Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Homemade Frozen Fruit Cocktail Cups for Lunches

Homemade Frozen Fruit Cocktail Cups

These are pure genius. I always pack fruit for snacks in my kids' lunches at school but inevitably they get sick of whatever I've picked out for the week. Come Thursday they complain not a cutie again, mom. I try to refrain from reminding them, yet again, of the starving children in our world and tell them they can pick different fruit at the store for next weeks lunches. This idea though? Game changer. How cool to be able to chop up a bunch of fruit in advance, pack it in leak proof mason jars, and freeze so they are ready for a snack switch up any time.

Homemade Frozen Fruit Cocktail Cups

In the original recipe, a lot of canned fruit is called for, including that iffy fruit cocktail that's been around for ages and I just couldn't bring myself to use it (no matter how much I loved those halved cherries as a kid) when I could use a great mix of fresh fruit as my base, thus making it healthier and fresher at the same time. I did keep a can of mandarin oranges and crushed pineapple for sweetness. My kids freaking loved this. The idea is you can pack them straight from your freezer in the morning, and come snack time it will be thawed, but still really icy cold. My daughter actually prefers hers slightly frozen and slushy. This would be a better idea in the springtime/summer when it's a little warmer, but I thought I'd go ahead and start making them now when the current temp has been around -18 degrees out because I make total sense. Well, that and my kids don't ever seem to ever get cold, so I figure, what the hay?

Me: Isabella, put your jacket on before you walk to the bus stop

Isabella: I have one in my backpack

Me: Okay, great, so put it on

(Isabella does her why are you so crazy? glare)

Me: It's NEGATIVE 28 DEGREES outside. Put that jacket on now. You cannot just walk out there in that thin sweater shirt.

Isabella: I'll put it on if I get cold

Dammit girl. Who is the mother? ME that's who, you little snotty ten year old who thinks you know better than me! Me! The great and powerful Oz! I should've just let her go out there all vulnerable in her thin sweatshirt instead of finally insisting she put the dang thing on -plus a hat-. But I didn't because I love her, and I'm a good mother who thinks it's better to yell and throw my weight around as boss and insist she does what I say instead of letting her reap her own consequences, which, by the way, would have avoided a morning spat and sent her to school with peace, love and calm in her heart that would have quickly changed to a silent mental note on her part about how she should really put her coat on before walking out the door tomorrow because, brrrrrr, this winter is not messing around. Or not, because my kids don't ever actually get cold.

Homemade Frozen Fruit Cocktail Cups

Once a year, maybe, one of my kids will get cold. It always happens in a restaurant. Suddenly, one of them will wrap their arms around themselves and say "Mommy, I'm cold". My eyes instantly go wide. I'm surprised and shocked and thrilled at the same time. I excitedly say, See! See! This is why I tell you to bring your coats with you everywhere because we live in the mountains and it's cold here. This is what I've been trying to get across - that you must always bring a coat. Guess you'll just have to sit and be cold because you didn't listen, huh? 

You can't win them all folks. Mother of the year, right here. Ah, but I redeem myself with homemade fruit cocktail cups. Now you can too, grasshopper.

These are not just for kids because let me tell you, these are delicious and I am a certifiable adult.

Homemade Frozen Fruit Cocktail Cups

Homemade Frozen Fruit Cocktail Cups
adapted from Pioneer Woman
makes 8 big fruit cups

4 cups fresh fruit, cut into small-ish dice (I used a mix of strawberries, blueberries and mango)
1 11-oz can mandarin oranges, drained
1 8-oz can crushed pineapple, not drained
2 medium bananas
3 tablespoons lemon juice (this will help keep the bananas from turning brown)
3 cups pineapple orange juice (plus a bit more if needed for jars)

Combine all ingredients into a large bowl and mix until combined. Spoon fruit into mason jars (or if you won't be packing these, you can use disposable plastic cups covered with plastic wrap and foil) Use all the juice in the bowl and if needed, pour more juice into each jar until the liquid comes just up to-but not covering the top of the fruit. Leave a bit of room at the top. Seal lids and freeze until firm. Remove from freezer 45 min-1 hour before serving to thaw.


  1. What is it with kids not wanting to wear a coat these days? I had to make a rule - if it's 40F or colder, you have to wear a coat, period. They thought I was completely unreasonable, but they complied. Anyway, I saw PW make these tasty fruit cups. Such a great idea. I love that you used so much fresh fruit. Great pics to.

    Patricia @ ButterYum

  2. Well, I almost never wear a coat. I learned early on that wearing a hat and gloves was really all I needed to be warm. When I was a kid I'd put my coat on for Mom but ditch it under the porch & pick it up again before going in. When it does get cold (below 20), I skip the hat & only need a hooded sweat jacket & gloves to keep warm. I think the problem for me is the bulk--I can't stand it.

    This fruit cup is on my list. Think I'll add toasted coconut & nuts just before eating.

  3. Love this and will be making tons for myself and more importantly my folks!

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