Category: Fruit

Fruit

Can You Freeze Nectarines?

Summertime and its bounty, what could be better? The warmer climate means getting to enjoy summer fruits, including nectarines. A nectarine is a type of stone fruit that’s similar to a peach. It is characterized by having a plum-like rind and sweet white or yellow flesh.

Also known as, “shaved peaches,” nectarines do not have fine fuzz all over their rind like regular peaches do. But unlike peaches, nectarines have twice the vitamin A content and more vitamin C than regular peaches.

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Can you freeze nectarines? Since the summer season brings an influx of summer fruits like nectarines, is it possible to freeze seasonal fruits to enjoy them all year round? The short answer is yes, you can freeze nectarines.

Stone fruits have a rather delicate flesh. Once it’s fully ripened, you have to consume the fruit quickly otherwise, rotting will set in. By freezing nectarines, you can stretch their shelf life and prevent waste! Apart from enjoying fresh nectarines, you can also freeze the fruit for baking and cooking. You can make jams, marmalades, smoothies, and other treats using this stone fruit.

When kept in the freezer, nectarines will keep fresh up to 3 to 4 months. Fully ripened nectarines will only keep fresh for 3 to 5 days in the fridge. Do not chill unripe nectarines in the fridge. The cold temps will stop the fruit from being fully ripe. Below is a step-by-step guide on how can you freeze nectarines:

How to Freeze Nectarines?

Freezing nectarines – and other summer fruits – couldn’t be easier. If you have whole, ripened nectarines, you can freeze them as is, unwashed and uncut. To do this, simply get a large rigid plastic container and place the fruits inside. Close the lid, mark the container with the storage date and stick in the freezer.

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For freezing cut or sliced nectarines, you have to prep the fruits first: start by washing the fruit and removing the pit. Once pitted, you can either remove the peels or keep them on, it’s your choice.

Get a baking sheet and line it with parchment. Place the nectarine slices on it, making sure each slice is not touching the other. Do not layer or place the fruit slices on top of each other. Once the fruit slices are frozen, you won’t be able to separate the slices for storage!

Stick the baking sheet in the freezer and wait for 4 to 5 hours until the fruit slices are frozen solid. You can leave the cut fruits to freeze overnight but you have to re-pack them within a day or two to protect the nectarines from freezer burn.

Once the cut nectarines are frozen, transfer them carefully to a rigid plastic container or a resealable plastic bag. Label the package with the storage date, squeeze as much air as you could before sealing and then stick in the freezer.

If you want to preserved nectarines in syrup, refer to the prep steps above. Once the nectarines are washed and cut, set aside and chill in the fridge. Dissolve 3 cups of sugar in 4 cups lukewarm water to make heavy syrup. Add about half a teaspoon of ascorbic acid to prevent oxidation during freezing. Chill the syrup in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Once the syrup is nice and chilled, place the cut nectarines in a rigid plastic container with an airtight lid and pour the heavy syrup. Seal the container and label with the storage date. Stick in the freezer and you’re done.

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How to Defrost Frozen Nectarines?

Usually, there is no need to defrost frozen nectarines, you could add the fruit directly in smoothies, jams, marmalades, etc. But if you want to defrost the fruit before consuming it, just transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the fruit to thaw for a few hours and it’ll be ready to use!

Summary

Nectarines are best served in smoothies and sweet treats. Now that you know how can you freeze nectarines, you can store these quintessential summer fruits and enjoy them all year round!

Fruit

Can You Freeze Limes?

Limes are available all year round but it pays to stock up on these citrus fruits for cooking and baking. And if say, you have a lot of limes in your hands, can you freeze limes for future uses? The short answer is yes, you can freeze limes! But improper handling and poor packaging could alter the flavors of the fruit once it’s been defrosted.

Limes keep so well in the freezer as long as it is prepped well. Freezing the limes stops bacterial growth, keeping the fruits as fresh as the day you bought them once defrosted.

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When kept in the fridge, whole limes will last for 1 to 2 months. On the counter, it will keep fresh for a month. Freezing the fruit will extend its shelf life to 6 months or more. If you’d like to know how can you freeze limes, check out our step by step guide below:

How to Freeze Limes?

