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Author: Matt Fry

Don’t Forget…March is National Frozen Foods Month!

March is National Frozen Food Month, which is a great reminder that frozen foods are a convenient and delicious way to eat within a family’s food budget, according to the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI). AFFI highlights the benefits of frozen food with its 2022 Frozen Advantage Toolkit.

The advantages include:

  • Frozen foods are nutritious: Fruits and vegetables are harvested and quickly flash-frozen within hours to lock in key nutrients, vitamins and minerals like Riboflavin, Vitamins C and E, Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, Copper, Iron, Fiber, Phenolics.
  • Frozen foods reduce consumer food waste: Frozen foods don’t spoil in the freezer so consumers can eat all that they buy; unused portions can be returned to the freezer to be used for another meal. This reduces food waste and saves families money.
  • The frozen food aisle is packed with affordable healthier choices: Grocery stores now stock a wide array of healthier frozen foods with fewer calories, less saturated fat, sugar and sodium, and more fiber and whole grains.
  • Frozen foods are easy to prepare: They help families save time cooking and cleaning in the kitchen so they can spend more time together at the table.

The American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) has developed resources that are helpful in understanding the important role frozen food plays in a healthy eating pattern. For more information, check out the Frozen Advantage, a comprehensive resource guide along with their various toolkits. For more information and to view AFFI’s Frozen Food Month toolkit, click here.

Click here to read the original article on AFFI.com.

The Behavioral Science Of Increasing Fruit Consumption

One of the most common reasons many of the resolutions people made on January 1st will be abandoned is that people choose resolutions that are too difficult, and promise themselves changes that are too big because they want big results. Here are three, simple evidence-based ideas you can share with consumers to help them stick to their fruit resolutions:

Create a habit

If you can manage to create a habit, your desired behavior will become automatic – and so much easier to do. Habits aren’t easy to create, but there is a formula that works if you can put in the early effort to keep on track: pick a simple behavior, pick a time and place to do it, repeat the behavior at that time and place, and enjoy a little reward when you do it.

Make It Easy

Easy to see, grab, find, eat immediately, plan, keep around, buy, get in your mouth, get in your kids’ mouths, swallow, like, clean, pack, remember and habitualize.

Cultivate enjoyment

The evidence is strong: systematic exposure increases liking over time. It’s all about repeatedly trying to eat fruits and find new ways to incorporate them into your diet. Exposure works well with kids if you keep the experience positive by giving praise for trying and if you remain realistic: change won’t happen overnight, and the goal isn’t to create a connoisseur – just a kid who at least tolerates fruits.

You can read more about these and other evidence-based tips at fruitsandveggies.org.

This article was originally featured in the Have a Plant Ambassador Activation Kit, Winter 2022, and was written by Dr. Jason Riis, Chief Behavioral Scientist for the Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH).

Bill Smittcamp Honored as 2021 Agriculturist of the Year

From the Fresno Chamber of Commerce, October 25th, 2021

Is there anything more delicious on a hot summer’s day than a chilled peach? With their bright red and yellow hue, intoxicating aroma and sweet flavor, peaches are a favorite among fruit lovers. Perhaps that is why they have become a staple in public school lunches across the country. But school children might not be able to enjoy the juicy fruit snack in their school lunches were it not for Bill Smittcamp, CEO and President Wawona Foods.

Under Smittcamp’s leadership, Wawona Foods grew to become the largest processor of frozen peaches in the United States, processing over 65 million pounds of peaches along with 20 million pounds of strawberries and other fruits.

The company also supplied more than 100 million peach, strawberry, and mixed berry fruit cups to schools across America as of 2020 through the USDA school lunch program. Collectively the company ships more than 125 million pounds of frozen products annually, supplying major pie, yogurt, ice cream, food service and retail trade customers with fresh frozen fruit.

