The Great Frozen Fruit Crusade Update

What gets me up in the mornings! Hi the great frozen fruit /green smoothies crusade continues. Still on it for obvious reasons- fast easy tasty simple healthy AND CONVENIENT-what more can you want for your green smoothie apart from…a blender!  Plus my frustration about people who travel from here overseas and tell me they’ve seen frozen fruit everywhere! Here’s an update. Here’s my original post over a year ago on where’s the frozen fruit in our supermarkets? after the part about the happy discovery of leafy greens given their own section in this supermarket. Victoria Boutenko, who in Green For Life (review coming soon) believes greens should have their own food group, was thrilled to hear this when I told her in Sydney after her talk earlier this year. I actually started a group discussion about the frozen fruit thing and it was amazing how many people there didn’t know it is an actual product people can buy in supermarkets around the world or they are driving a long way to buy small expensive packets of organic frozen fruit at healthfood shops. Something your average consumer won’t ever be doing or have the time or money to do…

Life in the US- Dole Frozen mango chunks. Thanks fruitmonster  for this pic and Robert for sending me the link. This was taken in the US, making a green smoothie with frozen mango chunks. He’s a recent US arrival who wonders too why it isn’t available here.

So here’s a frozen fruit UPDATE- I’m still asking in supermarkets and not getting any clear or rational answers or I’m told I have to contact the head office. So when I saw Cole’s celebrity chef Curtis Stone on Australian free to air TV recently making a Mango Coconut Mousse and he pulled a bag of frozen mango chunks out of the freezer to blend I thought yes perfect. Interesting too because the recipe is on Cole’s website and they don’t sell frozen mango in any of their shops I’ve visited from Canberra to the Gold Coast. So I contacted Coles via a Ask Curtis link and here are the emails from myself and Anna from Coles Recipe Team. As I said it’s all just about promoting easy fast tasty solutions to healthy eating and that is why I remain so passionate about this. Once you get bitten by the green health bug and you want to start telling, sharing this with others it’s something you care about with passion. Like Robyn Openshaw (Green Smoothie Girl) has found in her research and as she talks about in her interview series -84% of the people she teaches green smoothies to then go and teach someone else- not because she tells them to “but because they are so excited about the health benefits-that’s the thing that’s truly viral…” I’ve experienced this exact thing and yes inspiring…

frozen fruit update emails July 2011 Hi Curtis. I saw you making a Coconut Mango mousse on TV and noticed you used a bag of frozen mango.What brand was this? I’ve been trying to find out for years why we can’t buy frozen mango pineapple and pawpaw in our supermarkets like you can in 1-5 kilo packets in UK and US supermarkets. I’ve checked in supermarkets from Canberra to the Gold Coast and speaking to people they have no idea that it is an actual product. Consumers have only heard of frozen berries because that is all they see in our supermarkets. Our product produced in Queensland is sold to an overseas market. I try to promote healthy eating through green smoothies using leafy greens and fruit and any queries to Coles etc have been ignored. Consumers need healthy choices and to be able to buy frozen fruit is fast and convenient. Thanks- my website www.dailygreenbar.com

Hi Jane, Thanks for writing in. I passed your comment to Curtis and he didn’t recall using frozen mango on TV in Australia. Was it possibly on a US program? I also passed your comments to the frozen food category at Coles and unfortunately none of our stores stock frozen mango, pineapple or paw paw. I have passed on the suggestion though, so hopefully it is something that might happen in the future. Regards Anna Coles Recipes Team

Hi Anna thank you so much for your reply. Here’s the link on your recipe website using the frozen mango.Sorry can’t remember the title of TV program on free to air but I do remember he got a bag of frozen mango from the freezer and there was an ad for Coles? I have contacted Coles a few times in the past about not selling frozen fruit after my initial research and my query was sent to the frozen foods buyer and I heard nothing. I’m mystified why we can’t buy frozen fruit like the US/ UK so anything you can do to change this would be great. Once you’ve used /tasted frozen tropical fruit in a smoothie it will become an essential item that is bought every week and also used in the same way that frozen berries are used by consumers. Creative Gourmet the frozen berry people also make frozen mango cheeks but I’ve never seen them for sale and also the size of box is too small. You need to stock 1 to 5 kilo packs of the chunks of tropical fruit that is produced in Queensland by several manufacturers and available overseas. The only option now for consumers is to order and buy online! Thanks Jane

Hi Jane, I went and spoke to the frozen foods buyer and the fresh produce team in person to get an answer for you. They said that at one stage we did sell frozen mangoes, which is probably when you saw Curtis cooking with it. Unfortunately, the reason we currently have limited frozen fruits is because there are currently no suppliers in Australia that can supply frozen pineapple, paw paw and mango. Also as a result of the QLD floods there has been a major shortage on mango, which again limited the option for frozen mango production. The mangoes we do sell are sold fresh as this has a much higher demand given the limited supply. They said they will continue to look out for other frozen fruit options as they become available within the Australian market and said it would be more likely as we head into summer when we have higher supply. You also mentioned the creative gourmet cubes, which are sold in most stores. You are right though, they are quite small and not suitable for creating large quantities of smoothies. Sorry we can’t be of more help, but I will keep following it up for you and I would suggest writing in again in a few months. Good luck and hopefully eventually we will find a supplier for our stores! Regards Anna

Thank you Anna. Forgot to send you this I wrote specifically using Coles ingredients.When you have frozen fruit you could have recipe card in the bagged salads area! Jane

So the frozen fruit crusade is looking better than it was a year ago though according to suppliers I contacted yes you can still buy frozen mango and the floods, cyclones haven’t affected supply at all. Plus fresh mangos having a higher demand than something you don’t stock and people aren’t aware of ?  You can buy a 3kg bag of diced frozen pineapple for $21 and a 3kg bag of mango cheeks $27 online and from The Berryman in Sydney.  I’ve just worked out I pay $20 for a kilo of mango cheeks from the Organic Butcher (yes a butcher…) in Fyshwick ACT who are supplied by Priam in Queanbeyan (who told me when I first called that freight costs are why we can’t buy in our supermarkets) who are supplied by The Berryman. Wonder how much a 10 min drive to Queanbeyan across the border will save me…but after a ph call discovered Priam won’t sell directly.

