It's good for way more than smoothies.

For most people, having an excess of frozen fruit typically means that you’re an avid smoothie maker. While that’s a great title to have, keeping bags of your favorite fruits tucked away in your freezer is ideal for way more than just a whirl in your blender with some almond milk and protein powder. For many applications, frozen fruit is ideal compared to its fresh counterpart because it’s cheaper, and you don’t have to worry about its shelf life—as long as you use it within a couple months, you’re golden. Next time you’re at Costco or your favorite bulk store, go ahead and grab a bag of frozen mixed berries, mango, pineapple, or whatever craving and carve out a home for it in your freezer—the possibilities are truly endless, and here’s some of our favorite ways to make use of your frozen produce.

You can toss some in a bowl of oatmeal.

While you definitely *can* add fresh fruit to your oatmeal, I prefer to cook frozen fruit into a warm bowl of oats because I want to eat my fresh fruit when it’s...fresh. Frozen fruit defrosts beautifully in your steamy breakfast grains, whether you’re cooking your oatmeal on the stovetop or in the microwave.

You can make a fruity reduction sauce.

Speaking of oatmeal, if you’d rather top your hearty breakfast bowl with a warm compote, that’s another way to put your frozen fruit to good use. In a small saucepan, simply warm your frozen fruit with a sweetener (sugar, honey, maple, agave or whatever you like), a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a pinch of salt, and a splash of water until it reduces down to a silky-smooth, near jammy consistency. Aside from oatmeal, you could pour this over a bowl of ice cream, a piece of toast, a warm biscuit, a stack of waffles, French toast, or yogurt.

frozen berries
Credit: Creativ Studio Heinemann/Getty Images

You can upgrade your frozen cocktails.

If you can blend your frozen fruit into a healthy, superfood-packed start to your day, you better believe you can also toss it into your next frozen cocktail concoction. Your signature frozen margs are practically begging for a handful of frozen mango chunks. Just the same, some frozen pineapple chunks and frozen banana slices will surely do your next round of piña coladas a huge service.

You can dip your fruit-cicles in chocolate.

Yup, you heard me. It’s as simple as that. For an easy, low-brow dessert, simply take whatever frozen fruit you have on hand, run it through some melted chocolate, and place it on a parchment paper-line baking sheet. Return it to the freezer until the chocolate is set, and enjoy your frozen treat.

You can throw together galettes and fruit crisps anytime.

Just because fruit might be out of season doesn’t mean that you can’t make a sweet, fruit dessert. Simply thaw whatever frozen fruit you plan on using for said baked good, and make the recipe as is once the fruit has thawed completely. The final product may not be quite as glorious as a strawberry cobbler in the middle of summer, but it’ll surely do the trick. Throw some vanilla ice cream on top and call it a day.

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You can eat it straight up for a refreshing snack.

When all else fails, just know that nibbling on a piece of frozen fruit can be incredibly satisfying. A frozen bite of mango or banana is oddly creamy and smooth. For a quick, healthy snack that feels substantial, I’m happy to look to the freezer for a chilly, icy treat. Of course, remember to go slow—brain freeze is very real.

By Sara Tane and Sara Tane