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Homemade Frozen Fruit Cocktail Cups

homemade fruit cocktail

Whatever happened to fruit cocktail? I still see it on the shelves of the grocery store, and I still buy it when I make my Grandma’s Fruit Salad at Thanksgiving and Christmas, but for the most part, you just don’t see many people eating it anymore. At least from a can.

It never occurred to me to make my own fruit cocktail until I saw this post by Krysta at My Life In Food, and then that little lightbulb went off in my head that tells me THIS is a GREAT IDEA! :-)

homemade fruit cocktail

I’ve always been a big fan of fruit cocktail! When all the other kids were complaining about fruit cocktail in their school lunches, I was scheming ways to get theirs! Of course that may have had something to do with the fact that it was SWIMMING in heavy syrup! Unfortunately, fruit cocktail packed in heavy syrup has extra calories and sugar that can wreak havoc on your diet.

This homemade version of fruit cocktail, using a combination of fresh and canned fruit sweetened with juice instead of corn syrup, is a much healthier alternative, but the idea of FREEZING the cups put it over the top for me! I couldn’t wait to make it!

homemade fruit cocktail

Frozen Fruit Cocktail Cups

adapted from My Life In Food

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of your favorite fresh fruit, diced (I used a mix of strawberries, bananas, blueberries and mango)
  • 1 11oz can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 8oz can crushed pineapple
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 cups orange juice blend of choice (I used Orange Banana Mango)
homemade fruit cocktail

Combine all ingredients into a large bowl and mix until just combined, being careful not to bruise the fruit. Spoon fruit and juice into mason jars or plastic resealable containers until it reaches just below the top of the jar. Leave a bit of room at the top to allow for expansion when it freezes. Put on lids and rings, tighten, then freeze.

Makes (8) 8 oz fruit cups

homemade fruit cocktail
Photos by Anna Gleave

I took one of these treats out of the freezer around 10am yesterday and it was perfectly cold and a little slushy at lunchtime. I have no doubt these would be terrific in lunches packed for work and school too. I’m thinking a midnight snack might not be a bad idea either! :-)

homemade fruit cocktail

Frozen Fruit Cocktail Cups

Jill Nystul
Whatever happened to fruit cocktail? This homemade version of fruit cocktail, using a combination of fresh and canned fruit sweetened with juice instead of corn syrup, is a much healthier alternative, but the idea of FREEZING the cups put it over the top for me! I couldn’t wait to make it!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Freeze 2 hours
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 149 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 cups of your favorite fresh fruit diced I used a mix of strawberries, bananas, blueberries and mango
  • 1 oz can mandarin oranges drained
  • 18 oz can crushed pineapple
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 cups orange juice blend of choice I used Orange Banana Mango

Instructions
 

  • Combine all ingredients into a large bowl and mix until just combined, being careful not to bruise the fruit.
  • Spoon fruit and juice into mason jars or plastic resealable containers until it reaches just below the top of the jar. Leave a bit of room at the top to allow for expansion when it freezes.
  • Put on lids and rings, tighten, then freeze.

Nutrition

Calories: 149kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 1gSodium: 7mgPotassium: 375mgFiber: 2gSugar: 30gVitamin A: 620IUVitamin C: 57.8mgCalcium: 26mgIron: 0.7mg


Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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Food & Recipes

  • This IS good! I like to freeze it in little dessert dishes and serve it for the first course on Thanksgiving or Christmas. Just take it out of the freezer about 15 minutes before serving (when you put the rolls in) and it’s perfectly freezy/slushy. People always love it, and it really fancies up your spread! It’s nice to have a moment of calm with just one thing on the table before the parade of food hits the table too. :)

    • I agree about the wallpaper. Please get rid of it. I’m not trying to sound mean but it hurts my eyes. I just cataract surgery a few weeks ago. Love your site but all these loud colors are killing my eyes.

