Tag: freeze fruits

Fruit

Can You Freeze Fruits?

Summer is officially over and that means it’s only a matter of time before your favorite summer fruits are no longer available. Now if say, you have lots of in-season fruits in the pantry, how do you extend their freshness? Can you freeze fruits?

You’d be surprised at how easy fruits keep well in the freezer. Of course, fruits come in different varieties, some freeze better than others. The general rule is that denser, hardier fruits tend to keep better in the freezer than softer fruits. Usually, fresh and ripe fruits have a shelf life of a week or two. But when kept in the freezer, fruits will keep for months, even a full year if the temperature is kept at a stable 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

Image used under Creative Commons from  Ronnie

Before we go ahead with the freezing guide, let’s talk about the important factors you need to consider before freezing fruits. If you are buying fruits for freezing, always choose fresh fruits that are at their peak of freshness. Freezing will stop half-ripened fruits from fully ripening and this will affect the overall taste and texture of the produce. In addition, fresh fruits have to be frozen quickly so the freshness is locked in. Keep the temperature steady or your frozen fruits will turn to mush.

It’s also worth noting that moisture exposure will ruin the taste and texture of the frozen fruits. As such, packing the fruits prior to freezing is a critical step. Freezing fruits isn’t just about sticking a bag of it in the freezer. Below is the guide on how can you freeze fruits:

How to Freeze Fruits?

Prepping the fruits prior to freezing is a critical step in preserving the natural flavors and texture of the fruits. There are different techniques to consider when prepping fresh fruits for freezing:

Flash Freezing

Flash freezing involves “shocking” or exposing the fruits to extremely low temperature to lock in the freshness. Delicate fruits – such as berries, pears, melons, and grapes – tend to go mushy when they are not flash-frozen before being frozen. By flash freezing the fruits, delicate fruits retain their crisp texture and distinct flavors.

To flash freeze fruits, wash and trim the fruits. Remove the pits, peel or cut the fruits if needed. Lay the fruits on a parchment-lined baking tray. Make sure the fruit pieces are not touching each other so they won’t clump together. Stick the baking tray in the freezer and let sit for 1 hour or until the fruits are frozen solid.

While waiting for the fruits to freeze, prepare several resealable plastic bags. After an hour, take the baking tray out of the freezer and gently place the fruits in the plastic bag. Give the bag a squeeze to remove the air before sealing. Write the storage date with a marker then stick in the freezer.

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Preserving in Sugar Syrup

Some fruits tend to oxidize or discolor after they have been cut. These fruits include pears, apples, bananas, and peaches. An enzyme – called polyphenol oxidase or tyrosinase – triggers a bioreaction that causes fruits to darken. For these fruits, it’s best to preserve them in sugar or syrup prior to freezing. Flash freezing the fruits won’t stop the fruits from oxidizing once they’ve been defrosted. By preserving the fruits in syrup, the fruits will retain their natural color, flavor, and consistency.

To preserve fruits in syrup prior to freezing, wash the fruits in cold water. Do the cleaning in small batches because the fruits must not discolor before the process is completed! Do not slice or cut the fruits, do this later. Once the fruits are clean, set aside.

Next, you need to prepare the syrup. Dissolve heaps of sugar in lukewarm water, mixing continuously until the solution is clear. In terms of the syrup’s thickness, this will depend on your preference. To make thin syrup, mix one part sugar to three parts water. For a syrup with medium thickness, mix one part sugar with two parts water. For goopy syrup, mix equal parts water and sugar.

Pour the sugar and water solution into a deep skillet, simmering on medium heat until the solution thickens. Once the solution is thickened, it’s ready to be used.

Go back to your washed fruits and trim, de-core, pit, peel or slice the produce as you please. Put the fruits in a freezer-safe, airtight container. Do not fill the container completely; you need to make room for the syrup. Once you’re ready, pour the syrup into the container, making sure all fruits are covered by it. Leave about an inch or two of space so the syrup has room to expand as it freezes. Seal with the airtight lid, write the storage date, and then stick in the freezer.

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A variation of this technique involves adding the fresh fruits directly in the pot of boiling syrup. You won’t cook the fruits through, just add them as soon as the syrup has thickened. Then, just pour everything in an airtight container, seal, write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

Sugar Pack

This is a simple technique that’s best used on sliced peaches, strawberries, plums, cherries as well as de-seeded grapes. Start by washing, trimming, peeling or de-seeding the fruits. Then, place the fruit bits in a shallow pan. Sprinkle sugar on the fruits, enough to cover every bit. Mix the fruits gently until the fruit juice has been drawn out and the sugar dissolved completely. When you’re done, you are ready for packing.

Preparing the Fruits for Freezing

This is a general guide on how to freeze most types of fresh fruits.

Start by sorting the fresh fruits and picking the ones that are at the peak of freshness. Wash the fruits in cold water, removing bits and dirt. Once the fruits are clean, dry well with paper towel. At this point, you can slice, dice, de-pit, de-core, de-seed, or peel the fruits as you please. Carve away bruises, gashes, or undesirable spots while you’re at it.

Once the fruits are ready, you can flash-freeze, preserve the fruits in syrup or use the sugar pack technique to prep the product. If you’re working with fruits that oxidize, do not cut or slice the fruits right away. If you’re using simple syrup, do the syrup before cutting the fruits. Otherwise, the fruits will discolor before you have the chance to complete the process.

When you are done flash freezing, preserving in syrup or using the sugar pack technique, you are ready to pack the fruits for freezing.

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Packing the Fruits for Freezing

You can use a rigid plastic container with an airtight lid, a freezer jar, or resealable plastic bags to pack the fruits. Just place the fruits in your preferred container and seal. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

If you used syrup to preserve the fruits, cover the container with cling wrap before closing the lid. This way, the syrup won’t leak. We do not recommend using mason jars or glass jars because the material will explode in freezing temperature.

Guidelines for Freezing Specific Fruits

Nectarines

Love nectarines? You can freeze nectarines easily, check out this guide for the steps how!

Limes

Limes are plentiful in the summer so if you want to preserve this citrusy fruit all year round, check out this guide.

Kiwi

Kiwi is a delicate fruit that bruises easily so it should be frozen carefully. Here’s the right way to freeze kiwi fruit.

Figs

Figs are such versatile fruits, you can’t have enough of it. Learn how to freeze figs properly with this guide.

Blueberries

There are many ways to preserve blueberries prior to freezing. Find out how to freeze blueberries the right way with this guide.

For a complete list of our fruit freezing guides, click here.

How to Defrost Frozen Fruits?

Defrosting frozen fruits is easy, just transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the frozen fruits to thaw slowly overnight. You want to defrost the fruits slowly to retain the texture and flavor of the produce. When the fruits have thawed completely, it’s ready to be eaten or prepared according to the recipe.

Summary

As you can see, there are so many techniques to consider when freezing different types of fruits. We hope that this guide has been helpful to you. Now that you know how can you freeze fruits, you can extend the freshness of your favorite seasonal fruits for months!

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 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

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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!