Tag: fruit

Fruit

Can you Freeze Watermelon?

I you’ve ever wondered “hmm, can you freeze watermelon?“, you’re in the right place to find the answer. Watermelons, similarly to other fruit, once cut, won’t stay fresh in the fridge for a long time. That’s why people think about freezing watermelons, so they can use them a couple of weeks or even months later. That’s also the case if one would like to use this fruit when watermelon is not in season. Is that even possible and does it really make sense to freeze watermelon? Read on if you would like to know answers to those questions.

Freezing watermelon – important information

The first thing you need to know is that watermelon can be frozen, but it will become mushy when thawed. If you’ll decide to freeze this fruit, you need to be aware of that.

Is this a reason one should not freeze watermelons? It depends. If you would like to freeze it and thaw a couple of weeks down the road to eat it raw, it’s not a good idea. You won’t be satisfied with the texture of thawed watermelon. But, if you would like to use it as an ingredient in a prepared dish or drink (smoothie, sorbet), freezing isn’t a bad idea. Like many fruit, freezing and thawing changes the texture of watermelon, but it can be successfully used in a prepared dish or drink.

Slices of Watermelon

(credit: Pink Sherbet Photography)

How to freeze watermelon

Freezing a watermelon requires some work. First off, you need to cut off the rind. Just to let you know, freezing a whole watermelon isn’t a good idea, believe me. Besides, it would take like half of your freezer. Next thing to do is to cut the watermelon into pieces. The size is up to you – some people tend to cut it into dice, others prefer thin slices. Now it’s time for the not-so-fun activity – removing the seeds. If you plan to get the frozen watermelon out of the freezer and add it right to a sorbet recipe, make sure you remove all of them. Please note that it’s easier to remove seeds from a sliced watermelon than from one cut in cubes or balls.

Ok, you’ve got a cut watermelon without the rind and seeds. Not it’s time for freezing it. Take a baking sheet and place the slices or cubes on it. Consider lining the baking sheet with parchment paper beforehand. Now put the baking sheet into the freezer for a few hours, so the pieces of watermelon will freeze. Once done, take the baking sheet out of the freezer and transfer frozen pieces into a freezer bag. Remove all air from the bag, seal it tightly and put the bag back into the freezer. Don’t forget to label it before doing that. Now you can keep it in the freezer for at least a couple of months. Don’t freeze watermelon for more than 10-12 months due to quality reasons.

Summary
As you should know by now, freezing and thawing a watermelon changes its texture. Because of that, frozen and thawed watermelon works best only in prepared dishes and drinks. If you would like to enjoy a piece of fresh watermelon when it’s not in season, not much you can do. Freezing for that purpose won’t give you the taste you’re looking for.

Fruit

Can You Freeze Avocados?

Can you freeze avocados? Since avocados are fine for only a couple of days once they’re ripe, it might happen that you have to many on hand. Is there anything you can do with the avocados, so you’ll be able to eat them at a later date?

As a matter of fact, there is – you can freeze avocados. You can store frozen avocados in the freezer for at least a couple of months, so that should solve the problem. Read along to learn how to freeze avocados.

Freezing Avocados

No matter how you’d like to freeze your avocados, the first thing you should do is to wash the outside of every avocado you have under running water. Once that’s done, you have a few possibilities that will be described below. When it comes to thawing, most people choose to thaw avocado in the fridge.

The Recommended Way: Freeze Pureed Avocados

To get the best results, it’s recommended to freeze pureed avocados. To do that, after washing the avocados you should cut them, peel and transfer into a food processor. Then it’s time to add some lemon or lime juice, preferably half tablespoon of juice for each avocado. Lemon and lime juices are very acidic, which will prevent avocado from turning brown.

Avocado cut in halves

Image used under Creative Commons from HarmonyRae

After adding the juice, puree the avocados until smooth. It’s pretty important to do it using a food processor or a blender, so you’ll be sure the juice is distributed fairly even. Now the only thing you need to do is to transfer the mush into an airtight container. Make sure you leave some headspace. Close it tightly, label it and put into the freezer. It’s recommended not to freeze it for more than half a year so it’ll remain at its best quality.

