How to Freeze Fruit

by Marcy on August 5, 2013 · 0 comments

how to freeze fruit easy

How to Freeze Fruit

Yesterday we talked about freezing vegetables, and today we are going to talk about how to freeze fruit! Many fruits are in season around the end of summer and early fall so it’s time to stock up and fill your freezer with the freshest, most inexpensive produce you will get all year! When you take advantage of all those great deals on produce, remember these tips for freezing different kinds of fruit so that none of your produce spoils before you get a chance to use it.

Some tips for prepping ALL of these fruits before freezing:

1) Wash the fruit thoroughly and remove any stems or peels.

2) Dry the fruit completely before freezing (I lay it out on paper towels).

3) Flash freeze the fruit on a lined baking sheet (spread it out flat) before transferring to a freezer bag. This extra step prevents the fruit from freezing into huge clumps and is well worth the time!

how to freeze fruit

Fruits that are Good to Freeze

  • Strawberries – You can slice these in half or quarters or freeze whole. Follow the 3 steps above. These will last up to 5 months if properly stored before they will begin collecting ice.  Frozen strawberries are great in smoothies, milkshakes or cobblers!
  • Apples and Pears – These should be peeled and diced or sliced into pieces before freezing. (I highly recommend an Apple Peeler/Corer like this one). Make sure to add a little lemon juice to the zippered freezer bag before placing in the freezer so they don’t turn brown. Apples and pears will last up to 3 months in the freezer and are best used for pies and baked dishes when un-thawed.
  • Berries – Blackberries, cherries, blueberries, and raspberries can all be frozen whole. Follow the 3 steps above. These will last in the freezer for about 6 months. Frozen berries are great in smoothies, shakes, on yogurt, and in cobblers.
  • Peaches or Nectarines – These should be peeled and sliced in halves or quarters before freezing in a zippered freezer bag. To peel these easily, just place them in a bowl of bowling water for a few minutes and then immerse them in ice water. The peels should come off quickly and easily. Frozen peaches and nectarines are great in smoothies, ice cream and cobblers.
  • Grapes – You can freeze any type of grape! Just follow the same steps that you do with berries. Remove stems, wash the grapes, and lay them out on paper towels to dry. Transfer to a baking sheet and freeze, then remove the baking sheet from the freezer and place the grapes into a freezer bag. (This extra step prevents the grapes from freezing into a clump). Frozen grapes are great as a snack, or in a smoothie!
  • Bananas – Bananas are the fruit that I freeze the most often, because they seem to go bad so quickly! This is one fruit that you do not have to wash before freezing. Simply peel, lay flat on a baking sheet, flash freeze, then place the bananas in a zippered freezer bag and you are good to go. I recommend cutting the bananas in half before freezing! Small chunks work too, depending on how you plan to use your frozen bananas. We use frozen bananas in smoothies (it enhances the texture and reduces the need for tons of ice), but they are also great in ice cream. Note that frozen bananas are not the prettiest – they tend to darken in the freezer – but as long as you froze them properly and kept them frozen, they are safe to eat!
  • Citrus Juice – this isn’t technically freezing whole fruit, but it’s a tip I wanted to share! When I find a great deal on bags of lemons or limes, I like to squeeze the juice out of them to freeze for cooking. I wash the fruit, slice it in half, and squeeze the juice out with a citrus juicer, then measure the juice into Tablespoon increments and freeze it in ice cube trays (I like trays with lids like these). Then I have fruit juice for cooking or baking! You can set it out to thaw, or warm it in the microwave before use. It’s so easy!

How to Freeze Grapes

 

General Freezing Tips

Some general tips that I have for freezing any types of food are:

  • Remove as much air as possible from your freezer bags before freezing. I like to lay the bag flat, press the food that I’m freezing flat (if solid), zip the bag until just a small opening remains, and use a straw to suck out any remaining air (this looks crazy, but it works!). Air is your enemy when freezer because it will promote freezer burn.
  • Freeze the bags flat! Like the image above, I like to press my fruit out flat and freeze to save room in my freezer! This also helps eliminate air, as I mentioned above.
  • Use the highest quality bags that you can find and/or afford. I do tend to lean toward Ziploc brand when it comes to my freezer bags because I want them to be super durable in the freezer. However, I am totally fine with using store brand bags if they are on sale or my choices are limited.
  • For the best success, be sure to buy FREEZER bags and not just regular zipper bags. Freezer bags are thicker and help to prevent freezer burn.

It’s easy to freeze fruit and it will save you quite a bit of money in the long run if you do it now instead of buying expensive fruits in the winter when they are not in season. Check out these Freezer Tips for the Frugal Shopper for more practical tips on stretching your grocery budget by making good use of your freezer.

View my Freezer and Bulk Cooking Pinterest Board HERE.

What are your favorite fruits to freeze?

TIP: Picking your own fruit tends to be the cheapest – and I actually find it fun. We pick strawberries, raspberries and apples every year. Search for pick your own farms close to you on google or ask around. I love following farms local to us on Facebook so that I’m aware of picking hours and availability. For those of you in Central Ohio, my favorite farms for pick your own produce are CherryHawk Farm Apple Orchard and Mitchell’s Berries. 

Find more Frugal Living Tips & Tricks here.
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