Tag: fruits

Fruit

Can You Freeze Green Tomatoes?

Can you freeze green tomatoes? Summer is just around the corner and that means enjoying the abundance of green tomatoes. Green tomatoes may not be as popular as red tomatoes but they are just as tasty and nutritious! They’re tart and much firmer than red tomatoes because green tomatoes aren’t fully ripe yet. But since they are firmer, green tomatoes are perfect for frying. They are able to hold their shape well so yes, green tomatoes freeze well too!

Choosing the Tomatoes for Freezing

Start by selecting all the blemish-free green tomatoes you can find in the supermarket. These are best for freezing. Avoid oddly soft, bruised, and undamaged tomatoes. Wash the tomatoes under running water, removing the stems and any debris that might’ve settled on the core of the fruit. Core and slice the tomatoes into equal sizes (diced, sliced, or halved) using a sharp knife then remove the seeds.  Once the tomatoes are cleaned and sliced, you are ready to pack the tomatoes for freezing.

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How to Freeze Green Tomatoes?

Freezing Cut Green Tomatoes

Prepare a baking tray lined with wax paper then lay the cut tomatoes on the tray in an even layer. Make sure none of the tomato bits are touching each other. If there’s excess moisture, pat the cut tomatoes with a paper towel so the fruit won’t stick to the baking tray. Stick the baking tray in the freezer and leave to freeze for 2 hours.

Once the cut tomatoes are frozen stiff, take the baking tray out of the freezer and prepare several resealable plastic bags. Carefully lift the cut tomatoes from the tray and place them in the resealable plastic bag. Squeeze out the excess air then seal. Write the storage date them stick the bag in the freezer. Store flat to save space in the freezer.

Freezing Whole Green Tomatoes

You can also freeze the green tomatoes whole. Just prep the tomatoes as you normally would then plunge them in boiling water for 30 seconds. Give them an ice bath immediately. The changing temperature makes it much easier to remove the skins. Peel off the skin then set aside.

Prepare a baking tray lined with wax paper. Place the skinned whole green tomatoes on the baking tray, making sure none of them are touching each other. If there’s excess moisture, pat the tomatoes dry with a paper towel so the fruit won’t stick to the baking tray. Stick the baking tray in the freezer and leave to freeze for 2 hours.

Image used under Creative Commons from Ed Seymour

After two hours, take the baking tray from the freezer and prepare a heavy-duty freezer-safe resealable plastic bag. Carefully lift the frozen tomatoes from the baking tray and place them in the resealable bag. Squeeze out the excess air then seal. Write the storage date them stick the bag in the freezer.

Freezing Green Tomato Puree

Yes, it’s possible to store tomato puree in the freezer too! Just prep the tomatoes as you normally would then cut them into quarters. Process the tomatoes using a food processor and pour the puree into a rigid, airtight container. Do not fill the container to the brim, leave about 2 inches of space for the puree to expand as it freezer. Cover the container with cling wrap then secure it with the airtight lid. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

3 Ways of Preserving Green Tomatoes for the Winter

Shelf Life, Thawing, and Reheating Suggestions

Frozen green tomatoes will keep for 10 to 12 months in the freezer. But for optimal flavor, we recommend consuming your supply immediately. Do not refreeze any leftovers.

Thawing the frozen green tomatoes is easy; just transfer the tomatoes in the fridge and leave to defrost overnight. If you are in a hurry, you can leave the frozen tomatoes to thaw for a few hours at room temperature. Once the tomatoes are completely thawed, you can now add them to your favorite recipes.

If you are frying the green tomatoes, there is no need to defrost the fruits at all. Just drop the frozen tomatoes on the frying pan gently. The tomatoes will turn to mush when it’s defrosted before frying.

Summary

Can you freeze green tomatoes? Tomatoes do not keep well in the freezer but since green tomatoes have a firmer texture, they will hold up better than red tomatoes! Freezing is a terrific way to make the most out of green tomatoes, which are quite abundant during the summer season.

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.