Smittcamp’s success as President and CEO of Wawona Foods is one of multiple reasons why he is the winner of the 2021 Agriculturalist of the Year. Besides overseeing Wawona Foods, Smittcamp is also among the most active community leaders in Fresno. He has served on several local boards, including the California Health Sciences University Board of Trustees, Board of Governors of Fresno State, Central Valley Community Bank Board, Garfield Water District Board and Board of Trustees for Valley Children’s Health Care, where he also served as the Board Chair. He has also been a leader in state and national organizations such as California League of Food Processors and the American Frozen Food Institute.

Smittcamp demonstrates a tradition of giving back to the community. He donates to several local nonprofits that serve multiple community needs, ranging from child health care to education. On an annual basis, the Smittcamp family provides student scholarships for the Smittcamp Family Honors College. Smittcamp also created a campaign to fundraise for Valley Children’s Hospital, in which he encourages Wawona Foods employees to give what they can. Every dollar donated is matched by Wawona Foods and then matched again by the Smittcamp Family.

“Bill has always been just a phone call away for anything I or Fresno County Farm Bureau has needed,” Fresno County Farm Bureau CEO Ryan Jacobsen said. “He is a community steward whose name is synonymous with local agriculture, having self-proclaimed Clovis as the Peach Capital of the world!”

Smittcamp learned the value of community and hard work from a young age. His father, Earl Smittcamp, a decorated marine veteran who served in World War II, taught the young Bill that early mornings and a strong work ethic were essential to a life of success. He took his father’s lessons to heart and went on to graduate from Fresno State in 1975 and became President and CEO of Wawona Foods in 1983. The rest is a history of success. Smittcamp has been recognized for his excellent leadership and dedication to the community on several occasions, including in 2016, when the Chamber honored him with the Leon S. Peters Award.

Despite his many accomplishments and accolades, Smittcamp is well known for his humble attitude. He is always, “Thinking Peaches,” as his famed tagline says.

“I am honored and truly humbled to be even considered for this award. So many names come to mind of those who have been awarded before me: Phil Larson, Manuel Cunha, Mark Borba,” Smittcamp said of winning the 2021 Agriculturist of Year Award . “Agriculture in California, peaches specifically, has been in my blood all my life. I am just happy to be a part of the agriculture industry here in the valley.”

Use Wawona’s Plums in a Variety of Dishes!

At Wawona, we take pride in delivering top-quality frozen fruit products, and our carefully crafted plum puree is no exception. We pick only the best California plums for our puree, quick-freezing them at peak ripeness so that our customers get a great product, no matter what season it is. Our puree provides fresh flavor and a signature taste to desserts, entrees, and more.

Entrees

Whether you’re mixing it in sauces, marinades, or dressings, our plum puree makes it simple and easy to serve great-tasting entrees to your customers. Plums are a sweet complement to meat, seafood, and vegetarian dishes, so no matter what clientele you serve, you can make great use of our puree. Here are just a few ideas for great entrees to make with our plum puree:

  • Pork Shoulder in Morita-Plum Sauce
  • Chicken with Sweet and Sour Plum Sauce
  • Pan-Fried Fish with Plum Sauce
  • Moo Shu Vegetables with Pancakes and Plum Sauce

Desserts

With our frozen plums, you can make great-tasting smoothies, baked goods, and desserts year-round without having to worry about serving out-of-season fruit to your customers. These plum desserts are perfect for utilizing our puree:

  • Berry Plum Cobbler Smoothie
  • Plum Torte
  • Late Summer Plum Cake
  • Plum Pudding

Are you looking for a simple and easy way to serve your customers high-quality fruit? At Wawona Frozen Foods, we quick-freeze our fruit at peak ripeness so you can serve great-tasting fruit, all year long!

Related: How to Use Our Fruit in Tasty Fall Dishes

Create Satisfying Pastries Using IQF Fruit

IQF Fruit for Tasty Pastries

Premium fruit pastries rely on high-quality ingredients to deliver a sweet snack. With IQF fruit (short for “individually quick frozen”), your menu items will be fresh and delicious every time. 

Peaches are a quintessential summer choice and mix well with today’s popular pies or fritters. Wawona Frozen Foods delivers the highest-quality IQF fruit that makes it easier than ever to add some fruity flavor to your menu and attract new customers this summer:

Examples of Our IQF Fruit Include:

  • Peaches
  • Mango Chunks
  • Pineapple Chunks
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries

Related: Scrumptious Fruity Appetizers!