Far too many middle people here… plus rudeness. I spoke to probably the most rudest person I’ve had the misfortune to have to speak to. A completely disinterested man at Priam who obviously could not wait to get me off the phone and stop asking basic questions told me Berryman’s price is not for premium mango cheeks and he proudly told me, when I told him my reason for calling (and after he said no one would buy it in supermarkets because there’s NO demand for it) that he doesn’t eat mango, loves junk food and doesn’t eat any greens if he can avoid them…and basically treated any query about supply/demand etc as a big fat joke while he was making aside comments to someone else in the office who was also laughing…. great attitude to promote your product. I phoned The Berryman in Sydney and discovered they supplied Bidvest Frozen Food company that is virtually across the road from where I was living with frozen mango cheeks, 1 kilo for $12.95. They only take cash so problem sort of solved.

8/11 update. I drove out to Costco Canberra as soon as it had opened hoping hoping that they may have frozen tropical fruit like their US stores.The first thing that caught my eye were the greens in a very chilly cold room. Anyone for 27 kilos of baby spinach?

They also had cheap baby cos and $4.69 packets of 350gms of baby spinach and kilo packs of mesclun salad…but no NO frozen tropical fruit chunks which was the purpose of my trip out there, so really they are no different from any other Australian supermarket. Just the usual big kilo bags of frozen mixed berries and raspberries, strawberries and blueberries that you can buy 10 kilos of if you want…to go with your 10 kilos of baby spinach!!

2012 update. At the beginning of this year I moved to the mid north coast of NSW and no none of the local supermarkets (Coles Woolworths IGA) stock frozen fruit. I went to the  local Bidvest to buy the frozen mango (Caterer’s Choice brand) BUT they don’t sell direct to the public  and they told me to drive to a shopping centre in a nearby suburb where I had to order it from a butcher….yes another butcher. So now I order 5 x 1 kilo packets and drive 40 minutes from where I live to pick it up. My daughter moved to Abu Dhabi this year and guess what?  The supermarket on the ground floor of her building sells frozen mangos, banana and pineapple. Produced and frozen in …Australia! My son, also a green smoothie fan, is  overseas too in America at the moment and he emails regularly about going to Trader Joes and other stores where there are freezers full of frozen fruit.

I’ve made 2 local recent green smoothie converts here and they order the frozen mango too then drive into town to pick it up. They also wonder why supermarkets here don’t sell it unlike the rest of the world.

                

Wonder why I’m so passionate about this? Reading people’s transformations make it something important enough to be passionate about.  I came across this blog on pregnancy and birth where an exhausted pregnant mother of a toddler preparing for the home birth of her second (exactly me once too in 89 but before green smoothies. I did make milky banana yoghurty smoothies- definitely not as nice or as healthy!) and she came across a solution in the form of green smoothies and she was transformed.

I love what she writes after coming across a flyer for a green smoothie workshop in a health food shop.

“Now don’t get me wrong, I really didn’t get too excited about this at first. After all, everyone knows greens are good for you right?! That you should eat more of them?

But…. there was something about the way those few ‘green smoothie converts’ spoke at that little health food store workshop that night: the high-energy passion in their voice, the sparkle in their eyes, the apparent relief that they had in fact found the solution that they had been seeking (whether that be increased energy, or weight loss or a calm nervous system).

Within 2 days I began to feel more energetic, clear headed, and able to again cope with late pregnancy while mothering my toddler; within 7 days I was feeling more alive and excited about life than I had done certainly within the last 2 months of pregnancy, and probably within the last 10 years of my life!

The transformation was quite startling and obvious to my husband, and he soon wanted to partake in this weird green swamp sludge that was coming out of our blender. Again, the benefits were clear for all to be seen as he started to rapidly recover from long held body aches and pains that had accumulated through years of working in the construction industry.

My 1 year old didn’t want to miss out on the daily ritual either, and as she began to drink her own little cup of sweet, green goodness, the dark circles under her eyes (which to be honest I hadn’t really even noticed up to that point) disappeared within days.

We all began to radiate with health (even as we continued to eat our regular meals of pasta, bread and potatoes). We had enough energy to be present for each other despite long days working or mothering, and most exciting of all, I had my wish granted: I was now looking forward to this birth with confidence, knowing I had the energy I needed to see it through.”

Some people you meet just take on and embrace new ideas. Like Kevin who I met at the Yass Farmer’s Market back in 2011 who could not wait to get home with his greens to blend them with the peaches that he grew and bananas after I told him about green smoothies. He’d had polio and was on a multitude of painkillers and hated it. Know the feeling…the disempowerment you feel and complete absence of solutions that are within your reach… He was all fired up and giving me ideas about where I should go and who I should be telling about green smoothies to!

Jane

radiating-Yass Showground

2 Responses to “The Great Frozen Fruit Crusade Update”

  1. ghdflghkdfs says:

    Everyone loves it when people get together and share views. Great blog, stick with it!

  2. Mcast says:

    OMG. I thought I was the only one looking to purchase frozen fruit other than berries. I have one issue to add to the dilemma, the fruit must be organic. I too cannot understand why here in Australia we are unable to find it. What I would do for a bag of frozen pineapple…….

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