Do you ever feel like your fruit is going bad before you can eat it all? Well, with these simple tips, you can freeze your fruits and extend their shelf life!
Not to mention, it’s really easy and doesn’t take up a lot of space in the freezer. So keep reading to learn how to best freeze fresh fruit!
- What are the benefits of freezing fresh fruits?
- How do you freeze fresh fruits properly to extend their shelf life?
- Are there any risks associated with freezing fresh fruits improperly or for too long a period of time?
1. What are the benefits of freezing fresh fruits?
The first and most obvious benefit of freezing fresh fruits is that it can extend their shelf life. This is because frozen fruits are not as susceptible to bacteria and other contaminants as fresh fruits are.
In addition, when you store frozen fruit it can be a great way to preserve the vitamins & minerals within the products. Despite long-lasting myths, frozen produce has been proven to maintain the same level of vitamins & minerals as standard fresh produce items.
Another benefit when you freeze produce is that it can transform most food items to have a different texture. For example, if you have a hard time eating fresh apples due to their consistency, you can freeze them and then eat them as a healthy snack.
Frozen fruits can also be used in making smoothies, yogurt bowls, oatmeal toppings, banana bread, and baked goods! The possibilities are endless.
2. How do you freeze fresh fruits properly to extend their shelf life?
The best way to freeze fresh fruit is by using an airtight container. This will prevent the fruit from freezer burn, which can cause the fruit to become dry and discoloured.
You can use either freezer bags or freezer-safe containers with tight-fitting lids. If you are using plastic bags, make sure to squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing them.
Label the containers with the date on some freezer tape so that you know when the items were fully frozen. Most fruits can last for up to six months if they are stored properly.
Rinse and dry fruit before freezing to prevent it from sticking together
Rinsing frozen fruit before freezing it can prevent and protect foods from sticking together.
The water used for rinsing frozen fruits will most likely contain bacteria, which can cause the food to become contaminated and inedible.
To avoid this, rinse frozen produce thoroughly with cold water before placing them into a container.
While cold water isn’t devoid of bacteria, the reproduction rate of bacteria in cold water is greatly reduced.
You should also dry off any excess moisture on frozen products to help keep them from sticking together during storage.
Freeze fruit in a single layer on a baking sheet, then transfer to a freezer-safe container.
When you freeze food items in a single layer on a baking sheet, it will freeze faster. This is because the frozen fruit will not be in contact with other pieces of fruit, which can slow down the freezing process.
Once the fruit is frozen, you can then transfer it to a safe container. This will help to prevent the frozen fruit from becoming frozen together in one big chunk.
Defrost fruit overnight in the fridge for a quick snack
There are a couple of reasons why it’s better to defrost fruit overnight in the fridge rather than in the sink.
When you defrost fruit in the fridge, it will slowly defrost and will not get too warm. This is because the fridge is a colder environment and will not cause the fruit to become discoloured or mushy.
When defrosting fruit in the fridge it can help to preserve the vitamins & minerals within the fruit. When fruit is thawed in the sink, there is a higher chance that the water used, will cause some of the nutrients to leach out.
So, prevent browning and nutrient leaching by avoiding defrosting in the sink.
3. Are there any risks associated with freezing fresh fruits improperly or for too long a period of time?
Here’s the good thing about freezing fruit: no matter what fruit tickles your fancy, all fruit can be frozen! Depending on the fruit you freeze, however, there might be different optimal ways to use them once they are frozen and/or thawed.
One of the main risks associated when you freeze foods improperly is that they can develop freezer burn. This happens when the fruit is not stored in an airtight container and the air causes the water in the fruit to evaporate.
The result is a dry, discoloured piece of fruit that does not taste as good as it should. If you notice any signs of freezer burn on your frozen goods, discard them immediately.
Another risk associated with freezing fruits for too long is that they can lose their nutrients. So, be sure to date and label each item and make sure to eat them within six months for the best nutritional value.
Freeze your food as soon as you get it home from the grocery store
Freezing your fruit as soon as possible is your best way of preventing any further maturation of the food items.
If you wait too long before you pack fruit into the freezer, this may leave time for bacteria to become present which can make the frozen fruit unsafe to eat later down the line.
Fruits such as peaches, strawberries, blueberries, apricots, and apples all have a brief window of time in which they are ripe.
The best way for home food preservation of these items is by freezing them as soon as you get them home from the grocers. This can result in frozen foods having an extended shelf life of up to six months.
Don’t overload your freezer
It is best to store frozen fruit in a single layer and not stack them on top of one another.
Make sure to not overload your freezer because stacking can disturb the quality of the frozen fruit.
If you have a lot of frozen fruit, it might be better to invest in a chest freezer.
This will help to keep the frozen fruit at a consistent temperature and prevent them from thawing and refreezing, which can affect the taste and texture.
Keeping your freezer orderly can make all the difference in the final taste of your fruit products. Keep your blueberries & strawberries delicious by avoiding overcrowding.
Consume or cook the food immediately after defrosting it
For the same reasons as freezing fruit as soon as possible, you also want to consume or cook it as soon as it has defrosted, and those reasons are to avoid nutrient leaching and bacteria growth.
So, by either consuming or cooking frozen fruit within two hours of them being thawed, you’ll be able to enjoy your meals without any worries about spoilage or health risks!
If you’re looking for a way to keep your food fresh for as long as possible, freezing is the way to go. By following these simple tips, you can extend the shelf life of your fruits by months.
So whether you’re just starting out in the world of food preservation or you’re a seasoned pro, we have something for everyone.