Frozen fruits can save you time and money. However, sadly we don’t always get the fruit out in time for it to thaw or defrost naturally so that it can be used in a meal or as a snack.
This begs the question, can you just eat frozen fruit straight out of the bag?
You shouldn’t eat frozen fruit straight out of the bag since research by the FDA found that eating frozen fruits raw has been associated with outbreaks of foodborne illnesses. That’s because while freezing preserves fruits it generally doesn’t kill viruses, which can survive at low temperatures.
Of course, I didn’t actually know this was the case since most frozen fruits are advertised as being edible straight from the bag.
So, when I found this out myself it opened up a whole number of questions, as such based on my research I’ve put together this guide to help you understand what you need to know when it comes to consuming frozen fruit safely.
What To Do With Frozen Fruit Before Consuming
Given the fact you shouldn’t consume frozen fruit raw for health and safety reasons, you may be wondering how to safely consume them or use them in a dish.
The key to this is removing any bacteria which can be done with the fruit reaching a boiling point and how you do this is likely going to depend on how you want to use the fruit afterwards.
If you want to cook with the fruit, maybe berries as part of a crumble for example then you should be okay to add them straight into the dish provided that the dish is going to be cooked in an oven.
That’s because during the cooking process any foodborne illnesses should be killed as a result of the heat.
However, if you plan to use the fruit for smoothies or as a snack then it’s best to boil them for two minutes before cooling (or refreezing) and consuming them.
Of course, this process isn’t always suitable for softer fruits such as pineapple. In that case, I defrost the fruit and then go ahead and use some fruit & vegetable cleaner.
You can buy the fruit & vegetable cleaner in a spray bottle, or in a gallon container.
This can then be applied to both your frozen fruits and fresh produce as you need.
If you’re in any doubt it’s best to follow the package’s preparation or cooking instructions.
What Are The Best Frozen Fruits?
I find myself buying the following bags of frozen fruit monthly on rotation, these are great kitchen staples for making a variety of dishes and come with an extensive range of health benefits.
How To Quickly Defrost Frozen Fruit
The best way to quickly defrost frozen fruit is by using the microwave.
You should place your frozen fruit into a microwavable bowl and then heat it in 30-second intervals, stirring in between each one until the fruit has thawed.
Alternatively, you can place the frozen fruit into a colander or strainer and then run lukewarm water over it until it has thawed.
If you have time, you can also leave the fruit out on the countertop until it has thawed which generally takes around 30 minutes to an hour depending on how much fruit you’re defrosting and what type of fruit it is.
A final method is to place the frozen fruit into a sealed plastic bag and then submerge it into a bowl of hot water until thawed.
Just be sure to check the fruit regularly to ensure that it isn’t cooking in the hot water.
How Long Does Frozen Fruit Last In The Freezer?
Frozen fruit can last anywhere from eight to 12 months in the freezer, however, it’s best to consume it within the first six months.
You’ll know that your frozen fruit has gone bad if there is any sign of freezer burn or if the fruit has started to change color.
When stored properly, frozen fruits will still retain their nutritional value and flavor so there’s no need to worry about them going bad in that sense.
How Long Does Frozen Fruit Last Once It’s Been Thawed Out
Frozen fruit that has been thawed out can last in the fridge for up to two days, however, it’s best to consume it within 24 hours.
You’ll know that your thawed fruit has gone bad if there is any sign of mold or if the fruit has started to change color or emit a sour smell.