Should You Reach for Frozen Fruit When Fresh Isn't in Season?

Often picked at the peak of freshness, frozen berries can make many of your favorite berry-filled recipes year-round.

The farther from summer we get, the more you might miss those delicious berries that are in season for too short a while. Never fear — frozen fruit is here! Often picked at the peak of freshness, frozen berries mean you can make a lot of your favorite berry-filled recipes year-round (and for a lot less money). While IQF might sound like an acronym for a science experiment, it actually stands for Individually Quick Frozen, a process in which berries are picked when ripe and frozen individually for the sole purpose of being available in the freezer section even in the depths of winter. These berries are full of vitamin C and fiber: One serving of raspberries provides 60 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C (and 36 percent of the RDA of fiber), while blackberries have 35 percent. Blueberries are not far behind, with 25 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin C (and plenty of fiber goodness as well).

It’s an obvious choice, but a frozen berry smoothie is perfect for any quick breakfast. This one also features banana, yogurt, orange juice and just a hint of honey.

Giada De Laurentiis uses frozen mixed berries for this strata that’s the perfect holiday brunch dish. Plus, it can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for up to 12 hours, so you can prep it the night before.

There are never enough ways to eat oatmeal. In this berry bake, old-fashioned rolled oats are topped with an almond, oat and berry mix, and then baked until browned.

Ellie-Krieger-Mixed-Berry-Cobbler

Ellie-Krieger-Mixed-Berry-Cobbler

Photo by: Tara Donne ©FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Tara Donne, FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Ellie’s berry cobbler looks like she hand-picked fresh berries just for this dessert, but she actually uses frozen ones for the filling. Topped with a whole-wheat crust, it’s ready in under an hour.

Just how do those store-bought berry parfaits look so good? They probably contain frozen mixed berries, just as this recipe does. Making your own granola is easier than it looks, and it will add a nice touch to breakfast.

There’s no white sugar needed for this snack cake. It gets all of its sweetness from applesauce, orange blossom honey and frozen berries.

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