At some point or another I’m sure you have experienced the heartbreak that is rotten fruit. Whether you just didn’t get to it in time or you were short of a recipe to make, it sucks. Fortunately, you have me… and I have a guide to freezing delicious fruit in the peak of ripeness, so that you can enjoy it at your leisure (up to a year). I’m going to give you 3 tips that will make your transition to a freezer full of fruit quick and painless.
Do it fast.
When you freeze fruit, the water in it expands and forms ice crystals, which can burst your fruit into a mound of mush. To keep the mush to a minimum, freeze fruit quickly at the lowest temperature you can, and when thawing them to eat, serve/ use when they are still slightly frozen.
Do It Right.. Air-Tight.
While it may be tempting to be lazy and throw a bunch of grapes in a gallon plastic storage bag, down the line when all of your fruit tastes like you rushed, you will regret it. You are going to need to store your fruit in either air tight Tupperware, filled as close as possible to the top, or freezer bags with as much air as possible removed. We want to keep moisture in and air out. Exposure to air can change flavor and color, so take your time and do things right.
Dip it, don’t drop it.
For fruits that tend to brown, you need to add an extra step. Dip cut fruit in 4 cups water + the juice of one half of a lemon, let dry, then freeze. While this will help with the browning, it will not completely prevent it so don’t come for me when your apples brown a little.
Ok now that those are out of the way… the simplified steps to freezing fruit for long term storage are as follows.
- Wash and dry your fruit and if necessary (as with apples, mangos, pineapples, cantaloupe, etc…), cut it into slices. This is the step where you need to remove any inedible part of the fruit (pits, stems, etc…)
- Place into a heavy-duty airtight container or freezer. If the fruit is delicate, place on a baking sheet for 2-3 hours or until frozen then place into container or freezer bags.
- Freeze at the coldest temperature you can set your freezer to and DO NOT overcrowd the freezer because that will slow the freezing process and yea… mush.
- When thawing or cooking with previously frozen fruit, some will be fine thawed to room temperature. More delicate fruits and berries should be served/used still slightly frozen.