Tag: fruits

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

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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 Dates?

Can you freeze dates? If you do see dates at a reasonable price in the supermarket, it is usually a good idea to buy as much as you can and freeze them until you can use them.

Various methods of storage may be used depending on the type of date, including freezing them or simply storing them in a cupboard.The popularity of certain varieties of dates such as Medjool dates means that they are rarely available in stores and can be expensive since they are in such high demand.

The popularity of certain varieties of dates such as Medjool dates means that they are rarely available in stores and can be expensive since they are in such high demand.

Dates

Image used under Creative Commons from Itinerant Tightwad

Aside from their scarcity, another reason for the high cost is the fact that Medjool dates are picked by hand, not in large clusters. It is necessary to pick them individually by hand because of their delicate texture. The cost of dates also depends on their grade, which ranges from choice (the least expensive) to jumbo (the largest and most expensive).

If stored properly, dates can last for a very long time. Harder, drier varieties can be stored in an airtight container without refrigeration in an area that is both dark and cool. They can last for several weeks in those conditions. The airtight container is necessary because dates can easily absorb odors from other foods.

Medjool dates and other softer varieties can be stored in an airtight container with no refrigeration for up to a week; however, you will need to refrigerate them if you need to store them for longer. If they are not refrigerated they can dry out or may start fermenting. Dried out Medjool dates can be unpleasantly chewy. Below is a step-by-step guide on how can you freeze dates:

Image used under Creative Commons from sunny mama

How to Freeze Dates?

Dates have a very high sugar content (50-70 percent by weight), which means that they can handle freezing very well; in fact, some people believe that freezing actually improves their texture by making it even softer and even “creamy.”

Freezing Dried Dates

In order to freeze dates, place them in an airtight container and place the container in the freezer. Dates can last as long as five years if they are kept frozen. Note that sugar crystals can appear on or beneath the skin of the dates if they have been frozen for a while but will not affect their taste.

Freezing Date Paste

Date paste is another way for you to use your dates. You can also freeze the date paste for later use if you prefer. Date paste is an excellent substitute for refined sugar and it is also gluten-free.You make it by removing the pits, soaking the dates for a few hours and then pureeing them in a food processor or blender.

Date paste allows you to save a relatively large quantity of dates without taking up much freezer space. You can simply store the paste flat in a zip lock bag and break off pieces as you need them.

How to Defrost Frozen Dates?

To thaw your frozen dates, place them in a microwave and defrost for 30 seconds. Do not subject dates to high heat as there is the potential for the sugar crystals to caramelize and affect their flavor.

Summary

Dates are among the oldest cultivated fruits in the world with the fruits being eaten as far back in history as 4000 BC. There are hundreds of date varieties including Medjool, Khadrawy and Deglet Noor.

Many of these date varieties were brought to the United States in the late 19th century and have been grown here ever since. As a dessert fruit, the date thrives in the dry climes of California and Arizona.

It’s great to know that you can always freeze and thaw dates whenever. Now that you know how can you freeze dates, go ahead and hoard your favorite fruit and keep the rest for later! You’ll save more money by buying in bulk, plus, you have a steady supply of dates.

Fruit

Can You Freeze Oranges?

Can you freeze oranges? Regardless of your reason for buying in bulk, an easy way to preserve oranges for use later is by freezing them.

Oranges are not always in season, so when they are available, you may want to buy a few extras to eat later. It also makes good sense to buy extra oranges whenever you visit an area where they are grown because you can find fruit that is fresher and tastier.

You might also want to stockpile oranges if you find them on sale or live some distance from the grocery store.

Many people are surprised to discover they can actually freeze oranges for use later. While freezing oranges will preserve them, the texture will nonetheless be affected. As such, frozen oranges should only be used in smoothies, sherbet or juices.

How to Freeze Oranges?

Below is a general guideline on how to prepare the oranges for freezing:

Preparing the Oranges

To prepare oranges for freezing, wash them lightly under cold running water and then pat them dry with paper towels. Do not use any soap or chemical-based cleaners, as this will leave a residue behind that could affect the taste and texture of your oranges.

