Peaches can be frozen so you can enjoy cooking with and snacking on them throughout the entire year. Frozen peaches work great for treats like peach cobbler, iced tea, and ice cream. They also taste great by themselves.
The best places to find high-quality peaches for excellent prices are at local farmer’s markets. You’ll have the opportunity to ask specific questions about how they’re grown, if their fruits cling to their pits, and if they’re organic. If you’re buying peaches in bulk, you can negotiate better prices with vendors at the farmer’s market. Remember to be friendly, and shop around for the best deal.
The most effective method to freeze peaches is also the simple method. You can freeze peaches with or without adding a sweetener, but adding a sweetener gives the best results. If you’d like to add a sweetener, but are staying away from sugar, you can use apple or white grape juice as a natural substitute. Frozen peaches will taste great and can be enjoyed for up to 12 months. For approximately one quart of frozen peaches, you will need to freeze five average sized fruits. Use this how-to guide to freeze your peaches.
Image used under Creative Commons from Alice Henneman
First, start with peaches that are at their peak ripeness. They’re not too soft, and not too hard. If you would sink your teeth into it right now, the peach is exactly right for freezing. To make the process easier you can choose freestone peaches where the fruit doesn’t cling to the pit, but this isn’t completely necessary.
Next, you will need to blanch the peaches. Start by making an X-shaped slit on the top of the peach. While doing this start boiling a large pot of water. You will also need a bowl of ice water that you will dunk the blanched peaches into.
Dunk the slit peaches into the boiling water for one minute. Quickly remove and transfer into the bowl of ice water. Once the peaches are cool, you can easily peel the skin from the fruit.
After the skin is peeled, slice the peaches in half around the pit and give them a twist. Pull the pit out of the peach and discard the pit. With freestone peaches, the pit will slip out easily. If the fruit clings to the pit, gently use a spoon to help detach it.
It’s up to you if you want to slice your peaches or leave them halved. If you’d like smaller slices or cubes for easy baking, go ahead and cut them up now.
Place your prepared peaches into a freezer-friendly container. Fill with water and leave about an inch of room at the top. To preserve their shape and color better without sugar add one tablespoon of lemon juice to every 2 cups of water.
For sweet peaches sprinkle sugar over them before adding water and let them sit for fifteen or twenty minutes to soak up the sweetness before freezing. You can also freeze them in apple or white grape juice for a deliciously sweet treat.
Now seal your freezer container. You can use freezer tape around the lid for an extra tight seal, and be sure to label the container. Stick your peaches in the freezer and they’ll be ready to enjoy anytime you get a craving for peaches throughout the year.
Frozen peaches can be eaten right away for a tasty frozen treat. You can also let them thaw which is recommended if you are baking them into a pie or cobbler.
Now you can go ahead and buy as many peaches as your heart desires during the summer months when they’re ripe, juicy, and on sale for great prices because you know how to prepare them to be enjoyed for the rest of the year.