If you are looking for the best ways to freeze and store fruits for the long term, this comprehensive guide has got you covered.
Several home cooks and I have found these methods and tips to work like a charm.
Let’s get right into it.
Why Freeze Fruits? – Benefits
Before we get to freezing, let’s see why freezing fruits is the best way to store them for the long term. Apart from being economical, freezing fruits has also proven to keep the nutritional value intact, and the freshness lasts longer.
Freezing Kills Harmful Bacteria
The cold temperatures ensure that most harmful bacteria get killed and keep the fruit fresh and safe to eat for the long term.
It’s Economical and Eco-Friendly
Whether it is a big harvest or a seasonal sale, you can save a lot of money by freezing the fruits in bulk rather than waste a whole bunch of fruits that you can’t use up in one go.
Instead of making complicated fruit preserves, you can freeze fruits and make the most out of them.
Meal Prep is Out of the Way
If you spend an hour or two prepping the fruits for freezing, you are saving yourself from hours of meal prep later on.
These cut and prepped frozen fruits will be at the ready for you to use in recipes or even as snacks, all year long.
Frozen Fruits Are Just as Nutritional as Fresh Fruits
You needn’t worry about frozen fruits losing out on their nutritional value. Although frozen fruits can lose their water content and a few vitamins, it is almost as good as fresh fruits. In fact, some fruits have increased Vitamin C content once they are frozen.
Pre-Freezing Preparations for Fruits
We might be tempted to throw the fruits in a bag and leave it in the freezer, but this can leave us with messy and mushy fruits to deal with later on.
So, spending a few minutes on these pre-freezing steps can be a huge lifesaver.
Peeling the Fruits
With certain fruits, like bananas, keeping the peel on is going to be troublesome later on.
You won’t be able to peel them off when they are frozen, and once they thaw, you end up with a soggy mess, which is hard to work with.
So, it is best to peel such fruits beforehand.
Here is a tutorial on freezing bananas by “The Klutzy Cook” on YouTube –
Removing the Seeds or the Core
In the case of fruits like nectarines or peaches, leaving the seed will make them bitter or cling to the fruit.
So, it is always best to pit or core such fruits beforehand. Even with fruits like dates, pitting them beforehand can be a time-saver later on .
Treating the Fruits to Stop Browning
Most fruits turn brown when exposed to air for long. To stop this and to keep the fruits fresh in the freezer you can treat the fruits with an acidic solution, like lemon juice or fruit fresh, and stop the browning.
Check out these tips and tricks on keeping fruits fresh by “cookingwithalia” on YouTube –
Methods of Freezing Fruits
Now that we have covered the benefits and prep essentials, let’s see how we can make the most out of fruits by freezing them.
Method 1 – Freezing Fruits after Flash Freezing Them
This simple and hassle-free method is the most recommended way to go about freezing, almost any, fruit.
- Once you wash and dry the fruit, cut and prep them depending on how you plan to use the fruit later on, be it slices, cubes, or as a whole.
- On a baking sheet or tray lined with parchment paper, lay out the fruits. Make sure that the pieces of fruits are evenly spaced and don’t clump together.
- Leave the tray in the freezer for a couple of hours or overnight and let it freeze solid. Keep it covered in cling wrap if there is stuff in the freezer that gives out a strong odor.
- Once frozen, transfer the fruits into a freezer-safe air-tight container or Ziploc bag and seal them in. Try and squeeze out as much air as you can, when sealing a Ziploc bag.
- Add a label on the bag with the best before date and the quantity (if you have portioned it), and you are good to go.
To get a clearer picture, check out this video on YouTube by “Cooking with Carolyn” –
Method 2 – Freezing Fruit Puree
Whether you like smoothies or want to add a small amount of fruity punch to your recipe, frozen cubes of fruit puree are a great option, especially with dates and berries.
- Wash, peel, and pit the fruit as required.
- Put them in a blender with a few spoons of water and puree them.
- Pour the puree into an ice cube tray. If you want bigger portions, you could opt for muffin trays or silicone molds with bigger measures.
- Leave the tray in the freezer for a couple of hours or overnight and let the puree freeze solid. You can cover the tray with cling wrap to make sure that no odor seeps into the puree.
- Transfer the frozen cubes of fruit puree into a Ziploc bag and seal them in, after making sure to squeeze out all the excess air. You can use a straw to make this step easier.
- Label the bag with the best before date, deepening on the fruit, and then you are ready to freeze them.
Here is a tutorial of freezing dates pureed by “Phyllis Stokes and Sons” on YouTube to get an idea –
How to Store Frozen Fruit?
You can store frozen fruit in any freezer-safe air-tight container or Ziploc bag. The key is to make sure that the foods are protected from being exposed to air or freezer burns.
Things to Consider Before Packing
One thing to make note of when storing frozen fruits is how much freezer space you have. If you are running low on freezer space, it is always best to opt for compact Ziploc bags over bulky containers or jars.
Another point is portions. If you know the number of fruits you will need for a certain recipe, it is always great to portion it out beforehand so that you won’t have to worry about refreezing or wasting the leftovers.
Best Storage Materials
Any freezer-safe material, be it plastic containers, Ziploc bags, or glass jars, work fine for storing frozen fruits. As long as it is air-tight and thick enough to prevent freezer burns, you are good to go.
Best Places to Store After Packing
When freezing fruits, especially in long term, it is always important to keep a steady temperature. Keeping the fruits deeper in the freezer is the best way to ensure this. But make sure that you keep track of the fruits and don’t forget to use them up before it expires.
I hope this article helped you freeze and store your favorite fruits for the long term.
If you have any doubts or would like to share some tips and tricks of your own, it would be great to hear from you.
Feel free to share this article with your friends and family to help them save a few bucks and enjoy frozen fruits all year long.
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