Freezing Pureed Avocados Using an Ice-cube Tray

This way is similar to the recommended way. Once the avocados and the juice are pureed, pour the mush into an ice-cube tray and put it into the freezer. Once frozen, take the tray out and transfer the cubes into a freezer bag. This way you’ll be able to easily thaw only a small amount of avocado. It’s probably the best way to freeze it if you need avocado to prepare meals for a child.

Freezing Chunked or Halved Avocados

Once you’ve washed the avocados, peel them and cut each one in half or slice into chunks, depending on your needs. Now spray them with lime or lemon juice. If you’ll omit this step, chances are avocados will turn brown due to freezing. If you plan to use them in a smoothie or guacamole, I believe it doesn’t really matter if they’re brown or not, so you can omit this step if that’s the case.

Now it’s time to put them on a baking sheet (make sure they don’t touch one another) and put into the freezer for a couple of hours. Once they are frozen, you can transfer them into a ziplock bag, label it and put back into the freezer. This way you’ll be able to easily scoop only one or two chunks (or halves), depending on how much you need at a time. You can omit fast freezing using the cookie sheet, but the chunks be clumpy and you’ll have to unfreeze the whole package (or at least a few chunks) at once.

Freezing Whole Avocados

Most people say that whole avocados don’t freeze well, but few people do it and it seems to work for them well. If you’re not sure if it’ll work out for your needs, do a test run. Freeze an avocado for a week or two, thaw it and decide whether its quality is good enough for your needs. When thawing, you don’t need to wait until the whole avocado is completely defrosted, you can cut it in half and pull the chunks with a spoon.

Summary
As you can see, you can freeze avocados to store them for a prolonged period of time. So, the next time you’ll notice a great deal on avocados, don’t hesitate – buy as many as you really want. You can use some of them in the next couple of days and freeze the rest for later use. You can also make guacamole and freeze it instead.

Fruit

Can You Freeze Apples?

Can you freeze apples? Apples are one of the most widely known and cultivated fruits. You can get them in your local store all year round. So, you’ve bought a few pounds of apples and you realized that you won’t be able to use them before they’ll go bad. Freezing seems to be the best idea to preserve the apples for future use, but can you freeze apples? Fortunately for you, apples can be frozen. Actually, there are a few methods of freezing them. Let’s discuss them.

Apples everywhere

Image used under Creative Commons from msr

Freezing Apples

Freezing changes the texture of apples, so in most cases they aren’t well suited for eating them raw. Use them rather in some baked dishes such as baked apples or pies. The most popular method of freezing apples is freezing sliced apples. Sliced apples tend to brown when frozen and thawed. To prevent that from happening, you can do a couple of things before freezing them:

  • dip sliced apples in lemon juice solution
  • dip sliced apples in salt water solution (2 tablespoons of salt per 1 gallon of water)
  • steam sliced apples for about 2 minutes

Each of the mentioned methods stops the enzyme that causes browning.

Freezing Sliced Apples

First, you need to peel, core and slice apples to desirable sizes. After that, if you want to prevent them from browning, you should take the steps of one of the mentioned methods. Now you need to put your sliced apples on a cooking sheet in a way that they won’t touch one another. Then put the cooking sheet into the freezer. Once the slices are solid take the cooking sheet from the freezer and transfer the slices into a zipper storage bag and put it back into the freezer. You can keep it there (and retain good quality) for a year.

Pre-freezing sliced apples prevents them from sticking together so you can easily thaw as many slices as you need at a time. If you plan to freeze them for a long time, you should double-wrap them, to prevent freezer burn.

Freezing Sliced Apples in Syrup

If you’d like to use frozen apples for some uncooked dishes like fruit cocktails, this method of freezing them is best for your needs. So, you need to peel, core and slide apples to desirable sizes. You’ll be putting the slices directly into syrup in a container, so now it’s time to make the syrup. Use a 40 (2 cups syrup per 3 cups water) to 50 (1 cup syrup per 1 cup water) percent syrup. To prevent apples from browning add half a teaspoon of ascorbic acid per each quart of syrup. Now pour some of the prepared solution into the container and add sliced apples directly into the prepared syrup.

Once you’ve put all fruit into the container, push them down and add some syrup to cover them. Please remember to leave some headspace in the container – water expands while freezing. Now a little trick to hold slices under the syrup. Take a piece of water-resistant paper, crumple it and place it on top of the container. That will do the trick. Now you just need to seal the container and put it into the freezer. You can keep it there in good quality for about a year.