Freezing the limes will depend on the current state of the fruits prior to storage. Are you freezing whole limes, lime wedges, zest, or juice?

If you are freezing whole limes, wash the fruits thoroughly and allow them to dry completely first. Once the fruits are nice and dry, get a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag and place the fruits inside. Squeeze as much air as you can prior to sealing the plastic bag. Get a marker and write down the storage date then stick in the freezer. Because freezing whole limes could turn the fruits mushy once thawed, they are best used for juicing or cooking.

You can also flash-freeze the limes using dry ice. Flash freezing reduces the risk of flavor change once the fruit has been thawed. This works best if you’re freezing sliced or cut fruits.

To flash freeze, place the washed and dried limes on a pie plate. Then, place the pie plate on an ice chest filled with dry ice. Leave the fruits to flash freeze for 30 minutes. Then, place the fruits in a releasable plastic bag, seal, then stick in the freezer. Please note that you can flash freeze the limes using regular ice too.

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If you are freezing lime zest, use a small freezer bag. Scoop the lime zest into the bag; squeeze as much air as you can then seal the plastic bag. You can also vacuum-seal the plastic bag to preserve the flavors of the lime zest. If you don’t have a vacuum-sealer, that’s fine. Just stick the bag in the freezer until you’re ready to use the zest.

When it comes to freezing the lime juice, it’s best to transfer the juice in a couple of ice cube trays. Each ice cube section should hold at least a tablespoon of the juice. This way, measuring how much lime juice you in need cooking is much easier. Just pour the juice into the tray and then stick in the freezer. Once the lime juice is frozen, pop each section and transfer the frozen lime juice cubes in a resealable plastic bag.

As for freezing lime wedges or slices, you have to flash-freeze them first prior to freezing. To flash freeze using regular ice, place the lime wedges or slices in a bowl. Then, place the bowl in a container filled with ice.

Pour water into the ice container and leave the cut fruits to chill for at least 30 minutes. Once the fruits are chilled, transfer them into a heavy-duty resealable plastic container. Label the plastic bag with the storage date then stick in the freezer.

How to Defrost Frozen Limes?

Just like freezing, defrosting limes will depend on the state of the fruit prior to freezing. For whole limes, place the frozen fruits in a bowl of cold water for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, run through the juicer and you’re done.

For thawing frozen lime zest, just transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge. Leave to defrost for a few hours. You can also use the frozen zest directly in cooking, no thawing needed. The same thing goes for the frozen lime juice. Just pop a couple of frozen lime juice from the ice cube tray and add to your favorite drinks or dishes.

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For frozen lime slices or lime wedges, take the plastic bag out of the freezer and place the entire bag in a bowl of cold water. Leave to thaw for 10 to 20 minutes. Once the slices or wedges of limes are thawed, they are ready to use.

Summary

Lime is one of the best citrus fruits to store in the freezer. And when you impulsively bought more limes than you can handle, it’s nice to know that you can freeze them for later use. Now that you know how can you freeze limes, you can stock up on these tasty citrus fruits for future uses.

Fruit

Can You Freeze Jackfruit?

Jackfruit is a tropical fruit often seen at Chinese and Southeast Asian markets. This fruit is distinct for its spiky green rind and musty aroma. Jackfruit happens to be the largest fruit in the world and it is cumbersome to prepare. Why? Its rind is so thick and tough; it will take a lot of elbow grease to extract the edible flesh off it. The fruit also yields a sticky substance that adheres to anything it touches. This sticky substance is hard to wash off.

Jackfruit pods can be eaten fresh on its own or added to frozen desserts, rice pudding, etc. This fruit has a sweet taste that many say is a cross between a banana and a pineapple. It also has a gummy texture (depending on ripeness). The seeds are also edible. Roasting or boiling the jackfruit seeds will bring out their natural sweetness.

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Can you freeze jackfruit? Jackfruit isn’t available all year round. However, most supermarkets offer canned jackfruit in case you cannot get your hands on fresh jackfruit. Regardless if you’re storing canned or fresh jackfruit, you can freeze the fruit for future uses.

