We all know that frozen fruits and veggies can work great as part of your favorite smoothie recipes.
But what about your favorite juices?
Juicing frozen fruits and vegetables may be something you’ve wondered about if you’re keen to enjoy all of the nutritional value of homemade juices, but you want to use ingredients with a longer shelf life.
Well, I did some research to find out the difference between fresh fruit and frozen fruit when it comes to juicing.
You can juice frozen fruit and vegetables. You just need to make sure you thaw them out completely before juicing them, otherwise, your juicer is going to get damaged no matter what type it is. But juicing fresh fruits and veggies is going to be better for you because of higher nutrition content.
There are some excellent advantages if you juice frozen vegetables or fruits, though, so let’s dive in.
Or, if you’ve gotten this far and realised it’s smoothies you’re after, I’ve got my best frozen fruit blender recommendations here.
Advantages of Juicing Frozen Fruits and Vegetables
You Can Enjoy Fruit and Veggies All Year Round
The main advantage of juicing frozen ingredients is that you can enjoy the fruits and vegetables you love even when they’re out of season.
Have juice recipes that call for watermelon but it’s the middle of winter? Not a problem if you’ve got some frozen watermelon in your freezer!
Certain fruits and veggies might not be grown in your area but you can often get them frozen and shipped from a different country. If you use frozen produce, then you can enjoy them whenever you like.
You Can Keep Ingredients You Only Use Occasionally
Not everyone enjoys a green juice packed with kale and other leafy greens every day of the week. Your lip-smacking purple smoothie recipe might not float your boat if you aren’t in the mood for blackberries, raspberries or blueberries that morning.
This can be a problem, since it can mean ingredients you buy for juicing go to waste, which is something we should all try to avoid.
If you know that you only use certain ingredients now and then, opting to buy them frozen means you can keep them for long periods of time and just use them when you like – without worrying about them going bad. Frozen berries are a particular godsend for me, since soft fruits normally don’t have a huge shelf life!
Frozen Fruits and Vegetables are Better for Juicing
When fresh fruits get frozen, its structure is weakened. It doesn’t have the same integrity that it used to. If you tried to eat fruit or veggies like this, you’d be left with a mushy mess that was not appetising at all.
However, if you juice frozen fruit and veg, it’s a different story.
Frozen fruit and frozen vegetables are ideal for juicing because they have a higher yield of juice. The cells inside your ingredients collapse more easily and that means they release more juice – which is great! You’ll likely notice a big difference – just remember what we said earlier, thawing your ingredients before using them is important so don’t skip that step.
Disadvantages of Juicing Frozen Fruits and Vegetables
Juice Made From Frozen Fruit and Veggies Can Taste Different
There really is no rival to fresh juice. When it comes to fresh versus frozen, you can taste the difference. Really!
If your frozen fruit juice or green juice is made entirely from frozen ingredients, it might taste a bit bland. This is partly down to personal preference though, you might enjoy it that way. But some people argue that juices made only from frozen ingredients don’t taste as good, so experiment.
If you’re used to enjoying local, fresh fruit or veg, then it’s obvious that using fruit and veggies that have been essentially factory farmed will mean a difference in the taste.
Another issue that comes with using frozen ingredients, is that as you’re thawing them out, the fruit juices can disappear with the water as it melts. With those juices goes the flavour.
One way around this problem is to consider using a blend of fresh produce and frozen ingredients. Consider the fruits and veggies you don’t use very often and go for the frozen alternative, while buying fresh when it comes to your favourites that you have in everything. I always have a stash of fresh apples and oranges in the house, since those are the ones I use all the time. But I like to juice frozen fruits like pineapple because I use them less often.
Are Frozen Fruits and Frozen Vegetables as Nutritious as Fresh Produce?
There are points to be made on both sides of this argument, there’s a lot of information out there.
Some people suggest that frozen fruits and veggies are better because the fruit is picked at peak ripeness. It’s then frozen within 48 hours, which locks in the nutrition. Freezing fruits that are in season is a great idea for instance.
Most fruits are often picked before they’re ready, since that gives them time to ripen en route to the supermarkets for you to buy. During this time, nutrition can be lost, which is not what you want if you’re taking the time to make fresh fruit and vegetable juices.
People who are against using frozen fruit and frozen vegetables often cite the blanching process, which is part of the freezing process, that it goes through before reaching customers.
This involves the fruit and veggies being put into boiling water for a short time, which kills any germs that they might have and also locks in the color and flavor of the ingredient.
However, during this process, natural enzymes found in the fruit and veggies are often destroyed, as well as the vitamins and minerals you’d expect to get from healthy foods. Looking for your healthy dose of Vitamin C? You might be better sticking with fresh fruits so the you get the nutrients intact.
The ideal situation is being able to buy fresh fruitss from a local farm or farmers market, which ensures there’s been the minimum amount of time between being harvested and becoming part of your fruit juice or green juice. But with things like berries they aren’t in season for long, so I like to juice frozen berries in winter to still get the nutrition
The compromise, though, is to look for frozen fruit and frozen vegetables that haven’t been blanched. That way they still have a good amount of nutritional value and taste. And as long as you avoid freezer burn they’ll be good to go.
How to Make Juice from Frozen Fruits and Frozen Vegetables
So, you’re convinced. You’re ready to juice frozen fruit and make some delicious juice at home. But how do you do it? There’s really only one thing you need to remember to do this properly:
Thawing Before Juicing
Juicing straight from frozen is a really bad idea, especially if you have a centrifugal juicer, because it can cause the blades to become blunt. This means that your juicer won’t work as well as before.
Even a masticating juicer is liable to get damaged when you put frozen vegetables or fruit in it.
So plan ahead and put aside the time for thawing! Trust me! Besides you’ll get maximum juice extracted if you wait to defrost them.
Allow your ingredients to thaw, either by leaving them out for an extended period (like overnight for best results), or running them under the cold tap for around 30 minutes if you’re in a rush.
To warn you – running your frozen fruit and veggies under the tap will wash away some of their nutritional value, so be aware.
F.A.Qs about Juicing Frozen Fruit
Can you freeze fruits for juicing?
Like I said earlier, you can but you need to make sure that it is completely thawed before you put frozen fruit in your juicer. Otherwise your juicer will get ruined.
Can you juice frozen fruit in a blender?
The same thing happens to a blender that happens to a juicer if you put frozen ingredients in it. The blades will become dull or it might break completely. Asides from that, if you use ingredients while they’re still frozen, there’s a chance that the smoothie you get at the end will be lumpy… and no one wants that!
Can you juice ice?
If you juice frozen fruit you defrost it first so I wouldn’t recommend juicing ice. It’ll just dilute your juices while damaging your juicer. If you’re absolutely set on having ice in your juice, then put your ice into a blender first and then put the crushed ice into your juice – but if you want a chilled juice, I would just put it in the refrigerator for a few minutes before you drink it. That way you don’t compromise on the flavor!
To juice frozen fruit and frozen vegetables is totally manageable, if a little tricky since they’re mushy and can be difficult to feed into your juicer whether it’s a masticating or a centrifugal juicer..
Other than that, it’s an easy way to enjoy your favourite ingredients all year round. If you choose to juice frozen fruit it can even be more cost-effective than always opting for fresh ingredients!
I’ve put together an article on the best way to store your frozen juice after you’ve made it, so if you need some advice on that, check it out here. And I’ve got another similar article on storing smoothies which you might enjoy.
Whether you want to juice frozen fruit, any and all from frozen grapes to frozen honeydew melon I hope this guide has helped you. The best frozen fruits for juicing are those that defrost quickly like berries or the ones that are out of season.