Category: Fruit

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 an 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. Below is our guide on how can you freeze grapes:

can you freeze grapes

Image used under Creative Commons from Jeena Paradies

How to Freeze Grapes?

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. The ways to prepare and consume frozen grapes are endless – from juice to grape jelly or jam, to raisins and even wine.

Freezing Fresh Grapes

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

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 on 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.

Freezing Grape Jellies and Jams

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.

Freezing Grape Juice or Puree

For chilling juice drinks and puree, 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.

How to Defrost Frozen Grapes?

Defrosting frozen grapes is so easy. Just transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge. Let thaw for several hours to overnight. The thawing method applies to all grape preparations, fresh, pureed, grape juice, and jams.

It is important to thaw the grapes slowly so their natural flavors and textures are retained. Although freezing and thawing grapes does detract somewhat from their color, flavor, and texture, but not by much.

Summary

Now that you know how can you freeze grapes, there is no stopping you from extending the fruit’s shelf life and create yummy treats!

In addition to eating them plain as a frozen snack, frozen grapes can be used in a variety of ways. You can use them as a replacement for ice cubes in a punch or blend with soy milk and a banana for a healthy smoothie.

You can also freeze grapes and use it for a fruit compote or add to a wine sangria. You can make kid-friendly treats or use thawed in recipes calling for fresh grapes, such as jams, jellies, and juice drinks.

Fruit

Can You Freeze Strawberries?

Fresh strawberries are in season for only a few weeks every year. While I usually eat as many strawberries as I can when they are in season, it’s great to have them at other times of the year too. Can you freeze strawberries? Fresh strawberries in grocery freezers is a common sight so the answer to the question “can you freeze strawberries?” is a definite yes.

The most important thing you need to know, and you already know it if you’ve ever bought frozen strawberries, is that freezing changes the texture of this fruit. The strawberries after defrosting are somewhat mushy, so they work much better in recipes as opposed to eating the fruit on its own. In other words, if you want to just eat strawberries, enjoy them when in season. But if a smoothie or a baking project is what you have in mind, then, by all means, go with frozen and thawed berries.

Having said that, let’s go through ways of freezing and defrosting strawberries.

Oatmeal with strawberries and yogurt

Oatmeal with thawed strawberries

How to Freeze Whole Strawberries?

This is the most popular method of freezing strawberries. You will end up with similar results to what you get when you buy frozen strawberries.

  1. Prep. Wash the strawberries thoroughly and remove the hulls. Basically, prepare the strawberries the same way you would if you were preparing them for eating.
  2. Pat them dry. I usually leave the berries on dish towels covered with paper towels for half an hour. Wet strawberries will leave red stains, so make sure that they lay on layer or two of paper towels, not directly on the dish towels. After about half an hour, pat the strawberries dry with paper towels. Essentially, you want to get rid of as much moisture as you can prior to freezing.
    Drying strawberries
  3. (Recommended) Prefreezing. Transfer the berries onto a cookie sheet and lay them in a single layer in a way they don’t touch one another. Put the sheet into the freezer and leave it there until the strawberries are frozen solid (an hour should do).
    Strawberries on cookie sheet

    Strawberries on cookie sheet, ready for pre-freezing

    Frozen strawberries on cookie sheet

    Pre-frozen strawberries

  4. Transfer the strawberries into freezer bags. Remove as much air from the bags as possible. Label the bags if needed.
    Frozen strawberries in freezer bag
  5. Throw the freezer bags into the freezer.

The pre-freezing process makes it a bit difficult to freeze a big batch, as there’s usually not that much space in the freezer where you can put the cookie sheet. But it’s totally worth it because the berries won’t freeze in a clump. Also, you will be able to scoop as many strawberries as you need at a time this way. If you will skip pre-freezing, the strawberries will freeze in a clump and you have to thaw the whole bag.

How to Defrost Frozen Strawberries?

Thawed strawberries

  • In the fridge. Transfer the frozen strawberries from the freezer into the fridge. After a few hours the berries will be defrosted and ready to use. The easiest way to make sure they are defrosted when needed is to thaw them overnight, i.e. put into the fridge the night before they are needed.
  • In a cold bath. Prepare a pot of cold water and throw the freezer bag into the pot. This method will thaw the strawberries faster than at room temperature.
  • At room temperature. This method is not recommended because room temperature is the best temperature for the bacteria to grow. Nevertheless, if you’re going to use all the strawberries you defrost right away (i.e. after an hour or two after taking them out of the freezer), this method should do. I do it all the time and never had any issues, but maybe that’s just pure luck.
Fruit

Can You Freeze Pineapple?