Storing jackfruit in the fridge, it will keep fresh for up to a week or so. But when frozen, jackfruit will keep safe indefinitely. Of course, the temperature has to be kept at a steady 0°Fahrenheit to extend the shelf life of frozen jackfruit. Otherwise, the fruit will turn soggy once it’s been defrosted. Although the fruit will keep fresh in the freezer for a long, long time, it’s best to consume it within a month or so. Now, let’s discuss how can you freeze jackfruit below:

How to Freeze Jackfruit?

Prepping the fruit will depend on the state of the product before freezing. For instance, a whole jackfruit does not require any prep prior to being frozen. The thick, tough rind will do a better job at preserving the integrity of the fruit as it freezes than any airtight container.

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Leftover jackfruit (fruit pods still attached to the rind) will keep well in the freezer too. All you need to do is to cover all exposed parts of the fruit, spots that are not protected by the rind. You can use aluminum foil or cling wrap to do this. Once all exposed parts of the fruit have been covered, stick the whole thing in the freezer.

As for canned jackfruit, never freeze it in its original packaging. Get a rigid plastic container with an airtight cover and pour the product. Leave about an inch or two of space to let the liquids expand as the fruit freezes. Then, close the lid and add the label and storage date before sticking in the freezer.

For freshly extracted jackfruit pods, get an airtight container and place the pods inside. Then, close the lid, add the label and storage date before sticking in the freezer. You can also use heavy-duty plastic bags to store the fruit pods instead of rigid plastic containers. Just squeeze as much air as you can before you seal the bags.

How to Defrost Jackfruit?

To defrost frozen fresh or canned jackfruit, simply transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the fruit to thaw for an hour or two and it’s ready to use. Do note that fresh jackfruit that’s been frozen will no longer be as gummy or chewy once it’s defrosted. Freezing will alter the texture of the jackfruit slightly.

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If you’d like to reheat the thawed preserved jackfruit, you can use the microwave. Just pour the right amount of jackfruit on a plate and microwave for a few seconds. You can also reheat the thawed canned/preserved jackfruit in a skillet, simmering the fruit for a few minutes.

Summary

Jackfruit may be uncommon but you can certainly stock up on this versatile fruit for baking and cooking. Now that you know how can you freeze jackfruit, you can enjoy this fabulous tropical fruit anytime of the year.

Fruit

Can You Freeze Raisins

Raisins are one versatile food item every kitchen should never be without! It can be enjoyed on its own as a low-calorie snack and as ingredient for your favorite desserts, salads, stews, and frozen treats. As with all dried fruits, you can freeze raisins if the batch is nearing its expiration date. Although dried, raisins can still go bad.

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On its own, a box of unopened raisins can keep for 12 months but the quality will diminish over time. And once opened, raisins’ shelf life will be cut to just 6 months. The lack of moisture makes raisins a great candidate for freezing and once thawed, there’s little to no change in the texture. So if you have room in your freezer, we highly recommend freezing raisins!

What’s the Proper Way to Freeze Raisins?

The proper way to freeze raisins is to store them in a plastic, freezer-safe container. Ideally, break down the raisins in individual servings so by the time you need a small amount, you can just defrost a serving, not the whole container.

To store the raisins, get a baking sheet and spread the raisins, making sure to break all the large clumps apart as you go. Then, lay the baking sheet flat on the freezer and leave it for an hour or so. You want to make sure the raisins are frozen solid by the time you remove the tray from the freezer.

Once the raisins are frozen, get several re-sealable plastic bags or rigid containers and start packing the frozen raisins in smaller servings. Because they are frozen, the raisins won’t stick together for the final freeze.

After packing the raisins in small servings, stick them all in the freezer and you’re done. When in deep freeze, raisins will keep for up to 1 and a half years.

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What’s the Best Way to Defrost Frozen Raisins

The best way to defrost raisins is to transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge and leaving it to thaw overnight. You can also get a container and leave it to defrost on your counter top at room temperature. Do note that you don’t have to defrost the raisins if you’re using them for cooking or baking. You can simply chuck the frozen raisins straight to the dish or baked treats and be done with it!

Summary

Because they are a healthy alternative to candies and other sweets, it’s always a good idea to have raisins in stock for later use. Now that you know how to freeze raisins properly, you can store a box or two in the freezer to lengthen their shelf life.

Fruit

Can You Freeze Kiwi?

