Tag: fruit

Fruit

Can You Freeze Mango?

If you have ever considered freezing mango and didn’t know if it was a good idea and if so then how to do it, this article is for you. Read along!

Let’s talk about mango. This delicious fruit has become more popular in recent years due to its rich tropical flavor and availability. Living in tropical climates, you have more accessibility to fresh mango at local grocers and fruit stands. For those of you vacationing, in the land of mango, you’ll get caught up having this delicious fruit added to all your meals and will want to take it home with you.

This scenario could happen to you- you’ve arrived home from your tropical vacation and remembered that you’ve brought home or had shipped home a bushel of mango or maybe there was a big sale on mango at your neighborhood market. You can’t eat them all before they go bad, so can you freeze mango for later?

The answer is, “YES,” you can freeze mango and it gives you so many options for future uses. Don’t worry, mango’s freeze really good, hold their texture well and taste just as great. Here’s how to get started on preparing your mango’s for freezing.

How to Freeze Mango?

Make sure that your mangoes are ripe. Disregard the color, as there are so many varieties of mango. Squeeze gently to feel for ripeness, sort of like a peach. Peel the mango and cut the meat of the fruit into chunks or strips.

Place serving or snack sizes into freezer bags or freezer safe containers to store in your freezer for up to six months. Mix your mango chunks with other fruits like blueberries, strawberries or peaches in freezer bags for future use in smoothies.

Use clean and sterilized plastic ice trays to fill with mashed mango to make mango ice cubes. These cubes can also be used as individual servings of baby food-just pop one out at a time to defrost for your baby’s fruit at meal time.

can you freeze mango

Image used under Creative Commons from Joy

How to Defrost Frozen Mango?

Well, you’ve got a freezer full of frozen mango, now what?

Thawing Frozen Mango

Transfer one frozen bag at a time to your refrigerator. This bag will be good for consumption for about a week.Add this slightly chilled fruit to your morning cereal or make a fantastic breakfast smoothie.

Using Thawed Mango

Add the slightly chilled mango to your morning cereal or make a fantastic breakfast smoothie.

Place a serving of frozen mango in your lunch box for a tropical treat at lunch. Take a bag of frozen mango chunks to the pool for a healthy snack that will cool you off.

Use frozen chunks of mango to make frozen cocktails, like a daiquiri, instead of ice. It keeps the flavor of your drink from getting watered down as with melting ice.

Pop a frozen chunk or strip in your ice tea for a truly refreshing drink. Give still slightly frozen mango strips to your older baby to soothe their teething gums.

Those of you who are handy in the kitchen will love the versatility of being able to freeze mango to use when your recipes call for it.

Mango salsa is delicious on seafood. Grab your frozen mango out of the freezer, let thaw a few hours and then prepare mango salsa for your evening meal, or even better, make a huge batch to share with friends.

Mash the mango up and store in the refrigerator a couple of days or back in the freezer to serve to your baby. No additives, just pure fruit.

Instead of a boring old peach bellini’s, surprise your guests with mango bellinis. Add mango to your everyday salad to give it a tropical twist.

Serving fruit kabobs at your pool party is made easier with using your frozen mango skewered with a couple of other frozen fruits. These can be done ahead, stored in your refrigerator for a couple of hours and are ready to be enjoyed when served-still cool and crisp.

Summary

Freezing fresh mangoes for later is so easy. Now that you know how can you freeze mango, you can never have too much of this tropical fruit! Freezing works great fresh and you can freeze it to enjoy later when the occasion calls for it.

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.

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?

So you’ve stumbled upon a deal on bananas that you couldn’t pass. And maybe you’ve bought one or two (or 10) more bananas than you can use before they go bad. Can you freeze bananas? That’s the first question that comes to mind when you realize that you have more bananas on hand than you can eat or use in pies and salads in the next week or so.

Most fruit freeze fairly well and bananas are in that category too. That means you can freeze them. However, freezing will change their texture a bit and you might not enjoy them by themselves after thawing. That’s a matter of personal preference, really.

Fortunately enough, they still work well in all sorts of recipes that bananas are just a part of. That means smoothies, pies, muffins, banana bread, and so on. Interested in freezing bananas? If so, read on to learn about several ways of freezing this delicious fruit.

Bananas

How to Freeze Banana Slices?

This is one of the most popular methods of freezing bananas. It might take a bit more time in terms of preparation, but you end up with a bunch of banana slices that you can easily use for your recipe. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Peel and slice the bananas. Remove the peel and slice the fruit. The thickness of the slices is up to you, so choose what works best for your needs. I usually go for 1- to 2- inch slices.
    Slicing bananas
  2. (Recommended) Pre-freezing. Transfer the banana slices onto a cookie sheet in a single layer where the slices don’t touch each other. Then, put the cookie sheet into the freezer. Leave the fruit in the freezer for a few hours until frozen solid. You want the slices to not stick to each other in the freezer bag and freezing bananas might take a few hours. Yup, a few hours. Banana slices love to stick to each other, so feel free to leave the cookie sheet in the freezer overnight.
    Bananas ready for pre-freezing

    Frozen banana slices

    Pre-frozen banana slices ready for packaging

  3. Transfer the slices into a freezer bag. If you’ve decided to pass on pre-freezing, not everything is lost. You can cheat a bit by transferring a smaller number of slices into a freezer bag and arranging them in a way they don’t touch each other. Label the freezer bag with name and date if needed.
    Banana slices ready for freezing

    Banana slices in freezer bag

    Banana slices arranged so they don’t touch each other

  4. Chuck the bag(s) into the freezer.

How to Freeze Whole Bananas?

This is the easiest and least time-consuming method of freezing bananas. We recommend this method if you’re in a hurry.

  1. (Recommended) Peel the bananas. You can leave the peel on if you’re in a real hurry and can’t spare the 30 seconds for peeling each fruit. If you leave the peel on, remember that the peel will turn brown in the freezer, even though the banana flesh will be just fine.
  2. Transfer bananas into the freezer bags. You can go for a single banana per freezer bag or two or more bananas per bag if the fruits fit. Add a label to those bags if needed.
  3. Transfer the bags into the freezer.

How to Freeze Mashed Bananas?

Mashing is another option for freezing fruit and it works well for bananas. If mashed bananas are what you need for a recipe, try this method. Here’s how it goes:

  1. Peel and mash the bananas.
  2. Consider portion size. You will thaw the whole portion of frozen mashed bananas at a time so it’s important to choose a portion size that will work for your needs. Go for smaller portions so you won’t have to thaw a ton of bananas at a time. If you have some recipes in mind, choose portions that match the recipes to avoid leftovers.
  3. Transfer the mashed bananas into freezer-safe containers or freezer bags. Add a label if needed.
  4. Put the mashed fruit into the freezer.

How to Defrost Frozen Bananas

Thawing frozen bananas is not rocket science and the usual defrosting methods work for bananas too:

  • Overnight in the fridge. Transfer the freezer bags or containers into the fridge in the evening and the bananas will be ready in the morning. The defrosting process will take an hour to a few hours, depending on what method of freezing you have chosen. Obviously, thawing whole bananas with the peel on will take the longest.
  • At room temperature. Generally not recommended, but many (including me) do it anyway. Just put the bag or container on the counter and leave it there until thawed. Again, time of thawing depends on the state of the fruit when frozen. If you want to speed up the process, submerge the bags or containers in cold water. Water conducts heat much faster than air does and you can use that to your advantage.