Can you freeze pineapple? If you are lucky enough to live in an area where you can harvest fresh pineapples you’re likely wondering if pineapples can be frozen. Actually, they can. It is wise to harvest as many as you can and freeze them to enjoy at a later time.

Similarly, if you purchase your pineapples from the grocery store when they are in season or on sale it is a good idea to pick up several and use the method of freezing to preserve them so they can be enjoyed when you want to enjoy the fruit. Check out our step by step guide on how can you freeze pineapple below:

How to Freeze Pineapple?

Whether you have access to freshly harvested pineapples or store bought kinds freezing pineapples in chunk form is easy. All you have to do is use a pineapple cutter that removes the tough skin and core, which leaves you with the yellow flesh of a pineapple.

However, before removing the skins and coring your pineapples it is wise to make sure they are ripe first. You do this by sniffing the bottoms of them. If the bottoms smell like sweet juicy pineapple, they are ready to cut up and freeze.

can you freeze pineapple

Image used under Creative Commons from Victoria Rachitzky Hoch

Freezing Pineapple Chunks

Once you have determined whether your pineapple is ripe, you can remove the top, skin, and core. After, you can chunk up the pineapple flesh into large bite-size chunks.

Next, you place the chunks onto a wax paper lined cookie sheet and freeze them in the freezer for about an hour. This will prevent the chunks from sticking together when you go to place them in freezer bags or containers.

Once the chunks are frozen, you can remove them from the cookie sheet and store them away in freezer bags or containers in your freezer for up to a year where the chunks will hold their true pineapple flavor and firm juicy texture.

Freezing Pineapple Slices

Now, if you want to freeze pineapples in slices you would remove the stem, skin, and core the same way you would with chunk pineapple. After, you will take the yellow flesh leftover and turn it onto aside so the ends look like donuts.

Next, you take a sharp knife and cut ½-inch slices that look like rings. Then, you take the pineapple ring slices and place them onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and freeze then from about an hour. Once they froze, you can place them into freezer bags and store them in the freezer this way for up to a year.

Freezing Crushed Pineapple

If you want to freeze crush pineapple simply place the golden flesh of the fruit into a food processor and grate for about 30 seconds. Then, you take the crushed pineapple and store it away in freezer containers in your freezer where it will stay fresh for about 6 months.

How to Defrost Frozen Pineapple?

Thawing frozen pineapples is so simple but the method will depend on what type of pineapple you’re trying to defrost.

Defrosting Frozen Pineapple Chunks

If say, you are ready to use the chunks, take a container or bag of pineapple chunks in the refrigerator and thaw for 6 hours or so.

If you’re using the pineapple chunks for smoothies, there is no need to thaw the pineapple chunks. Just toss them in the drink and it will keep your smoothie icy cold.

Taking a handful of frozen pineapple from the freezer and tossing them onto a ham roast and allowing the juices from them flavor your roast. The heat from the roast will thaw the frozen pineapple chunks.

Remove a bag or container of frozen pineapple from the freezer and toss the frozen fruit chunks directly into stir-fries, kabobs or fruit salads for healthy meals, or toss them into sauces to make sweet and tangy dipping sauces.

Defrosting Frozen Pineapple Slices

As for the pineapple slices, defrost them in the refrigerator for about 2 to 4 hours and add them to the dish or beverage you prefer. However, if you are using them to bake with there is no need to defrost first. The cooking process will defrost them for you.

Defrosting Crushed Pineapples

When you are ready to use the crushed pineapple take a container from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator to defrost for up to 6 hours. After, use the pineapple for whatever it is you desire.

Summary

Pineapples are a seasonal fruit so it makes sense to freeze them whenever possible. Now that you know how can you freeze pineapple, you can keep this fruit in stock and enjoy it all year round via freezing!

Fruit

Can You Freeze Cherries?