Kiwi has a sweet, tangy flavor that complements a variety of dishes, they make the perfect add-on to your favorite smoothies, desserts, and even salads! Even better, you can freeze kiwi for later use. This fruit is very delicate and prone to bruising that’s why you need to store it properly. A fully ripened kiwi can keep in the fridge for up to 5 days only. If properly stored, fresh kiwi fruit will keep in the freezer for up to 12 months.

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What’s the Proper Way to Freeze Kiwi?

The best way to freeze kiwi is by slicing them up, instead of freezing them whole. While you can always store whole, unsliced kiwi fruit, slicing kiwi minimizes any flavor or texture change once they are frozen. Also, because the fruit is broken down into smaller pieces, it’ll take up less room in the freezer.

To freeze kiwi, start by washing the fruit thoroughly with water. Then, peel off the fuzzy rind and slice according to your preferred size.

Make sure the knife is very sharp to avoid bruising the fruit’s delicate flesh. Then, put all the sliced kiwi in a freezer-safe rigid container or a glass container with airtight lids. At this point, you can either stick the container in the freezer or you can pour in cooled sugar syrup before closing the lid, making sure to leave an inch of space for the liquid to expand.

What’s the Best Way to Defrost Kiwi?

While you can always use frozen kiwi on its own, no defrosting required (especially for smoothies and frozen desserts!), you can also thaw it for other uses. To defrost kiwi fruit, we recommend transferring the frozen container to the refrigerator and allow to thaw overnight. Once thawed, you can add kiwi fruit to your desserts or salads!

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Summary

Freezing your own kiwis is a great way to whip up all sorts of frozen treats in a jiffy. Although you can always buy pre-frozen fruits, there’s no guarantee that the product is truly fresh and chemical-free! Also, freezing your own fruit lets you control every aspect of the fruit, including the cut, size, and prep. Now that you know how to freeze kiwi properly, you can keep your favorite fruit in the freezer for later use!

Fruit

Can You Freeze Olives?

Olives add a distinct tangy flavor and delicious texture to any savory dishes. You can also use fresh olives to jazz up your salads and pizza pies! Because it’s one versatile fruit, you can buy a large batch of olives, keep them frozen in the fridge, and simply defrost them whenever you’re whipping up your favorite Mediterranean dish!

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If you’re thinking about freezing olives, it’s worth noting that these fruits are prone to flavor loss when they are not stored properly. And there’s nothing worst tasting than watered down olives on your fresh salad!  When properly stored, frozen olives will keep for up to six months and up to three weeks when thawed in the fridge.

What’s the Proper Way to Freeze Olives

To freeze fresh or brined olives, start by placing the fruit in a colander and let cool water run to remove any impurity. Let the fruit drip dry for 10 to 15 minutes. You don’t want excess water getting in there because moisture will lead to flavor loss and sliminess. To speed things up, you can always use napkins to dry the fruits off.

Then, get a clean, rigid freezer-safe container and put the cleaned olives. You want to leave at least ¼ inch of space between the olives and the lid as the fruit freezes. Finally, close the lid, make sure it’s airtight and then stick it in the freezer.

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What’s the Best Way to Defrost Olives

The best way to defrost olives is to transfer the frozen container in the refrigerator and letting it thaw overnight. Once completely frozen, you want to check for signs of spoilage, including strong odors, sliminess, color change and so on. Discard olives that show these signs of spoilage. If some of the olives are freezer burnt, you can still use them for purees, sauces, and marinades. We recommend consuming thawed olives within 3 weeks, any longer and the fruit will lose flavors.

Summary

Freezing olives is a very straightforward process, one that does not require special tools or know-how. Now that you know how to freeze olives, you can go right ahead and keep larger batches in the freezer and use them for soups, stews, barbecues, and sauces whenever!

Fruit

Can You Freeze Figs

Can you freeze figs? Fresh figs are delicious atop salads, with a slice of cheese or eaten plain, but what do you do when you’ve got too many figs to eat? Because of their high sugar content, figs ripen and can spoil rather quickly.