    • <<>> so it’s not just me and the wallpaper? I hate to say negative things about stuff like this…but when I clicked to get my Jillie fix I thought I had stumbled onto the wrong website….since it just looked like a PODS advert….

      I don’t want to stifle anyone’s creativity, but sometimes less is more?

    • If you are having trouble with the wallpaper you need to clear the cache in your browser. There was an issue with it yesterday where the ad showed up as the background to the post but that has since been fixed. The post should now show up with a white background and the ad should only be showing on the top and sides of the site. This is just a short term ad that will be taken down tomorrow. Thank you all for your patience. In the future if you have a complaint about an ad please email me at jill@byjillee.com. I want to keep these comments as a place for all of you to find valuable tips and tricks about the current post topic.

  • I love this idea and will definitely be making some very soon. But, man oh man, it was SO hard to read. I had a terrible time seeing the actual written text because of the background. I have really poor eyesight, but do well with my glasses on most of the time. LOL I LOVE your blog and read it daily. :)

    • I have to agree, I found it distracting and difficult to read too. I’m thinking it has something to do with the Tide Pod adds because it looks like there might be parts on the sides that aren’t in my screen…just in case they should be. I also agree this fruit cocktail is a great idea!

    • If you are having trouble with the wallpaper you need to clear the cache in your browser. There was an issue with it yesterday where the ad showed up as the background to the post but that has since been fixed. The post should now show up with a white background and the ad should only be showing on the top and sides of the site. This is just a short term ad that will be taken down tomorrow. Thank you all for your patience. In the future if you have a complaint about an ad please email me at jill@byjillee.com. I want to keep these comments as a place for all of you to find valuable tips and tricks about the current post topic.

  • Do you drain the pineapple?

    Even though I love the wallpaper colors, have to agree, sometimes it is hard to read over it :( Not your fault, the company that designed it didn’t think it through totally…either way it won’t stop me from reading your blog! :)

    • Great idea, Jillee… I’ve been doing a similar trick for years. I buy fruit in bulk for smoothies, but it goes bad before I can use it all so I blend it all into one large juice and pour it into pint canning jars & freeze it. I would keep one jar in the fridge at all times for a variety of fruit in my smoothies until I recently thought of another idea using the same concept. Next time, I think I will try pouring the blended fruits into ice cube trays and freezing them. Once frozen, I would put the juice ice cubes into a zip-lock baggie and individually add them to my smoothies instead of additional ice cubes made from water that often dilutes the smoothie. This method is cheaper than buying frozen fruit because I buy fresh fruit in bulk and it also eliminates getting bored with single-flavor fruit smoothies. Hope this idea inspires someone.

  • Loving the fruit cocktail idea. I have been doing some fruit cups that use a simple syrup. This cuts those extra calories!

    I had trouble yesterday with the orange and pink Tide background. Today the blog is back to white with the Tide ads and the side. Much better. (I use Firefox) Hope others get their problems resolved!

  • If you can “block the plug-in” on your computer, you won’t have any trouble with the wallpaper. On my computer it is “behind” Jillee’s post and thus does not interfere with it. Have a great day everyone! It’s raining in East Texas and we love it!

  • I make something like this for fruit salad. Mix of fresh and canned but I don’t drain the canned fruit and I find I don’t have to add any extra juice. Love the idea of freezing it. Thanks jillee
    I also find the wallpaper makes it difficult to read the posting especially on my iPhone

  • I use safari as my browser and the webpage is white. I can’t see any problems. Not sure what everyone is using. Safari is so good with keeping things clean. Maybe have someone fix your browser options to fix the problems.

  • Great find and idea Jillee. I too was a child of the fruit cocktail generation and loved those little maraschino cherries – always such a treat. This is a fun way to bring healthy sweets into the house (we already have enough regular sweets!!). Happy Wednesday!

