How To Freeze Fresh Fruit

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How to freeze fresh fruit

With Spring in full swing, and Summer just around the corner, fresh, seasonal fruit is showing up at grocery stores, farmer’s markets, and even some home gardens – unless of course, you live all the way up here in Canada and have only recently transplanted your garden {sigh}… At any rate, fresh fruit is one of my favorite things of life. The variety of colors, shapes, and sizes is always so amazing to me!

The only thing I love more than fruit itself, is stocking up on fresh, seasonal fruit when it goes on sale – or better yet, gathering a huge harvest from our home garden. I love stocking up on our pantry staples too, but unlike those, you can’t just throw your fruit in the fridge indefinitely and expect it to be there (in it’s original form, anyway) when you finally get around to using it.

How to freeze fresh fruit

Freezing fruit makes whipping up homemade smoothies so much easier! Since everything is cut up and frozen beforehand, there’s really no prep work involved – and who doesn’t love that? You can also use frozen fruits in your waffle batter, muffins, as toppings for oatmeal or yogurt, or even homemade fruit roll-ups! Gahhh, I’m so excited about that last one – I’ll be making some later this week, so stay tuned for that recipe!

How to freeze fresh fruit

How to freeze fresh fruit

All you have to do is wash, peel and cut up your fruit as you normally would. Then, line the fruit pieces in a single layer on a cookie sheet, and pop them in the freezer until frozen – around 1 or 2 hours. Make sure the fruit pieces are not touching each other so they don’t freeze together and create a giant, frozen, fruity mass.

How to freeze fresh fruit

Once frozen, remove them from the cookie sheet, and store in some sort of freezer-safe container – either freezer bags or tupperware works great. I use some old plastic butter and yogurt tubs. *I know we’re supposed to be phasing plastic out of our kitchens, but I have so much lying around from our pre-green days, that I figured it would be best to reuse them in fairly safe ways like this, before sending them to the recycling bin.

How to freeze fresh fruit

How to freeze fresh fruit

Here are some extra tips to follow:

  • This works for a good number of your everyday fruits: berries, pineapples, watermelon, bananas, apples, peaches, etc.
  • Fruits will keep in the freezer anywhere from 6 months to a year, depending on how often you open your freezer.
  • Apples and pears should be cored, peeled and sliced, and tossed with lemon juice or cider vinegar to prevent browning.
  • Peaches and plums should be peeled and pitted, and either sliced or cut into wedges.
  • Bananas can either be sliced, or frozen whole with the peel on – the peel will brown, but the inside will stay yellow.
  • Lemons can be cut into slices or wedges. If frozen whole, they will be very mushy after they’re thawed. You can also just juice them, freeze the juice in ice trays, then transfer the cubes to freezer bags. Even the zest can be put into freezer bags, and just break off a piece when you need it. (That’s also what I do with minced garlic!)
How to freeze fresh fruit
How to freeze fresh fruit
How to freeze fresh fruit

Another area of freezing fruit, which I’ve yet to venture into, is packing them in syrup or sugar. This is supposed to be good for when you want to use the fruits in cooking. I found a good resource with more information on this here.

So, do you usually freeze fresh fruit or do you buy the pre-frozen packages? How do you use your frozen fruit, and what other tips can you offer? I’d love to hear from you!

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