How To Freeze Fresh Fruit

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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Sarah UmmYusuf is a former school teacher turned stay-at-home wife and mama with a passion for all things simple, natural, and homemade. She loves the natural world, and believes the solutions to many of the world’s ailments lie in nature. Her blog, , began as a way to document her family’s journey to a greener home, but has since become a thriving community and resource for those wishing to take small steps towards a more eco-friendly, natural and sustainable lifestyle. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

Comments

  1. says

    Interesting!

    I haven’t ventured into freezing fruit yet, usually I just buy fresh and local and suffer through the off season. We do buy frozen blueberries for smoothies occasionally, but they thaw terribly for anything else – very mushy!

    If I get my much dreamed of deep freeze, I can see freezing fruit becoming a regular occurrence :)

    Thanks Sarah!

    • Sarah says

      You’re welcome, Mrs. A! You know, I love eating frozen blueberries straight out of the freezer, or throwing them in my yogurt!

  2. says

    Yes I definitely freeze fruit! We try to eat mostly local, seasonal fruit during the growing season, and last summer I tried to get as much of that good stuff in the freezer or in cans in my pantry as I could to last through the winter. But eventually we did run out and we supplemented with tropical fruits until the local good stuff is back. I plan to freeze even more this coming summer, especially berries which last beautifully all winter long. I would just let the strawberries thaw to refigerator temperature and my daughter would eat them just like that! And frozen blueberries are so easy to use 100 different ways.

    Thanks for the post- its getting me excited for berry season which is right around the corner!!!

    • says

      And you know what, Sarah…. maybe sometime in the summer you and Baby Y could come up and go to the St Jacobs Market with me and Chef Mamma from The Seasonal Family- we could have a blogger’s market day out! :) That would be awesome! :)

  3. says

    Thanks for sharing this! Frozen blueberries are one of my favorite summer treats but I never thought of freezing watermelon (lets be honest, it never lasts that long!)

  4. says

    Great post!

    Stop by Friday at my blog to join in the Carnival of Home Preserving. This post would fit nicely. Hope to see you there!

  5. Jen says

    Just found this post and I have never done any freezing of fruit. So I have a question, if I just want to freeze it b/c I got a good price and want to save it for later, can I do that. And just let it thaw out and eat it like we would fresh? On cereals, just plain etc? (blueberries, strawberries, watermellon?)

    Thanks for your help!

    • Sarah says

      Hi Jen!

      Blueberries and watermelon ate my favorite to freeze because you can just pop them out of the freezer and eat them right away. They’re like little mini fruit slushies. 😉

      I also use the blueberries (unthawed) in yogurt or on my oatmeal. Watermelon also gets thrown into smoothies, or puréed with a little simple syrup , then frozen & scraped for a snowcone-like treat. :) Otherwise, they don’t do well after thawing.

      Strawberries, I only use in their frozen state in smoothies, or if I’m cooking/baking with them. Otherwise, they don’t hold up well after thawing.

      Long story short, frozen fruits will never return to their fresh state after thawing, but instead they take on a whole new set of possibilities!

  6. says

    Thank you so much for linking up at The Prudent Pantry. This is a great post!

    Do you put the fruit directly on the cookie sheet? I have always lined the cookie sheet with plastic wrap (I guess out of habit) which is so wasteful. Do you have any trouble removing the frozen fruit from the metal tray?

    • Sarah says

      Thanks for hosting, Caren!

      Yep, I just put them directly on the cookie sheet. Sometimes I may have to give them a little nudge to loosen them up off the sheet, but no biggie :) Some people also use wax paper, which I guess you could use and reuse, but it works out fine for me without anything at all.

  7. says

    Thank you for fruit freezing tips. I waste a lot when I entertain,
    then am drowning in leftovers. I make and freeze veggies and cheese into
    quiches, but lose a lot of fruit.
    Now, problem SOLVED!

  8. says

    So my husband is all into juicing and making smoothies lately. He pulled a container from the freezer just now, opened it and said, “Okay, apparently I don’t know how to freeze fruit. It all just sticks together. I almost killed myself yesterday trying to separate frozen banana chunks with a knife.”

    Well, I’d never thought about how to freeze fruit before, though I’ve used store bought frozen fruit many times. I did, however, remember learning recently how to freeze raw meatballs, told him it made sense that it would work for fruit as well. So I googled it. I think your article was the first to pop up and, wouldn’t you know, I was right! 😉

    Thanks for sharing with the world how to freeze fruit so they don’t kill themselves with a knife.

Trackbacks

  1. […]  available at many supermarkets and convenience stores.  Still be sure to check the labels and be mindful that many mass produced products may serve well as a supplements but may not contain proteins and other essential nutrients to contribute to balanced eating. Freezing your own fruit is also an economical way to preserve and make use of over-ripened fruits.  See ideas and tips on freezing fruit: http://naturesnurtureblog.com/2012/05/24/how-to-freeze-fresh-fruit/ […]

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