It's said that fruits are best for you when eaten fresh. And while we agree, it's also not possible to eat fresh fruit all around the year.
Especially when you are looking for a specific fruit but it's not the season for it yet. Anyone who likes Apple Pies will know the pain of getting fresh Apples for it when it's out of season. So what's the solution for this?
It is freezing your fruits! 🧊
Now we know what you'll say. That frozen fruits are just not as good as the fresh ones! And while you may be right that nothing can beat the quality of a fresh product, you can also get a very damn near replica of it if you know what you're doing.
And the truth is that not many of us actually know how to freeze fruits properly. But don't worry because that's what we are here for!
In this guide, we will tell you exactly how to freeze your fruits the right way, so that you can enjoy them in any season!
🍓Steps to freezing Fruits
Wash the fruits you're going to freeze
And no, just putting them under the tap water won't cut it, as the purpose of washing here is to clean the fruits of all potential dirt and to remove all bacteria and germs.
This is important as you don't want your fruits to spoil faster despite being frozen. So get a fruit wash (yes, they are easily available in the markets and online) and wash your fruits with it.
Don't use soap as it might transmit harmful chemicals to your fruits. When it comes to fruits and vegetables, sticking to natural cleaning agents is the safest way.
Layout your fruits on a clean and dry towel and let them dry completely
Use another small towel to dab the fruits for extra measure. You need to absolutely make sure the fruits are completely dry before proceeding to the next step.
Cut up your fruits in Slices
Keep in mind that you should cut the fruit in the manner you may want it for later use. For example, if you are looking to make a pie, cut your fruits in chunks so they will be easy and perfect to use in a pie recipe.
If you are going to use frozen fruits for smoothies, just chop it up rough and small for a quick blend. Whether you leave the peel of fruits on is also up to you. Although peeling it off will save you a lot of work for later.
Next, take a big sheet and line it up with parchment paper so that the fruits on it don't stick. Now arrange your fruits on it. Make sure they are arranged separately and in individual cut pieces.
The fruits should also be in a single layer. Avoid layering because you don't want your fruits to get frozen all into a big clump. Freezing them individually also makes them freeze better, which allows you to store them for a longer duration.
Clear up your freezer
And yes, we mean clear it up of everything until it's empty. You don't want your fruits to absorb the flavors of other food items, like meat or chicken for instance. After you have cleared up your freezer, you can slide in your tray of cut-up fruits inside.
Freeze your fruits for at least four hours to make sure they completely rock solid. If you want, you can leave overnight but make sure to not keep your fruits too long in the freezer or they might get frozen too much and you will not be able to use them.
Now comes the part where you can finally store away your frozen fruits. You can either use plastic bags or containers for this purpose. They should also be airtight. We suggest using glass containers as there will be no chance that way of your frozen fruits tasting like plastic.
Make sure to label your containers with the name of the fruit and the amount of fruit it contains for easy tracking!
How to pack frozen fruits in containers?
Just use a wooden spatula that is at a cold temperature to gently dislodge the slices of fruits from the parchment and into the container. To make sure the spatula is cold enough, keep it in the freezer for ten minutes.
Don't use your hand or anything that's at or above room temperature as it can thaw your fruits and you want them to stay frozen.
Seal your container as soon as possible and as tight as possible to lock all the air in. Now you can store this filled container in the freezer.
Feel free to store anything else in your freezer this time as the container's barrier will not allow the fruit to absorb any external flavors.
How long do frozen fruits last?
If you have followed all the steps correctly then your frozen fruits should last three months at least. It also depends on how much moisture content your fruit has.
Fruits with low moisture content like apples will last longer than fruits with higher moisture content, like say melons. But yes, be assured that your frozen fruits will last at least a couple of months.
What should I look out for when freezing fruits?
You should be careful of freezer burn when freezing your fruits. What is freezer burn you might ask?
Freezer burn is when your frozen food gets destroyed thanks to dehydration and oxidation because air reached the food. This is why you should make sure to not keep your fruit slices out in the open in the freezer for too long.
You should also make sure to seal the frozen fruit containers as tight as possible to keep away all outside air.
Do I need to thaw frozen fruits before using them?
No, you generally don't need to thaw them and can use it directly. Thawing then might actually damage the fruit by making it all wet and mushy.
So the best way to use frozen fruits is direct as it is! Just make sure your frozen fruits don't have any ice crystals on them and you're good to go! However, you can thaw frozen berries and use them.
Won't it be easier to just buy frozen fruits?
Yes, it might be easier but it won't be as good as the home product. You see, frozen fruits that are available in the markets often use chemicals to preserve them. You will be hard-pressed to find frozen fruits that are all-natural with no added preserving chemicals. Not to mention all
frozen fruits come in a plastic packing, which is bad enough already. So yes, you can buy frozen fruits from the markets but will it really be as good as the ones you can make at home?
What fruits should I avoid freezing?
While all fruits can be frozen for future use, there are actually some fruits you should generally avoid freezing. Freezing some fruits can actually destroy their taste and flavor, not to mention make them all mushy and just not edible once they are thawed.
So to avoid that we'll list out the fruits that you should probably never Freeze.
- Tomatoes (Yes it's a fruit)
- Cucumber (Also a fruit)
So basically, just avoid freezing fruits that have a high moisture content and are valued for their crispy texture!
Fruits should be eaten all year round, especially if they are your favorite fruit. We hope our guide helps you enjoy your favorite seasonal fruits even when it's out of season!
So if you are craving a Strawberry smoothie during the winter or an apple pie during the summers, now you can do it with this frozen fruits guide!