If you’re reading this, there’s a chance you have more figs than you can eat before they over ripen. Maybe you grabbed a bunch of figs on sale at the supermarket or couldn’t resist the call of ripe figs at the farmer’s market. Or perhaps you have a very productive fig tree in your front yard,

How do you store these delicious fruits so you can enjoy them long after the growing season? While figs are most versatile fresh, they can be frozen for long term storage. Freezing figs is actually quite simple. There are, too, some tips for those looking for a slightly more advanced project.

Halved ripe figs

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How Freezing Affects Figs

Keep in mind that frozen figs cannot be used in the same dishes as fresh ones, as the texture will change. During freezing, water in the fruit expands and forms ice crystals, which breaks down the cell walls of the fruit. This leads to soggy fruit once thawed. For the most part, thawed figs cannot be utilized in the same dishes as fresh figs, due to their texture. Previously frozen figs do not make a very good salad topper!

Though freezing figs does limit the ways in which they can be used, there are many applications for this frozen fruit. Frozen figs make a fabulous addition to baked goods, like breads or muffins, where the fruit is simply stirred into a batter, or used in a filling. They can also be used in smoothies, homemade ice creams, jams and other preserves, and fruit sauces. In fact, using previously frozen figs in these types of recipes can even speed up the cooking process, as the cell walls have already been broken down.

How to Freeze Figs

Freezing fresh figs is a simple process, but it’s important to keep a few things in mind. Cutting figs into quarters before freezing them enables a faster thawing time than leaving them whole. Quartering will also allow you to use them in smoothies and ice creams without putting too much stress on your blender. You should wash figs before freezing and peel of the skin if desired. If your final goal is a jam or sauce, you may want to peel your figs before freezing.

To avoid figs clumping together, first lay the fresh fig quarters on a baking sheet in a single layer, with enough space so that the figs are not touching. Then push the baking sheet to the freezer until figs free. Once done, you can transfer frozen figs to either a freezer bag, or sealed storage container.

Sugar Pack Figs

Figs can also be covered in a sugar syrup (called a “sugar pack”) before freezing. That will produce a better flavor and texture. To use figs frozen in a sugar pack, thaw and drain the syrup from the figs before using them in a recipe. You can save the syrup for future use.

A simpler method for packing the fruit in sugar is to sprinkle sugar on the fig pieces. Coat them well, and mix until the sugar draws enough moisture out of the figs to form a syrup. Let the fig and sugar mixture sit for 15 minutes before sealing and placing in the freezer.

Figs tend to darken during freezing due to air contact. If you care about, coat the fig pieces in powdered ascorbic acid (¾ tsp per quart of fruit). Ascorbic acid is vitamin C, so no worries. Half cup of lemon juice per quart of fruit, added to the syrup before covering the figs, will also help to preserve the figs’ color. You can store frozen figs up to a year, until you’re ready to freeze the next batch!

Fruit

Can You Freeze Cantaloupe

Cantaloupes grow in gardens where the climate is warm and tropical. But what if one would like to enjoy them throughout the year? Can you freeze cantaloupes?

During harvesting, several people collect bountiful amounts of them and preserve them with the freezing method so they can enjoy the tasty melon throughout the year since finding them fresh and appetizing in autumn and winter months is extremely difficult. However, you should never freeze cantaloupes you have bought on sale in bulk because you do not know the exact amount of time they have been plucked from their vines. When freezing cantaloupe melons it is always best to freeze them as fresh as possible. This will help make sure the melons contain a truly sweet and desirable melon flavor.

Sliced Cantaloupes

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Harvesting the Right Cantaloupes to Freeze

When harvesting time comes around it is best not to water you melons the week you plan to harvest them. This will help the natural sugars in the cantaloupes to become concentrated as well as keep the flesh nice and firm, instead of soft and watery. Once you are ready to harvest your melons, make sure you pick ones that have no rot and are firm to touch. You never want to try freezing a melon that is too soft because it does not freeze well and has the ability to breed bacteria.

Preparing the Cantaloupes for Freezing

When you have harvested the amounts of cantaloupes you desire to freeze make sure you rinse them well under cool water to wash any dirt, debris and bacteria away. After, cut the melons in half and scoop the seeds out of the center of them. Then, remove the rinds away from the flesh carefully.