Can you freeze cherries? Whether you prefer them sweet or sour, you don’t have to wait until summer to enjoy cherries! You can freeze them. Too often, people only eat cherries seasonally.

You can safely store them year-round via canning and freezing methods. Pick or purchase cherries in bulk during the season when they are discounted or available from a certain area and then store them away to enjoy their wonderful taste any time of the year as a standalone snack or an ingredient in your favorite recipes.

As with you other soft fruits that contain pits — stone fruits like peaches and mangoes, frozen cherries last longer and are fantastic in both cold and hot dishes. Pop frozen cherries in your mouth or blend them into smoothies or ice cream when you need a cold snack. Defrost whole or frozen syrup-packed cherries to add to recipes or top a favorite cake or pie.

The freezing process does make cherries softer and sometimes even mushy when completely defrosted, but the benefit of having them on hand far outweighs any slight differences in texture. Frozen cherries also retain their nutritional value better than canned ones.

can you freeze cherries

Image used under Creative Commons from Quinn Dombrowski

How to Freeze Cherries?

There are several freezer storage methods. As with other fruits, you can freeze them as juice or in meals. In those cases, follow your preferred methods. In all other cases, use the baking sheet or syrup-packed methods.

Do note that moisture pulled from whole cherries as they freeze turns into ice crystals. This process can affect taste. As a result, it’s best to select ripe, unbruised, dark-colored cherries as soon as they’re harvested to help retain their appearance and taste.

It’s also wise to remove the pits — especially if you plan to use the cherries straight out of the freezer without any type of preparation or if you have small children. A cherry pit is a choking hazard and it can crack and break teeth. Below is a step by step guide on how can you freeze cherries:

Baking Sheet Method

The baking sheet method is used to rapidly freeze the cherries to help prevent shrinkage and ice crystal formation.

Remove the stems and pits. Gently wash them and then use a paper towel to blot them completely dry. Arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet and place the sheet in your freezer for about two hours.

Remove it as soon as the cherries are frozen and pack them immediately in airtight bags or freezer-safe containers. Place the bags or containers in your freezer.

If you use bags, press the air out before sealing them. If you use containers, shake them gently to make the cherries settle and packing easier.

If you want pieces rather than whole cherries, always freeze them whole. It’s easier to cut up frozen cherries and use them cold or defrosted then to cut them beforehand. You also prevent juice loss this way.

Syrup-Packed Method

The syrup-packed method is typically used with sweet cherries to help retain their taste. It also gives you a previously prepared sweet cherry mixture whenever you need to save time.

Clean 4 cups of cherries. Bring 4 cups water and 1 cup sugar to a rolling boil. Add the cherries, wait for the syrupy mixture to reach a rolling boil again and then set it aside to cool until it reaches room temperature.

Pour or ladle the mixture into freezer jars or plastic containers leaving 1/2 inch of space at the top for smaller containers, or 1 inch for larger ones, to prevent the lid from popping off when the mixture expands. Make certain the cherries are completely covered in syrup. Place the containers in your freezer.

If you have diabetes, hypoglycemia or a similar condition, or you don’t like sugar, use 1/2 cup of your preferred sweetener. You can also make the quality of the cherries better by adding 1/2 teaspoon of 1500 mg ascorbic acid to the water at the initial boiling stage.can you freeze cherries

Image used under Creative Commons from Brian Child

How to Defrost Frozen Cherries?

Whole cherries last approximately eight months before they get freezer burn. They sometimes keep for up to 10 months, but you should regularly check them. Syrup-packed cherries can last up to a whole year. Total thawing can take minutes to hours depending on the storage method.

Summary

Fresh cherries aren’t available all year round so it’s great to know that you can freeze this fruit today and enjoy the cherries anytime you want. Now that you know how can you freeze cherries, you can stock up on this fruit without fears of spoiling while stored in the freezer.

Fruit

Can You Freeze Blueberries?

Can you freeze blueberries for later? Packed with nutrition, sweet-tart blueberries are the taste of summer. But is there a way to enjoy them in winter? Namely, can blueberries be frozen? If that’s the question that bugs you, read on!

Blueberries can be successfully frozen for long-term storage, lending a fresh summer flavor to your cooking all year.