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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 Raisins?

Raisins are one versatile food item every kitchen should never be without! It can be enjoyed on its own as a low-calorie snack and as an ingredient for your favorite desserts, salads, stews, and frozen treats. As with all dried fruits, you can freeze raisins if the batch is nearing its expiration date. Although dried, raisins can still go bad.

On its own, a box of unopened raisins can keep for 12 months but the quality will diminish over time. And once opened, raisins’ shelf life will be cut to just 6 months.

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The lack of moisture makes raisins a great candidate for freezing and once thawed, there’s little to no change in the texture. So if you have room in your freezer, we highly recommend freezing raisins!

How to Freeze Raisins?

The proper way to freeze raisins is to store them in a plastic, freezer-safe container. Ideally, break down the raisins in individual servings so by the time you need a small amount, you can just defrost a serving, not the whole container.

To store the raisins, get a baking sheet and spread the raisins, making sure to break all the large clumps apart as you go. Then, lay the baking sheet flat in the freezer and leave it for an hour or so. You want to make sure the raisins are frozen solid by the time you remove the tray from the freezer.

Once the raisins are frozen, get several re-sealable plastic bags or rigid containers and start packing the frozen raisins in smaller servings. Because they are frozen, the raisins won’t stick together for the final freeze.

After packing the raisins in small servings, stick them all in the freezer and you’re done. When in the deep freeze, raisins will keep for up to 1 and a half years.

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How to Defrost Frozen Raisins?

The best way to defrost raisins is to transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge and leaving it to thaw overnight. You can also get a container and leave it to defrost on your countertop at room temperature.

Do note that you don’t have to defrost the raisins if you’re using them for cooking or baking. You can simply chuck the frozen raisins straight to the dish or baked treats and be done with it!

Summary

Because they are a healthy alternative to candies and other sweets, it’s always a good idea to have raisins in stock for later use. Now that you know how to freeze raisins properly, you can store a box or two in the freezer to lengthen their shelf life.

Fruit

Can You Freeze Kiwi?

Kiwi has a sweet, tangy flavor that complements a variety of dishes, they make the perfect add-on to your favorite smoothies, desserts, and even salads! Even better, you can freeze kiwi for later use. This fruit is very delicate and prone to bruising that’s why you need to store it properly. A fully ripened kiwi can keep in the fridge for up to 5 days only. If properly stored, fresh kiwi fruit will keep in the freezer for up to 12 months.

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How to Freeze Kiwi?

The best way to freeze kiwi is by slicing them up, instead of freezing them whole. While you can always store whole, unsliced kiwi fruit, slicing kiwi minimizes any flavor or texture change once they are frozen. Also, because the fruit is broken down into smaller pieces, it’ll take up less room in the freezer.

Prep the Kiwi for Freezing

To freeze kiwi, start by washing the fruit thoroughly with water. Then, peel off the fuzzy rind and cut according to your preferred size. Make sure the knife is very sharp to avoid bruising the fruit’s delicate flesh.

Packing the Kiwi for Freezing

Put all the sliced kiwi in a freezer-safe rigid container or a glass container with airtight lids. At this point, you can either stick the container in the freezer or you can pour in cooled sugar syrup before closing the lid, making sure to leave an inch of space for the liquid to expand.

How to Defrost Frozen Kiwi?

While you can always use frozen kiwi on its own, the fruit doesn’t really need thawing (especially for smoothies and frozen desserts!). However, you can also thaw it for other uses.

To defrost frozen kiwi fruit, we recommend transferring the product to the refrigerator and allow to thaw overnight. Once thawed, you can add kiwi fruit to your desserts or salads!

Image used under Creative Commons from Michael Fötsch

Summary

Freezing your own kiwis is a great way to whip up all sorts of frozen treats in a jiffy. Although you can always buy pre-frozen fruits, there’s no guarantee that the product is truly fresh and chemical-free!

Also, freezing your own fruit lets you control every aspect of the fruit, including the cut, size, and prep. Now that you know how to freeze kiwi properly, you can keep your favorite fruit in the freezer for later use!

