Fresh Frozen Fruit
Yummy. It’s so easy to preserve your fruit in the freezer. Buying fruit in season in bulk, like Strawberries, Peaches, Cherries. Many fruits can be successfully frozen, but I have found the three I mentioned to be the best when frozen and then thawed. The money you can save is amazing.
Raspberries, Blackberries, Blueberrie, bananas, pineapple, and kiwi, have easily frozen also. I found when they were purchased from the farmers in bulk, they have to be done and in the freezer that day. So, If you want to freeze these, Time is of the essence. I would only do these fruits if you have frozen bulk fruit before. The time frame is very important.
Strawberries can be frozen so many different ways. Whole, Sliced, Chopped with sugar added. Whatever the recipe you may have in mind for your berries, you can successfully freeze them in season and use them all year long. I came across a site recently that said you could add several fruits to a bag and freeze them so they are juicer ready. Awesome idea.
Make sure you get your fruits from a farmer who sells in large quantities at a discount. Most farmers markets will sell fruits in season at great prices. Here in Michigan, we have Strawberries in June. Many growers offer U-Pick opportunities during the growing season. Many times, I have spent hours picking so many Strawberries, and eating them too, lol. Hard to resist while you’re picking your own.
All the seasonal fruit are available at their peak grow times at very discounted prices, which will allow you to buy in bulk and freeze at home. The savings are phenomenal and you have the piece of mind knowing it has no preservatives and is healthy.
Freezing Fresh Strawberries
Carefully remove the stems and caps. Wash carefully and place them to dry in a single layer. Cut out any blemishes.
Place single layer of strawberries on a cookie sheet and freeze in the freezer till solid. Then place in a freezer quart bag. Freezing whole strawberries this way prevents a pile of mushy strawberries when you take them out to thaw.
Sugar or no Sugar?
Dusting sugar on strawberries will help prevent freezer burn. But if you prefer no sugar, just make sure you get all the air out of the bag. Using a straw while you are closing the bag and sucking the air out as you close it will cut down the risks of freezer burn. Using the frozen strawberries withing 6 mos will also help keep freezer burn from getting to your berries.
Sliced and Chopped
You can slice or chop your berries for use on strawberry shortcake or desserts of any kind. Great with ice cream too and toppings for pies. YUMMY
It’s best to submerge your chopped berries in a sugar water solution. You can prepare this solution beforehand and have it ready when you get home with your berries. This is also a good solution for Raspberries and Blackberries.
4 cups water
1 cup sugar
Let stand. You can use cold or hot water, but be sure to cool down before use. Place berries in a bowl, add sugar enhanced water to the berries till they are covered. Scoop into a bag and seal, getting all the air out. I like laying my bags on their side to make sure all the air gets out. Freeze and enjoy later, whenever you want fresh strawberries. Use within 9 months for peak freshness.
You can also obtain this fruit in its peak season and buy it in bulk. Always buy from a local farmer. I have purchased peaches from the supermarket only to be so unhappy with its freshness. They are not the best choice for freezing in bulk. Farmers markets have the freshest fruit available. Picked that day is the best choice for freezing.
I came across a farmer, selling fruit in front of his house on my way up north in Michigan about 10 years ago. His peaches looked divine. I bought a bag to eat in my travels. They were the best by far peaches I have ever eaten. I ate them in one day. They were that good. I vowed to stop back there on my way home and grab enough to take home to freeze. But to my dismay, I couldn’t find that farmer. So, by far, farmers are the best places to get fruit to home freeze. Now, I go to Farmers Market in Detroit. A place where all farmers, all across the area go to sell their harvests. I have gotten some great peaches from there also.
Freezing Fresh Peaches
Use ripe firm peaches. If you bite one and it runs down your chin, it’s too ripe. That ripe a peach is only good for eating fresh. Your peaches need be firm and ripe at the point before it runs when bitten into.
You can freeze peaches, sliced with the skins on or off. I prefer them off.
To remove skin
Drop firm but ripe peaches a pot of boiling water for 30 seconds. Place peaches immediately in a bowl of ice water. The skins will remove very easily. This method is also used when canning tomatoes to remove the skin. You can score the skin before you drop them in the water or not. They still will start peeling on their own.
slice the peaches the size you want. Discard the pit, or keep a couple to grow a peach tree of your own.
sprinkle lemon juice on slices to prevent browning
Time is important. Get your peach slices in liquid as soon as possible to prevent browning. The lemon juice will retard it, but will not stop it for long.
Make a solution ahead of time and have it ready for your peaches. It can be the same ratio of the strawberry solution or you can use a sweeter one. 3 cups water to one cup sugar.
Pour solution in bags of peaches until covered. Get all the air out, using a straw. Lay bag on its side and seal. Freeze and enjoy for months to come.
Wash and dry cherries in cold water.
Cherries are one of the easiest to freeze. You pit them, slice them in half, sprinkle sugar or no sugar. Place in a bag, Seal out the air and there it is
Get your Cherries from a farmer. No supermarket cherries. Local farmers have cherries you can buy in bulk. Prices can go from $2.99 to $4.99 a lb in the supermarket. You can buy this in-season from a farmer for a fraction of that cost and have fresh cherries for months to come.
I made this post as simple as I could. Any beginner can utilize these instructions. I will be posting more advanced methods in the future. This is for beginners who want to learn how to freeze fresh fruit and save money while providing your family with healthy alternatives to preservative laden fruit that comes from the grocery in cans.
It is so much healthier to always freeze your own. Try just one of these and I know you will be so pleased the next time you reach into your freezer and pull out your fresh frozen fruit. I am putting this link for juicers, a wonderful way to use your fresh frozen fruit.
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