They can be grown easily in your backyard, and are a favorite at pick-your-own farms. Blueberries have a short peak season and only last about a week after they are purchased if kept at refrigerated temperatures. If you have a large harvest or find a great sale, you may want to store some to enjoy later.
can you freeze blueberries

Image used under Creative Commons from @rsseattle

Blueberries freeze well, but their thawed texture may be mushier than you enjoy for eating as-is. You can use frozen blueberries in a variety of cooking applications, including muffins, pies, jams, pancakes, and fruit compotes. The texture of frozen and thawed blueberries after cooking will be very similar to cooked fresh blueberries.

You can also enjoy frozen blueberries still frozen as an icy snack. If you want to freeze blueberries to thaw and use without further preparation, you will have the best results if you flash-freeze the blueberries as quickly as possible.

You should always choose fresh and flavorful berries for freezing, as this will maximize your enjoyment of them later. Berries that are mushy or a little unripe will degrade the most when frozen.

How to Freeze Blueberries?

You can freeze fresh or blueberries that are a part of an already-cooked dish. Blueberry muffins, pancakes, pies, and more can be successfully frozen with no real loss of quality. Below is the guide on how can you freeze blueberries:

Prepping the Blueberries

Washing blueberries prior to freezing can make the skins tougher. However, this rarely presents a problem if you plan on cooking with them. If you plan on snacking on the frozen berries, you should make sure to rinse them before freezing.

If you choose not to wash them first, it is a good idea to label your storage container with this information, to make sure you wash them before using. If you are washing your berries, make sure to allow them to drain and dry thoroughly for best results.

Flash-Freezing the Blueberries

Blueberries will freeze best if laid in a single layer on a cookie sheet. This allows the berries to freeze faster, preserving as much texture as possible. It also allows you to remove only the amount of berries you need for your recipe, because the berries will not freeze into one large mass.

Freezing Blueberries for Long-Term

Once fully frozen, you should transfer the berries to an airtight container or freezer bag for long-term storage. Blueberries can be frozen for 6-12 months if protected from freezer burn with a good airtight container.

How to Defrost Frozen Blueberries?

Blueberries should be thawed slowly in the refrigerator overnight, left at room temperature, or thawed in a water-tight bag in a bowl of cold water.

For best results, use berries when they are still cold. Over-thawed or warm berries can be mushy. You can use the microwave to thaw berries, but this should only be done if you plan on cooking with them. Make sure to wash your berries once they are thawed if you didn’t wash them before freezing.

If you are cooking with your frozen blueberries, you do not need to thaw them first. Because they are so small, using blueberries still frozen will not significantly alter your cooking time. This eliminates some of the liquid loss that happens when berries are thawed, and results in plumper berries in your cooked dish. Simply add frozen berries to your recipe as you would fresh, and cook as normal.

Summary

Freezing blueberries can bring the fresh taste of summer to your table year-round, while saving you money. Now that you know how can you freeze blueberries, you can maximize the fresh berries, reduce waste, and enjoy healthy snacks for later!

Fruit

Can You Freeze Lemons?

Can you freeze lemons? Lemons are fruits with a vibrant sunny yellow color that promotes happiness while adding sweet and sour tangy to the dishes and beverages you add them too.

If you have the honors of picking ripe juicy lemons during harvesting season, you have the ability to preserve a bountiful amount of them so you always have fresh lemons on hand. You preserve lemons by freezing them. Check out our step by step guide on how can you freeze lemons below:

How to Freeze Lemons?

Do note that lemons in all forms mentioned below should stay fresh frozen for you for up to 2-years. After the 2-years, lemons will become slightly watery and soft in texture and in flavor.

Freezing Whole Lemons

Now, there are several ways you can freeze lemons. The first ways are by simply washing your whole lemons down with warm water to remove any bacteria and pesticides from the surfaces of the fruits, placing them into freezer bags and storing them away in your freezer until you need them for flavoring food dishes or beverages.

Then, you can slice the lemon in half and squeeze the juice out of the fruit to add flavor to dishes and beverages or you can slice the lemons up thinly and use them whichever way you please.
can you freeze lemons

Image used under Creative Commons from Mike Mozart

Freezing Sliced Lemons

The second method of freezing you can use is slicing your freshly harvested lemons up into ¼-inch thick slices and placing them into freezer bags or containers to preserve that way.