  • If you are having trouble with the wallpaper you need to clear the cache in your browser. There was an issue with it yesterday where the ad showed up as the background to the post but that has since been fixed. The post should now show up with a white background and the ad should only be showing on the top and sides of the site. This is just a short term ad that will be taken down tomorrow. Thank you all for your patience. In the future if you have a complaint about an ad please email me at jill@byjillee.com. I want to keep these comments as a place for all of you to find valuable tips and tricks about the current post topic.

  • I lOVE your website, and will continue to visit daily. But can you do something about the really loud background? The purple and orange make it tough to read your fabulous and informative text.

    p.s. The recipe sounds yummy.

  • I cleared my cache but still have the background. Can’t email you about it because your email address is the same color as the background and I can’t read it.

  • Jillie, I used to get your emails daily, something happened and I have been unable to sign back up. Can you please help me? I would like back on your mailing list.
    Thank you
    Selene

  • Love this idea! Thank you. I will try this.

    I want to share a healthy dessert idea I got from our pediatrician.

    Take bananas which are too ripe to eat. Peel and cut out any brown spots. Then mash them with a fork in small “personal size” Tupperware containers. Cap and freeze. My kids and husband LOVE this, as it tastes like you’ve added cream to the bananas and its banana ice cream!

  • Hi Jillee! love all the great things you post, I have a question, how much time can we leave the jar with fruit in the freezer and won’t the jars break? And when does your book come out? Thank you

    • Hi Rossana! I think you could leave them in the freezer as long as you would like. I’ve had frozen fruit last months with no problem and this is basically the same thing. I haven’t had any trouble with the jars breaking but if that’s a worry Sherri has a great tip below. And my book is due to come out right around Mother’s Day ;)

      • Jillee and Sherri, Thank you so much! Looking forward to do it.
        Jillee I don’t know why I’m not receiving your posts anymore in my email, I signed up again with no luck because it says that I’m signed up already but then I don’t know why not getting you’re awesome posts, please help.

  • Try NOT to use a glass jar with a neck that is thinner than the base. If that’s all you have, leave at least 2″ of space below the neck. (If filled to the top the jar will crack from expansion. I learned my lesson!)

  • Jillee, Your post brought back memories of back in the day when ladies had Garden Club in their homes. They would serve refreshments on glass snack trays and have nuts, mints and dessert and coffee on those trays. The ladies would sit on folding chairs all the way around the room and hold the snack trays on their laps. Frozen Fruit Freeze came along and that was added to refreshments. A recipe I dug out calls for 1 small can each frozen concentrate lemonade and orange juice, 4-6 bananas, sliced, 1 box frozen strawberries, 1 can crushed pineapple with juice, 1 cup sugar. Mix and freeze. When ready to serve pour 1 can 7-up over it. I like your version with the fresh fruit and no added sugar. Shows how recipes change over the decades.

  • DH eats more fruit than anyone I have ever seen. Can’t always keep up with the fresh scene so we use canned as well (some home canned, some bought). This sounds like a great way to merge the two types & get what will feel like fresh fruit everyday. It will make a good budget stretcher too now that so much is out of season. Using in homemade yogurt a little slushy fruit sounds great!

    Also, FYI–not all mason jars are created equal (not even the Ball brand). Some jars are not good in the freezer. If you want minimize the risk of risk breakage be sure the case box says safe for freezing. I learned this the hard way with ball quart jars.

  • I have never used glass mason jars before but am concerned about puting glass in my kids’ lunch bags as I’m sure they get thrown around in school and might break. Any suggestions on what else I might use? This sounds like a great idea and I would love to try it.

  • Oh, my goodness! It is so obvious that it is genius. I’m going to start doing this instead of buying the canned cocktail. It looks much better than the canned cocktail.

  • Wow, I love this idea. Think I’ll use frozen fruit instead of canned unless I can find good fresh fruit. Some things like strawberries are out of season here so we’ll see. I can’t use orange juice either because of the acidity so will substitute something else. Thanks Jillee!!

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