Why We Always Keep Frozen Fruit and Vegetables in Our Freezers—Plus, Our Favorite Ways to Use Them
To some, frozen fruits and vegetables have a reputation for being bland, flavorless, and uninspiring. If that's you, we're here to change your mind. While we love using frozen produce for smoothies, there are so many other ways to make the most of their vibrant color and flavor. Plus, frozen fruits and vegetables allow you to cook with your favorite produce item when it's out of season (hello, frozen peas!).
From a quick, healthy breakfast to a low-carb weeknight meal, you'll find inspired ways to utilize frozen berries, tropical fruit, peas, edamame, and spinach in these recipes—no boiling or blending required.
How to Cook with Frozen Berries
When summer fruit is beyond your grasp, reach for frozen berries. Bagged within hours of being harvested, they deliver all the bright flavor and nutritional oomph of fresh ones, plus they're budget-friendly and last for months. With these quick moves from our test kitchen, no berry will be left behind. Your first option? Stir them into your favorite foods. We love to mix a handful of frozen berries into oatmeal at the last minute of cooking for added color and flavor. You can also swap them into baked goods—preferably muffins or simple cakes—that call for fresh fruits. Another good idea? Sprinkle them overtop vanilla ice cream with slivered almonds—it's an easy way to make a regular sundae downright refreshing.
And if you need more guidance, consider these recipe, which highlight the very best of frozen fruit.
Peanut-Butter-Oat Drop Cookies with Jam
Use frozen raspberries for a quick Frozen Berry Jam, then use that jam to make our easy Peanut-Butter-Oat Drop Cookies with Jam, pictured above.
Berry-Banana Kefir Bowl
Frozen berries make it easy to start the day with a healthy breakfast, as this quick Berry-Banana Kefir Bowl shows. Frozen strawberries pair with kefir or buttermilk, sliced banana plus granola make great toppings.
Just so you're clear, frozen berries are not just for dessert or other sweet applications. In our Balsamic-and-Berry-Glazed Drumsticks, frozen wild blueberries and balsamic vinegar are used for a simple, tangy glaze that brightens baked drumsticks.
Tropical Fruit Cones
When it comes to frozen tropical fruits, this recipe is our hands-down favorite. Whether you want to make just one flavor or all three options, this refreshing summer recipe for Tropical Fruit Cones is like a taste of sunshine. Purée batches of mangoes, kiwis, and bananas with agave and lime juice, then freeze each until the mixtures are firm. This recipe is an instant, easy approach to making sorbet at home.
How to Cook with Frozen Vegetables
Soups, stews, and pot pies are just a few of our favorite uses for frozen vegetables. That said, there is one frozen vegetable our food editors aren't a fan of: broccoli. It becomes mushy easily and lacks the flavor of fresh broccoli.
Classic Beef Stew
Our recipe for Classic Beef Stew, pictured above, calls for frozen pearl onions and frozen peas, both of which are easy to find in the grocery store. The onions absorb so many rich and savory flavors while cooking with the beef and broth, and the peas are added right at the end to avoid getting soggy.
Wild Salmon with Edamame-Cauliflower Rice
Here's a different way to use frozen shelled edamame. We love these soybeans for their protein, fiber, and antioxidant qualities—their bright green color doesn't hurt either. In our Wild Salmon with Edamame-Cauliflower Rice, they are mixed with toasted cauliflower rice as a colorful, flavorful base for wild salmon fillets.
Spinach-and-Cheddar Slab Quiche
Start your brunch with the right bite. This Spinach-and-Cheddar Slab Quiche features frozen chopped spinach and grated cheddar cheese are scattered over the puff pastry crust for an easy quiche; add an egg and cream mixture and bake until set.