However, you will want to slice your lemons up first, lay them out onto a wax paper lined cookie sheet and freeze them in the freezer for about an hour or two first.

After, you can place the frozen slices of lemon into freezer bags or containers and freeze them up until you need a few slices. Doing it, this way will prevent the lemon slices from freezing together.When you need a few slices simply take a few from the container

Freezing Lemon Cubes

The third way you can enjoy fresh lemons anytime of the year is by squeezing several of them to make a lemon juice and freezing the juice in the freezer until you are ready to add lemon flavor to a dish or beverage of choice.

You can freeze the fresh juice of lemons by pouring the juice into ice cube trays and freezing the juice into cube forms. Once the lemon cubes are frozen solid, you can remove them from the trays into freezer containers or sealable freezer bags and store them away in the freezer until you are ready to use some.

Freezing Peeled Lemons

Fresh lemons can also be peeled and pulled apart into their natural sliced form and stored away this way. All you do is peel the skins from the lemons, peel the lemon slices apart and toss the lemon slices onto wax paper lined cookie sheets.

Then, you freeze the slices in the freezer for about an hour until they become a solid form. After, you toss the slices into freezer containers or bags and freeze them in the freezer this way for up to a year. Freezing lemons this way will prevent the slices from sticking to each other.

How to Defrost Frozen Lemons?

Defrosting frozen lemons is easy. For whole or uncut lemons, leave the fruits to thaw in the fridge overnight. Once completely thawed, they’re ready to use. If you are in a hurry, try placing the frozen lemon in a bowl of cool water, and allow it to defrost for about an hour or two.

Many people even take a whole lemon straight from the freezer and into the microwave to defrost it on high heat for 3-minutes. However, lemons can overheat and explode open defrosting them this way and even change the flavor and texture of them drastically.

As for cut, sliced, or peeled lemons, take a few pieces from the container or bag and toss them into a warm cup of tea, a glass of cool water for lemon water, into a pitcher of lemonade to add more ice cold lemony flavor or until fish dishes right before you bake the meal up.

To use frozen lemon juice simply take a few cubes from the freezer and microwave them on high heat for about a minute so you can use the lemon juice in liquid form, or simply toss the cubes into the beverage of your choice to add a delightful refreshing lemon flavor.

Summary

Freezing lemons, whole or cut, is as easy as can be. It’s a great way to preserve your supply when needed. Now that you know how can you freeze lemons, go ahead and buy this fruit in bulk. You’ll save money while making the most out of your lemon stock.

 

Fruit

Can You Freeze Peppers?

Can you freeze peppers? Freezing peppers is the solution if you find yourself harvesting loads of peppers in your garden during late summer and do not know what to do with them. All you have to do is just freeze the peppers properly so you can use them when you need to for recipes such as stews, chilies, stir-fry dishes, Mexican dishes or salsas.

However, if you are the type that loves your peppers fresh and crisp in texture the freezing method for preserving the vegetables to use later will not work for you. This is because peppers do change in texture during the freezing process, which makes them turn to mush during the defrosting and even cooking process.

Thankfully, freezing peppers does not change the flavor of them unless they are frozen for longer than a year.

All kinds of peppers can be frozen such as belle, jalapeño, banana, chili, rocoto, chocolate Congo, and the scotch bonnet big sun.

Just remember not to freeze them if you are a fan of the crunchy fresh texture they have because again, peppers mush due to the water content they hold during the freezing process. Otherwise, freeze all the peppers you can during harvest season and enjoy them throughout the year until the next harvest season arrives.

Below is our step by step guide on how can you freeze peppers:

How to Freeze Peppers?

First, it is important to know that all kinds of peppers can be preserved through the freezing method. All you need to do before freezing the peppers is remove the stems, seeds and white edging bitter pieces from the centers of them.

After, you can slice the peppers into halves, chopped them up or freeze peppers in slices. Then, you place your halves, chopped up or sliced peppers into freezer bags and place them into your freezer. It is wise to place a label with the date of each bag of peppers before freezing to keep track of when you placed them into the freezer.

Frozen peppers stay fresh in the freezer for up to 2-years. After that, they do become dissatisfying in flavor and develop a watery in texture when you cook them in dishes.

can you freeze peppers

Image used under Creative Commons from Tony

How to Defrost Frozen Peppers?

