Every once in awhile, you might find yourself with extra produce on hand. If you are like me, you hate to see a good thing go to waste! Learning a few tips on freezing fresh fruits and vegetables will prevent food waste in your home, and help you save on your grocery bill. Check out the tips below on freezing fruit. Check back next week for tips on freezing vegetables.
- Containers – The first step in freezing fruits is to select your containers. To preserve the food value, flavor, color, and texture of your fruits, it is best to use moisture-vapor proof packaging like metal, rigid plastic, or glass. Many plastic bags and plastic wraps will work, too. Certain food containers, like those from sour cream or cottage cheese, are not moisture-vapor proof and won’t produce the best quality of frozen fruits. To be safe, look for containers marked specifically for freezing foods.
- Selecting Fruit – Fruit that is fully ripe, but still firm is going to freeze the best and yield the best product when thawed.
- Preparation – Wash your fruit thoroughly. Next, peel, pit, trim, and slice the fruit the way you want to serve it when thawed. Some fruits will darken during freezing. The change in color doesn’t affect the quality or flavor of the fruit, but some people like to avoid it. To learn how, click here and read the section on preparation.
- Packing – To avoid the fruit all sticking together in one big frozen lump, pre-freeze the fruit pieces. You can do this by laying them in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Stick the cookie sheet in the freezer. Once the fruit pieces have started to freeze, you can transfer them to a freezer bag or container.
- Sealing – Get as much air out of your container as possible. Fill to the top and if using a freezer bag, squeeze out any excess air.
- Label – Food often looks different frozen than it does fresh. To make things easier to identify, be sure to label the containers. A permanent marker on the outside of the container works well. Also, be sure to write the date on the label. Most fruits will last well in the freezer for about 6-12 months. Adding the date to the label helps you know when the six month date is approaching so you can quickly use up the fruit.
And there you have it! Six quick tips to freezing fruits. Now give it a try and check back next week for tips on freezing vegetables. In the meantime, give Banana Ice Cream a try. My friends over at Table For One shared it with me, and it’s the perfect summer treat. Enjoy!
Click on the recipe card for a printable version.
Certified Nutrition Education Assistant