Have more fresh fruit than you can use right now? No need to let it go to waste. Freezing fruit is an easy way to preserve its sweet flavor for up to 12 months. Find out how to freeze eight types of fruit using the simple methods below.
Summer berries – including strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries – come just once a year, but freezing these fresh fruits is a great way to preserve the berries for any season. You can use this method for freezing any kind of fresh berries:
- Rinse berries carefully in a colander. (For strawberries, remove the stems and cut any large berries in half.) Place the berries on paper towels and drain well.
- Place them in a single layer on a jellyroll pan or cookie sheet, and put the pan in the freezer. (If needed, line the pan with parchment paper.)
- When hardened, they can be placed in freezer bags or plastic containers labeled with the date. Frozen berries will last for about three months.
Thawed berries can still be very nice in sauces, smoothies and in baking.
See more: Berry Recipes
Bananas are easy to freeze for smoothies or banana bread. It’s best to freeze them when they’re at their ripest (when the peel is just starting to get a few brown spots).
- Peel each banana and place them in a freezer-safe bag or container. If you aren’t sure how you want to use the bananas yet, consider slicing them before freezing for easier measuring later. To do this, cut them all in 1/2-inch thick slices and arrange slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Flash freeze them on the baking sheet for two hours before moving them to a freezer bag (this will prevent them from freezing together).
- Label the bag or container with the date and place in the freezer for up to three months.
- For smoothies, add whole or sliced bananas to the blender while frozen.
- For bread or muffins, allow bananas to thaw completely before using them in a recipe.
See more: Mini Banana Bread Loaves
Peaches, Nectarines and Plums
There’s no need to let peaches, nectarines or plums go to waste when they’re so easy to freeze for fruit smoothies, baking, yogurt toppings and more. Freeze them using this method to enjoy them for up to a year:
- Wash fruit under cool water.
- Remove pits and cut fruit into sixths.
- Arrange the fruit slices in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
- Freeze on the baking sheet for at least four hours or overnight.
- Transfer frozen fruit sliced into freezer-safe bags and label with the date. These fruits can last up to 12 months in the freezer.
See more: 8 Fun Facts About Peaches (Infographic)
Use this method to preserve apples for making apple butter, jams, jellies, applesauce, apple pies and other baked goods, and more:
- Peel, core and slice your apples.
- Rub the slices with lemon juice.
- Arrange apple slices on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and freeze for at least four hours or overnight.
- Transfer frozen apple slices to a freezer-safe bag or container.
- Freeze apples for up to six months.
See more: 10 Fun Facts About Apples
Frozen cherries make a tasty addition to fruit smoothies, baked goods, sauces, sorbets and more. They’re also very easy to freeze using these simple steps:
- Rinse cherries in a colander and pat them dry.
- Remove the stems and pit the cherries.
- Arrange the cherries in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Freeze the cherries on the baking sheet for at least four hours or overnight before transferring them to a freezer bag marked with the date.
- Store cherries for up to 12 months in the freezer.
Freeze your fresh watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew melon to use in smoothies, popsicles or sweet sorbets by following these steps:
- Cut the melon and remove the tart-tasting area between the rind and the fruit flesh.
- Slice the melon into strips or cubes.
- Pre-freeze melon strips or slices by arranging them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze melon on the baking sheet for at least four hours or overnight.
- Transfer melon to a freezer bag or airtight container.
- Store in freezer for up to six months.
See more: What Is Yellow Watermelon?