Tasty Menu Applications:

Consider limited-edition cobblers and turnovers to add extra incentive to your morning rush. These pastries make for great snacks or quick lunches for busy customers.

Pair pastries with smoothies. Complement the rich texture of a delicious, fruit-forward pastry with a refreshing smoothie. Our Frozen FRADDIES, made with REAL fruit and available in a range of flavors, deliver convenience and superior portion control that are perfect for crafting the tastiest smoothies in town.

Looking to sweeten your menu for the rest of the summer? Contact Wawona Frozen Foods for the finest collection of frozen fruit solutions!

Incorporate Fruit into Your Holiday Feasts!

Eating more fruit is essential to good health. But how do you incorporate fruit into the holidays when it is a saturated season of sugar? Add these desserts and appetizers to your holiday meal to increase your fruit intake and balance out the sugar.

4 Ways to Eat More Fruit Over the Holidays

Not only are these healthier options, but they taste delicious too:

1. Fruitcake

A classic holiday treat, fruitcake can be yummy. Try this World’s Best Fruitcake recipe for the holidays made with peaches, apricots, figs, cherries, and prunes.

2. Cobblers

Cobblers are warm, scrumptious, and perfect during the winter season. This Old Fashion Peach Cobbler recipe is mouth-watering good.

3. Salads

Add fruit to your salad to liven up the palette. Apples, oranges, pears, cranberries, pomegranates, plums, and persimmons are always holiday favorites. Make this delicious Peach Quinoa Cobb Bowl.

4. Cocktails

Holiday cocktails are always more interesting when there is a wedge of fruit. Try this recipe for Christmas Punch made with oranges, cranberries, and pomegranates. The Christmas Punch can be made with or without alcohol.

Need frozen fruit for your holiday feast? Wawona Frozen Fruits has the delicious products you need for a festive, fruit-forward holiday season!

Related Link: The Ultimate Winter Fruits

5 Delicious Ways to Use Peaches in Decadent Desserts!

Peaches are the perfect summer fruit that make a wide range of desserts. They are also low in calories and packed with health benefits. These tasty desserts are perfect for any occasion and would be popular on any menu. Everything’s peachy!

1. Peach Roses: What is more appropriate for summertime than roses? With five ingredients, these are easy and quick to make, and incredibly delicious. Just puff pastry, peach jam, peaches, powdered sugar, and cooking spray. Voilà!

2. Peach Crisp: Not to be confused with a peach crumble or cobbler, this crisp calls for oats as a crispy topping to give it extra texture and flavor. This dish is also delightful when topped with vanilla ice cream.

3. Peaches ‘n Cream Lasagna: We all know and love the classic lasagna, but have you had a fruit lasagna? With layered graham crackers, heavy cream, peaches, and almonds, this is a unique dessert that is served cold, making it perfect for a hot day.

4. Brown Butter Peach Cupcake: Brown butter pairs perfectly with sweet peaches, and everyone loves cupcakes! These are a perfect dessert for summertime brunches and get-togethers. With extra chunks of peaches, you’ll feel peachy with every bite.

Wawona Frozen Foods can provide the highest quality peaches to make the most delicious desserts. Being the oldest and largest family-owned company in the frozen peach industry, we make sure that it is flash-frozen, sealing in the flavor and nutrients. Contact us today to learn more about how we can supply your fruit needs!

Delicious Ways to Use Fruit in Tasty Cocktails!

Summer is the perfect time to craft the perfect, refreshing cocktail. Using both fresh and frozen fruit is a great way to add nutritional value to a delicious drink. 

Using fruit instead of artificial sugar adds health value by providing naturally sweet flavor. Wawona Frozen Foods offers superior peaches, strawberries, pears, plums, and other mixed fruits that make it easy to offer the following cocktails this summer:

  • Strawberry Berryoska

Everyone loves strawberry lemonade during the summer – it is cool and refreshing. Adding vodka and a strawberry slice for garnish makes it the ultimate fruity summer cocktail.