Freezing Whole Apples

Wash the apples, dry them, then put on a tray and pre-freeze them (similarly as in the previous method). Once they are frozen, put them into a freezer bag or zipper storage bag and put them into the freezer. You can keep them there (and retain good quality) for about a year.

Freezing Apples

Here’s a great video that discusses few ways to freeze apples that were described above:

Most popular uses of frozen apples include:

  • apple butter
  • pies, cakes, other baked goods
  • apple sauce
  • baked apples

Summary
As you can see, you can freeze apples. You can freeze whole apples, but freezing them sliced is a better idea. If you’d like to use thawed apples in uncooked dishes, the best way for you is to freeze them in syrup. If you plan to use defrosted apples for baking purposes, you can freeze them without the syrup.

Fruit

Can you freeze bananas?

Can you freeze bananas? Bananas are among the most popular fruit. People use them for baking purposes or consume them by themselves. Is there anything you can do if you’ve bought too many bananas and you’re afraid that some of them will go bad? Or you would like to stock up bananas because there’s this great sale in the store near your location? We all know that we can keep bananas in the pantry until they’re ripe and a few days in the fridge once they’re ripe. But can we freeze them to use them in a few weeks? It turns out that we can. Let’s discuss this matter in detail.

Freezing bananas – what you need to know

By freezing you can extend banana’s shelf life by a few months. For best quality it’s recommended to keep bananas in the freezer for no longer than 2, maybe 3 months. You can probably keep them a few months more, but their quality will deteriorate a little by that time. They won’t go bad, though. Take note that bananas are best frozen when they’re already ripe. If your banana is still green, you should consider storing it in the pantry until it’s ripe. How you should freeze bananas? There are at least few possibilities.

Frozen banana slices
Image used under Creative Commons from Kelly Garbato

Freeze the whole banana (leave the peeling on)

In case you decide to freeze whole, unpeeled banana, you should be aware that its peel will turn brown (or black) while the fruit is in the freezer. That’s completely normal and fortunately enough, banana flesh stays fine even though the peel turns brown. To use this unpeeled banana you need to remove it from the freezer and then thaw it. It takes about 2 hours if you decide to thaw it in room temperature. Now you need to gently cut the peel open and remove the soft banana flesh. Your banana is ready to be used in any kind of recipe you would like it to be used. Is it fine to eat it by itself? Supposedly, yes. But if you’l enjoy a banana of this texture, it’s difficult to say. It’s a matter of personal preferences really. I encourage you to try flavoring thawed banana with cinnamon. You might find it a delicious treat. One more thing. Most people recommend freezing unpeeled bananas in a freezer bag. That’s a great idea and I recommend you do the same.

Freeze mashed bananas

You just need to peel the ripe banana, mash it and put the banana flesh in a freezer-safe container (choose one that doesn’t leave a lot of room for air in it after putting there mashed bananas). Bananas frozen this way aren’t that mushy and watery as bananas frozen with the peeling on. Instead of the container you can put the mashed banana in a Ziploc freezer bag. One banana (or even a part of it) into one bag. This way it’s easy to thaw only as many bananas as you need at a time. When freezing bananas this way, you just need to thaw them in the fridge or in room temperature and they are ready to be used (or eaten!), similarly as in case of freezing unpeeled bananas.

Freeze sliced banana

Firstly, you need to peel the ripe banana and slice it into chunks. Now it’s time to freeze them initially. To do that you can use a baking sheet – just place each banana chunk on the baking sheet (they shouldn’t stick to one another) and put this kitchen utensil into the freezer for an hour or two. Now, as the banana pieces are frozen, you should remove the cookie sheet from the freezer and put the frozen pieces into a freezer-safe bag or container. Now if you need bananas, you can easily get the exact amount you need. This way of freezing bananas is also perfect for smoothies. You don’t even need to thaw them, just put them into the blender, one by one. If you need bananas for baking purposes, I suggest thawing them beforehand.

Freeze the whole banana (peeled)

To do this you can simply peel the banana, put it into a freezer-safe bag and put it into the freezer. One more piece of advice – if you’re using any kind of bag to freeze bananas, make sure you squeeze excess air out of the bag.

Summary

As you can see, you can freeze bananas and there are many ways you can do it. Most people freeze bananas to use them in smoothies and banana bread.