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

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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?

Can you freeze strawberries? The taste of fresh strawberries is pure delight, but we also love to enjoy them in winter months and freezing them is the easiest way to achieve that. It is best to pick fresh strawberries right from the patch during harvesting season and freeze some so you can enjoy the sweet and tart tangy flavors of them throughout the year.

With all that being said, it is essential to know that freezing strawberries will slightly change their texture to a mushier and juicer kind, but they will still taste like summer strawberries when you go to defrost and eat them.

However, if you love the firm plump texture of strawberries and desire them sliced up over leafy green salads or for making chocolate covered berries it is wise to use them up fresh. Trying to use previously frozen strawberries on leafy green salads or for making chocolate cover berries will just turn into a strawberry juicy mess.

Otherwise, freeze as many fresh strawberries as you possibly can during the harvesting season and enjoy the berries throughout the year. Now let’s take a look at how can you freeze strawberries the right way:

How to Freeze Strawberries?

Freezing Whole Strawberries

One of the ways you can freeze strawberries is whole. However, it is essential that you cut their leafy green tops off first.

After, you can take the freshly picked whole strawberries, place them into a freezer bag, and store them away in the freezer this way for about 2 years. After about 2-years, the strawberries will lose some of their flavor and juicy plump texture.

can you freeze strawberries

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Freezing Sliced Strawberries

Another popular way strawberries are frozen is by slicing the tops of them and slicing them up into little round berry circles about a ¼ inch thick.

The slices are then tossed into freezable containers and sprinkled with sugar to help add extra sweetness and help them preserve them a bit better. After, the sliced berries are frozen in the freezer where they will keep fresh this way for up to a year with ease.

Freezing Strawberry Jam or Jelly

Freshly harvested strawberries make wonderful jams and jellies, which can be frozen as well. Simply take your favorite jam or jelly recipe and make your jam or jelly with the fresh strawberries.

Once the jam or jelly is ready, pour it into freezer jars about ¾ full and place lids tightly onto them. After, you can freeze your strawberry jams or jellies in the freezer for up to 2 years.

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How to Defrost Frozen Strawberries?

When it comes to thawing frozen strawberries, the method will depend on the state of the berries prior to freezing.

Defrosting Whole Strawberries

For whole strawberries that are frozen, there is no need to thaw the fruit if you are making smoothies. All you have to do is take the frozen berries from the freezer and toss them into smoothies and salads as they are.

Blending the berries into smoothies will keep your healthy beverage of choice icy cold and if you do decide to toss them into a fruit salad frozen, they will defrost within an hour while keeping your fruit salad nicely chilled and full of juicy flavor.

That said, if you simply want to eat some whole strawberries as they are all you have to do is remove a bag of them from the freezer and allow them to defrost in the refrigerator for about 4 to 6 hours.

Defrosting Strawberry Slices

When you are ready to use the slice strawberries simply take a container from the freezer and place it into the refrigerator where it will take about 6 to 12 hours to defrost.

After, you can eat the strawberry slices as they are, pour them over pound cakes or angle cakes for a delightful strawberry dessert or mix them into fruit salads, yogurts or smoothies for a healthy tasting berry snack. You can even use the defrosted slices of berries to make a scrumptious strawberry pie.

After, you can eat them up as they are or pour them into a bowl and sprinkle sugar upon them for a delightful strawberry treat. The berries will be slightly mushier and juicer in texture, but will still have their outstanding summery berry flavor.

Defrosting Strawberry Jam or Jelly

To defrost the jellies or jams simply place them in the refrigerator and they should be ready to use within 12 hours. Best of all, defrosted jams and jellies stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to six months. This is because the sugar in them preserves them well.

Summary

As you can see, how the strawberries are prepared will determine the freezing process. Although learning how can you freeze strawberries the right way requires extra prep, the effort is well worth it. You can enjoy this seasonal berry all year round!

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!

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

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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.