A staple in my freezer, frozen fruit is the key to delicious, frosty smoothies. When I start to get low, I feel a little nervous and immediately plan a trip to Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s for a stock-up. Both markets offer an array of frozen fruit, making it easier than ever to start my day with a healthy, nutrient-packed shake. Whole Foods offers more organic options (always preferred), while Trader Joe’s is more affordable.
But not all frozen fruit—or fruit for that matter—is created equal. While all fruit has vitamins and fiber, some are much more more nutrient-dense than others. To find out which bags of frozen fruit I should be loading up in my shopping cart, I consulted with best-selling author and nutrition expert, Joel Fuhrman, MD. Dr. Fuhrman ranks fruits and vegetables according to how much nutrition is in a single calorie of that food, measuring 34 nutritional parameters ranging from calcium and iron to vitamin C and beta carotene. Standard food labels, on the other hand,
only list a few nutrients.
So just what are the healthiest fruits you can blend into your smoothies? Here are the top 10, all of which—with the exception of bananas—are available frozen in stores. And because nutrients are preserved when fruit is frozen, we get all the benefits of fresh fruit in a luscious shake.
The 10 Best Frozen Fruits for Smoothies:
Topping the fruit charts, Dr. Fuhrman recommends at least one serving of strawberries (or berries) a day. Packing in more vitamin C than an orange, strawberries are the world's most popular berry.
Smoothie tip: Blend frozen strawberries with dates, vanilla, and almond milk for a delicious strawberry milkshake.
Nutritional stats: 1 cup = 50 calories, 3 grams fiber, 7 grams sugar,
160% RDA of vitamin C
Containing more antioxidants than any other fruit, blackberries are a rockstar addition to your smoothie. This means that consuming frozen blackberries can help prevent cancer, memory loss, and heart disease.
Smoothie tip: Blend frozen blackberries with lemon zest, walnuts, frozen banana, and coconut water for a refreshing shake
reminiscent of blackberry pie.
Nutritional stats: 1 cup = 62 calories, 8 grams fiber, 7 grams sugar,
50% RDA of vitamin C
Proven to fight type 2 diabetes and obesity, raspberries are another antioxidant-rich addition to your diet. Grown in a variety of colors,
this berry ranks third in worldwide popularity behind
strawberries and blueberries.
Smoothie tip: For a pink powerhouse shake, combine frozen raspberries with raw beet, a tangerine, almond milk,
chia seeds, and vanilla.
Nutritional stats: 1 cup = 52 calories, 7 grams fiber, 4 grams sugar,
44% RDA of vitamin C
The original superfood, blueberries have been shown to improve memory and slow down the aging process. Native to North America, the US grows 275 million pounds of blueberries every year.
Smoothie tip: Whirl frozen blueberries with spinach, fresh ginger, frozen strawberries, and coconut water for an anti-depression remedy.
Nutritional stats: 1 cup = 84 calories, 2 grams fiber, 10 grams sugar,
32% RDA of vitamin K
One of the oldest known fruits in the world, research shows that pomegranates strengthen the heart and blood vessels. Long revered
for health and fertility, frozen pomegranate seeds have
become readily available in recent years.
Smoothie tip: Create an aphrodisiacal smoothie with frozen pomegranate seeds, frozen cherries, figs, vanilla, and coconut water.
Nutritional stats: 1 cup = 83 calories, 4 grams fiber, 14 grams sugar,
16% RDA of vitamin C
Peaches are great for the skin and can reduce wrinkles, fight sun damage, and improve overall skin texture. Native to China,
adding the sweet fruit to your smoothies can make it
feel like summer all year long.
Smoothie tip: Blend up frozen peaches with chai spices, almond milk, and a few dates for a heavenly peaches ‘n’ creme shake.
Nutritional stats: 1 cup = 60 calories, 2 grams fiber, 13 grams sugar,
17% RDA of vitamin C
One of the few natural sources of melatonin, cherries can help insomnia. Full of potassium, the stone fruit makes smoothies extra special—especially when combined with chocolate.
Smoothie tip: Who needs Ben & Jerry’s when you can create your own Cherry Garcia blend with frozen cherries, frozen banana,
cacao nibs, and coconut milk?
Nutritional stats: 1 cup = 71 calories, 2 grams fiber, 14 grams sugar,
27% RDA of vitamin A
Another superstar source of vitamin C, pineapple is also loaded with the enzyme bromelain, which is effective in aiding digestion. Sipping on a smoothie with pineapple is like being
transported to a tropical island.
Smoothie tip: Don’t miss my Kale Colada with kale, coconut water, frozen pineapple, frozen banana, and shredded coconut.
Nutritional stats: 1 cup = 82 calories, 2 grams fiber, 16 grams sugar, 131% RDA of vitamin C
Great for the eyes, mangoes can also normalize insulin levels in the blood. With more than 1,000 varieties, mango is a close relative to cashews and pistachios.
Smoothie tip: Mango is so luscious on its own that a simple blend of frozen mango, coconut water, and fresh mint is sheer perfection.
Nutritional stats: 1 cup = 99 calories, 3 grams fiber, 23 grams sugar, 100% RDA of vitamin C
Full of potassium, vitamin B6, and manganese, bananas originated in Malaysia about 4,000 years ago. A frozen banana is the secret to creamy, sweet smoothies, and I keep my freezer fully stocked.
Smoothie tip: Blend a frozen banana with cacao nibs,
frozen strawberries, vanilla, and almond milk for the
ultimate banana split shake.
Nutritional stats: 1 banana = 105 calories, 3 grams fiber,
14 grams sugar, 25% RDA of vitamin B6
P.S. Check out all my favorite smoothie recipes here.