There are a few ways you can defrost peppers properly and safely.

Quick Defrosting

The first way is by taking a package out of the freezer and just tossing sliced or chopped up peppers into the dish you are cooking up. During the cooking process, the peppers will defrost, become tender and take on the flavors in the dish you are cooking up.

Slow Thawing 

The second way is by taking a package out from the freezer and placing the peppers in the refrigerator to defrost for about 24-hours. Therefore, if you know you need peppers for tomorrow’s meal take them out today and allow them to defrost overnight. After, you can chopped or slice up halves of peppers or your pre-sliced or chopped up peppers and cook with them the way you would normally cook with fresh peppers.

If you need to use halves of frozen peppers within the same day, you can take a freezer bag of the peppers out of the freezer and place the bag of peppers in a bowl of cool water.

Defrosting the peppers, this way should only take about an hour. After, you can remove the peppers from the freezer bag and use them the way you desire too. However, it is not recommended you toss the peppers onto any kind of leafy green salad because they will be slightly mushy in texture and not have that same crisp texture as freshly picked garden peppers have.

Summary

Freezing is a terrific way to preserve your favorite ingredients, including fresh peppers! Now that you know how can you freeze peppers, there is no need to stress about extending the shelf life of your supply. Just stick the peppers in the freezer and they will keep fresh for months.

Fruit

Can You Freeze Pomegranate Seeds?

Since pomegranate seeds aren’t available year-round, many people wonder if they can freeze them and if so, what does the freezing procedure look like. If you’re one of those people, read on!

Hard skin, pith, and jewel-like seeds all form together into the deliciously tart pomegranate. It’s not the most inexpensive type of produce on the grocery shelves, but it’s rich in antioxidants. Those unique red seeds also spruce up any dish or salad.

Unfortunately, they’re not available year-round. But if say, you have lots of pomegranate seeds leftovers, how do you store them properly? Can you freeze pomegranate seeds? While it may be difficult to find pomegranates outside of the period from September to January at your grocery store, it’s fortunate that pomegranate fans can freeze this treasure to enjoy during its off-season.

As you’re perusing the produce section, choose fruit that has a tight red skin. Don’t pick ones with bruises or squishy spots.

can you freeze pomegranate seeds

Image used under Creative Commons from Rebecca Siegel

With a short growing season of late fall to early winter, pomegranates aren’t always available on the produce shelf. Freezing this fruit makes sense because if you blink, the fresh fruit could be off the store shelves until next year.

Many recipes don’t call for an immense amount of seeds. In fact, you may just want a handful to add an extra kick to a salad. If you don’t like to waste food, then you’ll be happy to know that pomegranates — whole or seeded — freeze surprisingly well for later enjoyment.

If you’re thrifty or have a long commute to the store, you probably look for sales so you can buy in bulk. When sales do come around, buy up all the pomegranates you need, and freeze them back. Now let’s take a look at the step by step guide on how can you freeze pomegranate seeds:

How to Freeze Pomegranates Seeds?

Pomegranates can be frozen either whole or seeded. The easiest way to freeze them is to simply place whole fruits in a plastic freezer bag. Make sure you get as much air out of the bag as possible to prevent freezer burn.

If you’re not familiar with pomegranates, extracting their seeds seems daunting. Fortunately, collecting their gorgeous red seeds isn’t as complicated as you imagined. (No, it’s not as easy as peeling an orange, but the task isn’t too difficult.)

Prepping the Pomegranate Seeds

Cut off the crown (which is a little protrusion that looks similar to the top of an onion) and discard it. Then, cut the fruit in quarters (with the skin on).

Soak the quarters in a bowl of cold water for up to 30 minutes. Scrape the seeds from the submerged pith out with your fingers over or in the bowl of water.

The piths – the white material enveloping the seeds – will fall off and rise on the water’s surface while the seeds separate to the bowl’s bottom. The pith is edible, but it’s usually so bitter most people throw it away. Finally, strain out the pith and drain the water.

Packing the Pomegranate Seeds for Freezing

Freezing pomegranate seeds is much like freezing blueberries. After collecting the seeds, you put them on a paper towel. Pat them dry. Put them in a single layer on a cookie sheet.

