Summer is in full swing, which means many outdoor activities to come that require us to be in the hot summer heat. Dehydration and heat exhaustion can easily put a damper on our summer fun, for both can cause major health risks to the body (especially heat exhaustion, for it could potentially cause brain damage if it goes too far), so it is best to take precautions that ensure neither of those two happen to you, or a family member/friend.
There are several options and remedies to help us stay safe in scorching temperatures. Some methods include staying hydrated (something I cannot stress enough) with water and beverages containing electrolytes (alcoholic beverages do not count, for they do the opposite by dehydrating your body, hence why many people get nasty headaches and feel sick after a day of drinking in the sun), limiting time in direct sunlight by taking breaks to cool off in water activities, or relaxing in a shaded area to give the body time to cool off, and one of my favorites for cooling off is, enjoying cool icy/frozen treats.
I’m not talking corn syrup fortified popsicles though (they may be tasty, but not so good for your body), instead, my favorite go-to summer sweet treat, is a variety of frozen fruits.
Fruit is considered to be natures candy, however, the nutritional benefits you receive from raw fruits is non-comparable to candy many of us are familiar with.
Healthy and Delicious
Most fruits have a high antioxidant level, which is vital for every human body to consume in order to equip the body with the proper tools to fight off oxidative stress (caused by everyday exposures to harmful and toxic substances in our environment), so that the body can be in proper balance, helping you to feel healthier, while living your best life.
Most fruits are also high in vitamin C, which is essential for everyone during this pandemic time to keep your immune system amped up and strong. Maintaining a strong immune system can not only help in prevention of contracting an illness, but it can also reduce the severity of symptoms, and shorten the length of time you are sick.
It goes without saying, that fruit is especially delicious! Which is why it comes as no surprise that many refer to it to be “natures candy.” Even children who are the pickiest of eaters, will often devour a whole bowl of fruit.
Which Fruits Work best
You can freeze just about any kind of fruit, but not all fruits are ideal for eating right out of the freezer (for some are best saved for smoothies or deserts).
From personal experience of freezing a variety of fruits over the years, I’ve found that the best fruits to enjoy out of the freezer are:
- Bananas (excellent when dipped in dark chocolate, or made into banana ice cream!)
- Watermelon (who knew!)
- Oranges (peeled and pulled apart into pieces)
These are only suggestions for fruits that we found over the years to be our household favorites (based on texture and flavor profile once frozen). But we are all made unique, so please be inspired to try freezing any fruit your taste buds desire. Experimenting is what makes food fun new, and exciting!
Pick in Season, Then Freeze to Enjoy Throughout the Year
Picking in season is the best way to ensure freshness, and quality. What’s even greater than buying fruits in season, is picking your own.
There are many farmers who have created U-Pick farms, where you can pick as much fruits and vegetables (depending on the farm you go to) as you can from what’s available. You then pay for the fruits usually by pound, bushel, crate, or bucket/barrel.
Picking your own may be the freshest way to source your fruit, but sadly is not attainable for everyone in the world. Framers markets in another great way to source fresh, locally grown produce. Please do not be afraid to ask the farmer questions about their methods and practices in producing the produce they are offering, and only buy from a farmer you feel you can trust.
A farmer has no problem answering your questions about their methods, if they are following expected guidelines and regulations for the claims they make for their produce.
Not everyone selling produce is a farmer. Many vendors selling vegetables are part of a co-op, where it is a group of people that collectively decide what produce to order, gather, and then distribute.
It’s rare, but there are also vendors who will find good deals on produce at grocery stores like Pick-N-Save, then turn around and try selling the produce at a farmer’s market, without having any knowledge of where the produce came from, or methods of how it was farmed.
When it comes to who you should buy your produce from (whether it be at the grocery store, market, or picking at a farm), the best answer we can give, is to follow your gut, and shop with whoever you feel most comfortable with and can trust.
How to Freeze Fruit to Prevent Sticking
- The best way to freeze the fruit, so that they don’t stick together, is to cut your fruit into bite sized pieces (only if need be and preferred).
- Lay your fruit out on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
- Pop the cookie sheet in the freezer until the fruit is frozen (or at least partially frozen).
- Lastly, move the fruit into a Ziploc bag, and enjoy when you are needing a cool, sweet treat.
Kids Especially Love Frozen Fruit
As mentioned above, even the pickiest of eaters, will happily welcome fruit in their diet. For who honestly could resist the wide array of flavors provided to us, and naturally sweetened by nature? You can rest assured, and feel good, knowing that they are enjoying sweets packed full of vitamins and nutrients their body needs for proper development and growth, instead of corn syrup, unnatural colorants/dyes, and not so healthy preservatives.
Personal favorites for kids include blueberries, strawberries, watermelon (either cut into bite sized pieces, or into triangle slices with rind attached for gripping), and chocolate covered bananas.
Storing Frozen Fruit Can Also Save Time in the Kitchen
Any cook knows that prepping fruit for recipes can sometimes be a time-consuming event. Taking the time to prep and store your fruits when purchased/harvested, will not only provide you with cool, healthy snacks on hand, but will also cut your prep time for dessert recipes in half (if not more).
Frozen fruit especially comes in handy for busy mornings. Blueberries can be thrown into pancakes, yogurt, casseroles, and muffins, straight out of the freezer. Frozen bananas are great for throwing into smoothies, for it thickens, and cools the smoothie, resulting in less ice being needed for desired results.
The summer heat is something you do not want to play around with. Make sure you stay hydrated with water and electrolyte rich beverages/foods.
Listen to your body. If it is showing signs of distress while in the heat, then stop what you are doing and take a break to cool off for a bit.
Be sure to stay cool by loading up the cooler with some tasty, healthy treats that will be sure to please everyone in your group.
What are some of your favorite frozen fruits, and your favorite way to utilize them in a recipe? Share your thoughts below to strike up a conversation.