There’s nothing better than consuming fresh fruit that is season. You want to savor the flavor of a juicy peach, indulge in the acidity of an orange, or snack on a bowl of freshly cut strawberries. Buying seasonally is also more economical! So how do you save these flavors for later, you ask? Rather than letting your fresh fruit rot away in several days, you can freeze it!
While freezing your fruit will alter the texture, it is a great way to preserve the flavor without using sugar, additives, or other chemicals. Berries are probably some of the best fruits to freeze, because they can go bad quickly, especially if you don’t store them properly. You can also use frozen fruits to make desserts, smoothies, purees, or you can use them as toppings for homemade, raw puddings.
A Few Tips Before You Freeze
- Choose fruits that are ripe. You don’t want to freeze unripe fruit.
- Use good quality freezer bags that make a good seal. Label your bags with the date that you freeze the fruit.
- Remove as much air as possible from the bags before sealing your fruit inside. Air is not a friend to fruit.
- You can freeze any amount of fruit. Just make sure that you choose the appropriate bag for the job.
A Simple Method For Properly Freezing Fruit
The only thing you really have to keep in mind when freezing fruit is the water content in each fruit. Other than that, freezing fruit is straightforward and simple. Follow the steps below to properly freeze your fruit.
Wash and dry your fruit. Make sure there is no moisture! You don’t have to wash melons or pineapples, though.
Make sure to cut all your fruit in bite-size pieces. Bite-size pieces aren’t necessary, but make sure that all the pieces are the same size so that they freeze evenly.
Pat your fruit dry with a paper towel after cutting it.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the fruit evenly across the baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap, place this in the freezer, and freeze for a few hours or overnight. The reason you do this is so that your fruit doesn’t clump together in the freezer bags.
Remove the tray from the freezer and peel the fruit off the parchment paper. Transfer the fruit to your labeled freezer bags and return to the freezer. Don’t forget to get as much air out of the bag as possible!
Why Not Just Buy Frozen Fruit?
We knew you were going to ask this question because doing all of this seems like a lot of work. When you freeze fresh fruit, you can control the quality, freshness, and ripeness. Freezing fresh fruit also helps the fruit retain the nutritional value. Buying frozen fruit from the store has a couple problems because there are multiple steps that must be taken in order to freeze fruit.
First, manufactures have to preserve as much flavor, texture, and nutrition as possible. After washing the fruit, manufacturers typically apply ascorbic acid, or another similar compound, which prevents the fruit from ripening. Then a flash freezing process takes place. The calories of frozen fruit remain similar to fresh fruit if the manufacturer does not use a sweetener. Some frozen fruits may lose vitamin C content, but this depends on what the manufacturer does to the fruit.
If you really want to buy frozen fruit, we advise you to thoroughly read the label. You don’t want any added sweeteners or sugars. One cup of frozen blueberries will only contain 79 calories and 13 grams of natural sugars, whereas as one cup of frozen blueberries with added sugars can have 186 calories and 45 grams of sugar, 32 of which are added sugars. That is just one example, but you can see that that is why we encourage you to buy fresh fruits and freeze them if you want frozen fruit to use.