  • White Peach Julep

The perfect peach arrives during the height of summer. This drink is like a classic mint julep with a fun twist. Adding peach liqueur and white peaches makes for a fantastic drink.

  • New Old-Fashioned

Adding fruit to an old-fashioned makes it incredibly appropriate for summer! With peach, bitters, and simple syrup, it is then topped with fine bourbon, peach slices, and some sparkling water.

  • Pear Martini

With martinis being a popular option, one infused with pear is no different. With vodka, elderflower liqueur, and champagne, garnished with a pear slice, this is destined to be a best-seller.

Wawona Frozen Foods offers high-quality frozen and fresh fruit products guaranteed to sweeten your beverage menu. Contact our team for more information on how we are your partner for any fruit-forward cocktail! 

Here are Creative Ways to Enjoy Frozen Fruit

Frozen fruit is not only incredibly nutritious, but it is also versatile in sweet and savory dishes. Here are several fun and unique ways to use frozen fruit:

  • Sorbet and sherbet – Putting frozen fruit in a food processor or blender with your desired liquid, normally orange juice for sorbet and milk for sherbet, creates the perfect puree. This delicious treat can easily be frozen and pureed again just before serving. 
  • Punch – Lemonade or limeade can be transformed into your favorite punch by simply adding frozen fruit. For a cocktail version, add vodka. Frozen fruit can also be used to make refreshing sangria!
  • Smoothies – This goes without saying, but frozen fruit, alongside yogurt and milk, blends into a mouth-watering, sweet delight. Smoothies are a health-conscious, refreshing snack that carry vital nutrients. 
  • Sauces – Simmer sautéed onions, garlic, and herbs along with frozen fruit to create a savory sauce. Add red wine or broth until the liquid reduces into the perfect texture for your meal. 
  • Galettes – This French pastry is delicious and easy to make. Frozen fruit can be used inside a 9-inch piecrust, sprinkled with granulated sugar and baked at 400 degrees until the crust is golden brown. 
  • Marinade – Puree frozen fruit in a blender with your desired flavors. This could be lemon or lime juice, olive oil, mustard, and herbs on a variety of different meats, such as chicken, fish, and pork. 

At Wawona Frozen Foods, our quality frozen products make it easy to enjoy your favorite fruits in many different ways. Contact our team for more information about how we can help make this summer sweet and tasty!

Easy Ways to Enjoy Fruit in Delicious Desserts

Fruit is an essential source of key nutrients that boost your health and immunity. Many struggle to receive enough of these vital nutrients, resulting in poor health and a lack of immunity to certain diseases. Adding fruit to dessert options is an easy, tasty way to improve your diet without sacrificing sweet flavors. Here are several dessert options that are centered around juicy fruit:

Oven-Roasted Plums

Sprinkled with toasted almonds and served with vanilla ice cream, plums are a scrumptious dessert that everyone loves. You can spice it up with cloves, allspice, or cayenne. Plums can also be featured as a side dish with pork or chicken, seasoned with ground white pepper.

Baked Peaches

Peaches are a sweet summer fruit that are easy to prepare and serve. With delicious brown sugar and vanilla ice cream, it is the perfect dessert for a warm day. 

Fruit “Fluff”

What’s not to like about fresh-whipped vanilla cream with fruit folded in? Think of a fruit salad, but with homemade whipped cream. This combination works well with a variety of fruits added in. Berries and peaches are a delicious option, as they provide a burst of color and nutritional value.

Strawberry Shortbread Bars

This treat is a dessert with minimal ingredients, making it easy to make while keeping costs low. These bars also do well with several different fruits. 

Wawona Frozen Foods specializes in offering the highest quality fruit products. The fertile ground of the San Joaquin Valley is renowned for producing fruit with vivid colors and juicy flavors. Our collection of fresh and frozen fruit, highlighted by luscious peaches, is essential in crafting health-conscious, tasty summer desserts. Contact Wawona Frozen Foods today to see how we can fulfill all your fruit needs!

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