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How To Freeze Fresh Fruit

May 08, 2012

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Two wonderful things are happening right now:  One is the abundance of glorious fresh strawberries and mangos on the scene right now, with cherries, stone fruits and berries on the way.  The other is that the weather is getting warmer, which means I need that same fruit frozen for SMOOTHIE SEASON.  Oh, yeah!  Even in sunny Southern California, it isn’t always warm enough to warrant icy, cold shakes in the morning.  Most school days, I prefer to get everyone started with a hot breakfast to keep toasty.  But just about this time of year and throughout the dog days of summer, we pull out the blender and frozen fruit to whip up our favorite smoothies.  Of course, frozen fruit also allows us to enjoy delicious crisps and crumbles in the off season for a very special treat.

Believe it or not, there is actually a method to freezing fruit.  I’ll share with you here my tips and tricks for doing it right the first time so that you don’t end up with a big solid mass.

What can you freeze?

Anything you’ve seen in the freezer section at the supermarket is fair game, including:

  • berries
  • cherries
  • peaches and nectarines
  • pineapple
  • bananas
  • mangos
  • pears
  • papaya
  • fruit purees

How to freeze fruit:

  • wash and dry fruit;
  • remove any peels you don’t want to eat such as banana, mango, papaya and pineapple (if you don’t do this before freezing, you won’t be able to do it after — this is experience talking here);
  • remove stems from strawberries, cores from pears, and pits from stone fruits and mango;
  • cut fruit into chunks so it’s easier on your blender later;
  • arrange fruit in one layer on a baking sheet or dish that will fit in your freezer, making sure pieces of fruit aren’t touching each other;
  • freeze until completely firm and solid;
  • once frozen, transfer to container with a lid that is just large enough to hold your fruit or in a ziploc bag.  Anything too big can result in freezer burn.
  • You can store frozen fruit for 6-12 months.

Freezing fruit does not affect its nutritional profile nor its enzymes.  In fact, if freezing fruit immediately after harvest, the nutritional content is likely higher than fresh fruit that has been off the vine for a few days.  Enjoy!

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26 Responses to “How To Freeze Fresh Fruit”

  1. Dana says:

    Thanks for the great advise. I was just given a bunch of papayas and knew wouldn’t be able to eat all of them before they became overripe. Now that I know they can be frozen I will be doing that so they can be used in future recipes.

    • Pamela says:

      Frozen papayas are great in smoothies! I noticed in your other comment about tossing lemon juice with apples, which makes total sense, although I froze some apples recently without anything on them and they didn’t turn brown. I wonder why that is….

  2. Lee says:

    Great information! Can i freeze apples, orange and plums too?

    • Pamela says:

      They can all be frozen if you intend to use them in smoothies, but I would freeze those fruits for a future fruit salad. Perhaps you could use thawed frozen apples or plums in a crisp or crumble! Never tried it, though.

    • Dana says:

      Before freezing apples you might want to toss them with a little lemon juice to prevent them from browning.

  3. Judith says:

    How long do you freeze them for when they are on the cookie sheet?

  4. alice says:

    I never wash blueberries or blackberries before freezing. I lay them out on cookie sheets like you did, freeze till hard, then quickly put into FREEZER zip lock bags. I use a straw to suck out extra air and label with date. Before using, rinse well with running water.

  5. Kelsey says:

    I find rhis very helpful, thank you!! Is it okay to use glass containers, such as jars?

    • Pamela says:

      Sure! Just don’t do anything crazy like take the glass jars from the freezer and put them into hot water ;) .

  6. Sally D says:

    Really good information, and the pictures help!
    Thanks for expaining the process in such a useful way!

  7. [...] 1 frozen or fresh ripe banana (cut into pieces) or a heaping cup of frozen mango chunks  [...]

  8. [...] During summer, try freezing your own seasonal fruit.  It’s easy!  Here’s how. [...]

  9. Danielle Beckstead says:

    I am definatly trying this soon!! I have a family of four and this seems like a great idea!!

    • Pamela says:

      It really comes in handy for lots of things, not just smoothies. We just had a bumper crop of peaches and couldn’t use them fast enough so I froze a bunch which I can use in crisps or sauteed over ice cream or oatmeal.

  10. [...] Here’s how to freeze your own fresh fruit.  Use it for smoothies, baking, stews, sauces, dressings, or just thaw and add it to oatmeal or yogurt. [...]

  11. Andrea says:

    Hi Pamela,
    Such great information! I love smoothies and I am excited to freeze the fruit correctly!!
    No wonder my fruit always Clumped…Your the best , thanks

  12. Nanci Caldon says:

    Mmmm… very interesting. I always just wash, cut up, and throw in a ziploc bag. If I do this method I will accomplish two things at once: I’ll have to organize my freezer first to make room for this method : )

  13. Kadie says:

    This is so helpful! I always just trow them in a bag and they always clump together with freezer burn.

  14. Karen says:

    Thanks! You are so lucky – our strawberries here in NJ grocery stores are just terrible.

    • Pamela says:

      Drat. I wish I could send some through the computer to you! At least Jersey has fabulous blueberries :)

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