After washing, slice your oranges into circular rounds, or remove the outer peeling and separate into sections. Circular slices are ideal for garnishes. Peeled sections are preferred if you plan to use your frozen oranges to create other dishes with.

Sterilizing The Containers

Next, thoroughly wash canning jars or plastic food storage containers in hot soapy water to ensure they are clean. If you are using canning jars, you should also boil the lids for approximately five minutes as well.

can you freeze oranges

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Below are the two common techniques on preserving oranges prior to freezing:

Dry Pack Method

The dry pack method involves placing orange slices or sections as tightly as you can. This prevents air from getting into them, thereby preserving as much of their taste as possible.

Continue stuffing oranges into the container until you are approximately 1/4 to 1/2 inch from the top. This allows room for the oranges to expand as they freeze. After filling your containers, place the appropriate lid on them, and then mark the date and contents on the top with a marker.

Syrup Packing

Oranges can also be frozen in syrup, and doing so allows them to retain more of their texture and flavor. This step does take a bit longer, as it requires you to make a syrup ahead of time and allow it to cool in the refrigerator. That way, when you pour it over top of your oranges, it will speed the freezing process.

To prepare syrup, boil a mixture of two parts sugar and three parts water together, and then place in the refrigerator for at least four hours.

When you are ready to freeze your oranges, place sections loosely inside your canning jars. Pour syrup over top of the oranges until they are completely covered, leaving a space of around ¾ inch at the top to allow both the syrup and the oranges to expand.

Place lids on your jars and tighten them down as much as possible by hand. Mark the lid with “oranges” and the date they were packed.
Oranges

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How to Defrost Frozen Oranges?

To thaw frozen oranges, simply remove them from the freezer and allow them to defrost at room temperature for four to six hours. If you have packed your oranges in syrup, you should drain and rinse them before using them for other purposes.

Thawed oranges should be used as soon as possible in order to get the most enjoyment out of their flavor. Ideally, oranges that have previously been frozen should be consumed within three to four days. Freezing oranges will allow you to enjoy them for up to six months after purchase.

Summary

The next time you come across a great deal on oranges, don’t pass it up. Buy a few extras and freeze them using one of the above methods to ensure you are able to enjoy this delicious fruit when it might not otherwise be available.

Fruit

Can You Freeze Blackberries?

Can you freeze blackberries? As summer ends and fall begins blackberries are ready for harvesting. Thankfully, you can harvest bountiful amounts and freeze them to preserve the fresh berry flavor and plump juicy texture they retain so we can enjoy them throughout the year when ever we desire too.

Frozen blackberries defrost easily and are outstanding for making jams, jellies, pies, muffins, breads, cookies, frosting, cakes or whatever it is, you heart desires to do with them.

Best of all frozen blackberries that were harvested in late summer and defrosted in the middle of winter helps give us a taste of sunshine when the winter blues are plaguing us.

How to Freeze Blackberries?

There are a few ways you can freeze blackberries to help retain their freshness. Let’s take a look at the step by step guide on how can you freeze blackberries:

Freezing Fresh Blackberries

The best thing about blackberries is you can harvest them straight from the vine, remove the stems and leaves from the berries, toss the berries into freezer bags and place them into the freezer to store until you are ready to use them up.

Freezing this way will ensure the berries retain their juicy plump texture and flavor and keep them preserved for up to two years this way.However, after about two years of the blackberries being

However, after about two years of the blackberries being frozen, they can lose some of their flavor and freshness. Frozen blackberries always taste best when they are eaten within the first year.

Blackberries

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Freezing Rinsed Blackberries

If you harvest blackberries and feel better with rinsing the berries before freezing them, it is best to quickly rinse them with cool water and place them directly onto sheets of paper towel after to help rid some of the extra water. If you do not, the berries will all clump together and be hard to use up.

Once you have dried off the extra water from berries, it is best to lay them out onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and toss them into the freezer to freeze. When the berries freeze, which takes about an hour, you can place the frozen berries into freezer bags and containers and freeze them for up to a year this way.

Again, after about a year, the berries will lose some of their juicy berry flavor and texture and can darken in color.

