just as nutritious as their fresh counterparts — and some even retained more nutrients, especially when it comes to vitamin A.” AARP

Harvesting time makes a difference

“A study in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition compared the vitamin C content of supermarket broccoli purchased in May (when it’s in season) and supermarket broccoli in the Fall (shipped from another country), and found that the out-of-season veggie had only half the vitamin C content of its seasonal counterpart.” Business Insider 

Frozen vs fresh fruit  -Convenience

There is no doubt that prepping takes time, most fresh fruits have to be sliced and diced.

Frozen vs fresh fruit Cost

Frozen fruits are generally cheaper than fresh fruits.

Let’s talk smoothies

There are a couple of smoothie stores by our house but getting in the car is not alway  convenient at times. I thought I would try to make some smoothies at home, this would also ensure that milk was being used.

I have been using a personal blender to make smoothies. I purchased this inexpensive blender Mainstays Personal Blender, Black, Stainless steel blade for fine blending and easy cleaning from Amazon. The reviews are not great but it is fine for making fruit smoothies. I have only tried it with ice and frozen fruit, I have not tried vegetables such as whole carrots.  I must say, it is easier to use and clean than a typical blender. I also love the design. You basically mix the smoothie, switch lids and go. Easy peasy without the need to visit a smoothie store.

I have also heard great things about the Oster BLSTPB-WPK My Blend 250-Watt Blender with Travel Sport Bottle, Pink, this one is listed as “Amazon’s Choice”.

The Ninja seems to be a favorite  among juicers but it is also more expensive. The Ninja unit comes with a recipe guide and is able to chop vegetables if you are looking to juice.

How are the smoothies working out?

My daughter has been loving her smoothies and  I love that there are no more arguments about drinking enough milk. The added fruit is a bonus and so are the antioxidants!

I will write another post about protein powder. I have been using this one by SlimQuick SLIMQUICK Pure Protein Powder with Low Calorie Dietary Supplement, Double Chocolate, 600 Gram. I chose this powdered protein because it was lower in calories and sugar than some of the other brands. It does have Stevia in it. I would love to hear your suggestions for protein powders in the comments below.

What do you think of frozen vs fresh fruit? How do you make your smoothie?

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