Next, you can cut the yellowy orange flesh of the melons into bite size chunks. After, you will place the chunks into freezer containers and sprinkle a bit of sugar over the top of them. The sugar will help preserve their gorgeous color and satisfyingly sweet melon flavor.

After, you will place the lids onto the counters and place them melon chunks into the freezer to preserve for up to a year. Storing them in the freezer any longer than that will change the color of their flesh as well as their flavor. Freezing the melons in general does change their texture a bit to a slightly mushier one that can sometimes be a bit slimly.

This means you should not expect your melons to have the same fresh firm texture they did have before freezing. Frozen cantaloupes taste the best in smoothies or for making melon sorbets, ice creams and fruit salads.

Defrosting the Cantaloupe Chunks

When you want to defrost your cantaloupe chunks you simply remove a container from the freezer and along them to defrost in the refrigerator for up to 6 to 8 hours. After, you can try to eat them as they are from the container or use them in beverages and food dishes, which is usually best.

However, if you are simply using the melon chunks in smoothies there is no need to defrost the fruit. Instead, just stick them right into the blender and make your smoothie. The frozen melons will make your smoothie ice cold and delicious.

End Notes to Keep in Mind with Freezing Cantaloupe

In general, if you love the fresh firm texture and flavor of cantaloupes is always best to eat them as they are during their harvesting season. Freezing them is a great method for preserving extra melons on hand, but freezing does change the flavor, color and texture of the melons, but frozen melons still taste excellent in salads and smoothies as mentioned.

Fruit

Can You Freeze Grapes

Grapes are a seasonal food, so sometimes you might find yourself with too many to use right away. Can you freeze grapes? Fortunately, you can and this article will give you all the information you need about freezing grapes.

Whether baked in a rich tart or featured in a savory supper, grapes add a delightful sweetness to any dish. Popular as a finger food with children all over the world, grapes have been cultivated and enjoyed for at least 8,000 years. Their portability, flavor, texture, variety, and endless array of jewel-like hues ranging from red to green to purple make grapes a delicious addition to almost any meal. Not only are these sweet globes tasty and versatile, they are also healthy — studies have indicated they are associated with the prevention of high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer and constipation.

While grapes are grown all over the world, making them generally available year round, there may be times when you find yourself with too many grapes to use immediately. When they are on sale at your local supermarket or available in bulk at your favorite warehouse club, it’s a good time to stock up. During summer months you may also be tempted by the offerings at your local farmers’ markets. While it is best to enjoy grapes fresh, when you find yourself with an over-abundance of the sweet treats, freezing them is a great option.

Grapes

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The ways to prepare and consume frozen grapes are endless – from juice to grape jelly or jam, to raisins and even wine. Freezing grapes does detract somewhat from their color, flavor and texture, but not by much. In addition to eating them plain as a frozen snack, frozen grapes can be used in a variety of ways:

  • Use as a replacement for ice cubes in punch
  • Blend with soy milk and a banana for a healthy smoothie
  • Freeze with chunks of pineapple, cantaloupe and honeydew for a fruit compote
  • Add to a wine sangria
  • Thread onto skewers for a kid-friendly treat
  • Use thawed in recipes calling for fresh grapes, such as jams and jellies
  • Blend smooth, then freeze in ice cube trays to add to juice drinks

Selecting Grapes

Choose fully ripened grapes that are plump, free of wrinkles and blemishes and are tight to the touch. Look for fruit that are firmly attached to a healthy-looking stem and are a solid color. Red grapes are the sweetest, green are moderately sweet, and purple grapes are the least sweet. Pick fruit with a rich, deep color.

Freezing Grapes

Grapes, even organic varieties, need to be washed before they are frozen. Remove the stems and wash in cool, clear water. Transfer the grapes to a salad spinner or place in a colander and allow to drain for several minutes. Lay the grapes on a layer of paper towels or a clean bath towel gently blot them dry with paper towels or a lint-free tea towel. Excess moisture will cause the grapes to cling together into one large frozen clump.

Once dry, arrange the grapes in a single layer on a lined cookie sheet or baking tray. Lining the cookie sheet with waxed paper, parchment paper or plastic wrap will make transferring the frozen grapes easier.

Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for an hour or two. Once the grapes are frozen solid, transfer them into a heavy plastic zip-lock freezer bag or container with a secure lid and return them to the freezer. To reduce the chance of freezer burn, use a vacuum sealer or place a drinking straw in the edge of the bag’s opening and suck the air out, removing the straw as you seal the bag quickly. Grapes stored in a freezer bag with the air removed will last longer than those stored in rigid storage containers due to oxidation from the air.

To freeze grapes for jams, jellies and other cooked recipes, puree the grapes before freezing. Place cleaned grapes in the blender in small batches and blend until smooth and any large pieces of skins are broken down. Transfer into freezer containers or Mason jars and place in the freezer.

For chilling juice drinks, lemonade or tea, puree the washed grapes and pour into ice cube trays and place in the freezer. When frozen solid, remove from the trays and place in zippered freezer bags.

For the best taste and quality, use the frozen grapes within nine to 12 months.

Fruit

Can You Freeze Strawberries

Can you freeze strawberries? The taste of fresh strawberries is pure delight, but we also love to enjoy them in winter months and freezing them is the easiest way to achieve that. It is best to pick fresh strawberries right from the patch during harvesting season and freeze some so you can enjoy the sweet and tart tangy flavors of them throughout the year.

Freezing Strawberries Whole

One of the ways you can freeze strawberries is whole. However, it is essential that you cut their leafy green tops off first. After, you can take the freshly picked whole strawberries, place them into a freezer bag, and store them away in the freezer this way for about 2 years. After about 2-years, the strawberries will lose some of their flavor and juicy plump texture.

Frozen whole strawberries are useful for making all kinds of delightful treats such as fruit smoothies and fruit salads. All you have to do is take the frozen berries from the freezer and toss them into smoothies and salads as they are. Blending the berries into smoothies will keep your healthy beverage of choice icy cold and if you do decide to toss them into a fruit salad frozen, they will defrost within an hour while keeping your fruit salad nicely chilled and full of juicy flavor.

Strawberries in containers

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However, if you simply want to eat some whole strawberries as they are all you have to do is remove a bag of them from the freezer and allow them to defrost in the refrigerator for about 4 to 6 hours. After, you can eat them up as they are or pour them into a bowl and sprinkle sugar upon them for a delightful strawberry treat. The berries will be slightly mushier and juicer in texture, but will still have their outstanding summery berry flavor.

Freezing Sliced Strawberries

Another popular way strawberries are froze is by slicing the tops of them and slicing them up into little round berry circles about a ¼ inch thick. The slices are than tossed into freezable containers and sprinkled with sugar to help add extra sweetness and help them preserve them a bit better. After, the sliced berries are frozen in the freezer where they will keep fresh this way for up to a year with ease.

When you are ready to use the slice strawberries simply take a container from the freezer and place it into the refrigerator where it will take about 6 to 12 hours to defrost. After, you can eat the strawberry slices as they are, pour them over pound cakes or angle cakes for a delightful strawberry dessert or mix them into fruit salads, yogurts or smoothies for a healthy tasting berry snack. You can even use the defrosted slices of berries to make a scrumptious strawberry pie.

Freezing Strawberries in Jam or Jelly Form

Fresh harvested strawberries make wonderful jams and jellies, which can be frozen as well. Simply take your favorite jam or jelly recipe and make your jam or jelly with the fresh strawberries. Once the jam or jelly is ready, pour it into freezer jars about ¾ full and place lids tightly onto them. After, you can freeze your strawberry jams or jellies in the freezer for up to 2 years.

To defrost the jellies or jams simply place them in the refrigerator and they should be ready to use within 12 hours. Best of all, defrosted jams and jellies stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to six months. This is because the sugar in them preserves them well.

Image used under Creative Commons from Abigail Batchelder

End Notes to Keep in Mind

With all that being said, it is essential to know that freezing strawberries will slightly change their texture to a mushier and juicer kind, but they will still taste like summer strawberries when you go to defrost and eat them. However, if you love the firm plump texture of strawberries and desire them sliced up over leafy green salads or for making chocolate covered berries it is wise to use them up fresh. Trying to use previously frozen strawberries on leafy green salads or for making chocolate cover berries will just turn into a strawberry juicy mess. Otherwise, freeze as much fresh strawberries as you possible can during the harvesting season and enjoy the berries throughout the year.