Place that in the freezer for about 20 minutes so the seeds get firm and won’t clump together when you put them into a labeled freezer container or bag. If you’re using a plastic bag, get all of the excess air smoothed out.

How to Defrost Pomegranate Seeds?

Whole pomegranates must thaw in the fridge so they’re soft enough that you can cut them and extract the seeds. The frozen seeds will be slightly less crunchy and juicy than fresh ones.

Pomegranate seeds may be dropped into recipes while they’re frozen, but if you need thawed seeds, it won’t take long. Put them in their plastic bag into the fridge, and use them all up within three days. Don’t freeze them a second time! Frozen pomegranates and seeds taste freshest within 6 months of the date they were frozen.

Now, sprinkle those seeds into your salads or a grenadine for some pep in your step. Eat them in lieu of a processed, sugary snack. The minimal amount of work it takes to freeze them is definitely worth it!

Summary

As you can see, freezing pomegranate seeds is so easy, there is no reason why you should discard your leftovers. Now that you know how can you freeze pomegranate seeds, simply pack the leftovers then stick in the freezer. The seeds will keep in the freezer for weeks!

Fruit

Can You Freeze Pears?

Can you freeze pears? Crisp fresh pears during harvest time can be picked and preserved through freezing methods that will allow you to enjoy the fruit throughout the year. All you have to know is how to freeze the pears properly, which if you do not already know how the information below will help you.

If you are like most people, you will think it is best to pick pears, peel them and freeze them right after the harvesting.

However, right after harvesting, pears actually need time to ripen up a bit. If the fruit does not ripen properly and you go to freeze it, you will have some distasteful pears that are bland in flavor and firm in texture.

Do note that freezing will not change the sweet flavor of the pears or the color of them, but the texture is affected greatly. In fact, instead of having crisp pears, you will have super sweet soft flesh pears that will taste like pure candy.

This is why many people snack on defrosted frozen pears for dessert or snack when they have a sweet tooth to cure. However, if you leave pears in the freezer frozen for more than two-years, pears can become discolored and develop a watery sweet flavor.

How to Freeze Pears?

The best way to ripen pears is to simply place freshly harvested ones near the window for a couple of days. If you cannot tell if your pears are ripened enough, simply bite into one and taste test. If the flesh is tender and full of juicy flavor it is time to freeze the pears. Below is a simple guide on how can you freeze pears:

Preserving Pears in Syrup

Like apples, the flesh of pears turns brown when exposed to air so you will have to make a simple syrup mixture by combing sugar and water together in a medium saucepan and bringing it to a rapid boil.

As soon as the mixture boils, you remove it from the stovetop and allow it to cool before using it to preserve your pears. The simple syrup should be made before you peel, pit and remove seeds and stems from the pears.

can you freeze pears

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Freezing Preserved Pears 

Once you have your simple syrup made, you can peel, pit and remove the stems and seeds from the pears. After, you want to slice the leftover pear flesh into inch size slices and toss them into freezer jars or containers.

Next, you will pour your cooled down simple syrup mixture over the pears until they are coated well. After, you will place the lids onto the freezer jars or containers and place a label with the date onto them. Finally, place the jars in the freezer to help preserve your delicious ripen pears until you are ready to enjoy them as a tasty treat.

How to Defrost Frozen Pears?

The best way to defrost your pears coated in simple syrup is by taking a jar or container from the freezer and placing it into the refrigerator.

Then, allow the jar or container of pears to defrost for about 12-hours. After, you can remove the jar of pears from the refrigerator, serve them up and eat them straight away.

If you cannot eat the entire defrosted jar of frozen pears you can simply place the leftover pears in the refrigerator and they should stay fresh as long as their in the jar of simple syrup for up to a week.

Summary

Now that you know how can you freeze pears properly, here is another tip to consider for freezing pears: when you go to make your simple syrup, add rum or brandy with some vanilla extract to create a preserving syrup that will add a bit of extra delightful flavor to your pears.

Just remember not to serve these pears up to children when you do defrost a batch and eat them up. You can also add spices to your simple syrup such as cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice if you want to preserve your pears with a warm spicy-sweet flavor that makes an excellent treat during the winter months. Be creative when creating your simple syrup to preserve your pears with.

Fruit

Can You Freeze Peaches?

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.

Freezing Peaches

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.

Fresh 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.

Summary

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.