Freezing Sweetened Blackberries

To give blackberries a sweet flavor before freezing them so they will be sweeter in flavor when they defrost, simply harvest your blackberries, remove any stems and leaves, toss them into freezer containers and sprinkle some sugar over the top of them.

Next, place lids on the containers and gently give it a shake to combine the sugar and berries together well. After, freeze the berries and use them up within a year so they still have their sweet juicy flavor. However, freezing sweetened blackberries will cause them to be juicer and mushier in texture during the defrosting process.

How to Defrost Frozen Blackberries?

To defrost blackberries in raw form and rinsed form, simply take them from the freezer and place them into a berry bowl that has a paper towel lying underneath to catch any juices.

Berries take about 20 to 30-minutes to defrost. Once defrost you can eat them as is, toss them into yogurt or cereal or bake or cook with them the way you desire.

Handful of blackberries

Image used under Creative Commons from Jeremy Jenum

If you are defrosting blackberries in sweetened form, simply remove the container from them from the freezer and allow them to defrost in the container for 30-minutes on the container top. Then, you can eat the sweeten berries as is or any other way you choose.

Summary

It’s always a great idea to store a bountiful harvest of blackberries in the freezer for future desserts and jams! Now that you know how can you freeze blackberries, there’s no need to worry about what to do with these berries that have a notoriously short shelf life.

 

Fruit

Can You Freeze Raspberries?

Can you freeze raspberries? Many people freeze raspberries every year. As soon as early summer begins, the raspberries begin to grow and they are soon ready for harvesting shortly after.

Every year, many people go to U-pick farms or pick from their own bushes to collect tons of fresh red raspberries to have on hand for the colder months ahead.

Most of the raspberries picked are used to create jellies, jams, pies and sauces. If the berries are not being used for these purposes, they are frozen to preserve their freshness until needed to make delightful tasting dishes.

However, many people freeze raspberries the wrong way, which makes the berries more difficult to use or causes them to spoil during the freezing process.
Raspberries

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You can extend the freshness of the raspberries by freezing them at the peak of freshness. Below is a step by step guide on how can you freeze raspberries:

How to Freeze Raspberries?

Raspberries should be frozen immediately after picking them off the bush. This helps retain the berries bright reddish pink color and plump juicy texture. However, you should never rinse red raspberries down before freezing because this will cause the raspberries to lose some of their flavor and coloring.

Sometimes it can cause the berries to become frostbit during the freezing processes. Instead, the berries should be laid out on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and tossed into the freezer to freeze for about an hour.

After, you can remove the berries from the cookie sheet, place them into freezer bags, and pop them back into the freezer again. Using this freezing method will help prevent the berries from sticking together and will help retain their beautiful bright red color and sweet-tart berry flavor.

Do note that freezing raspberries will change the texture of them and cause them to become slightly mushier than they are typically after picking, but they will still have some plumpness.Although, after a day or two, after the defrosting process they will begin to mush a bit more.

With that being said, frozen raspberries are excellent for making smoothies, jellies, jams, pies and raspberry muffins. Frozen raspberries also make delightful sauces to pour over sweet dishes such as ice cream or in marinades to create a light berry flavored dish.

How to Defrost Frozen Raspberries?

The proper way to defrost raspberries is by taking them from the freezer and pouring them into a straining berry bowl. Then place a piece of paper towel under the bowl and place the berries in the refrigerator to defrost safely.Defrosting should only take between

Defrosting should only take between an hour or two. If you are just tossing your berries into a pot to make jellies, jams or sauces or into baked goods to create a tasty dish you do not even have to bother with the defrosting process.

Frozen raspberries

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Summary

Freezing and thawing raspberries are so easy! But there are certain factors you need to keep in mind to ensure minimal taste and flavor changes.  Always freeze red raspberries after picking to maintain their juicy flavor and plumpness. Also, never rinse the berries prior to freezing so frost won’t set in and ruin the texture of the fruits.

Now that you know how can you freeze raspberries, don’t be afraid to store the berries in the freezer whenever harvest time rolls in!