Strawberries are $.99/lb at my local grocery stores this week! Blueberries are just $1.29 per pint.
I love summer produce – not only for the excellent price, but also because they are fresh, delicious and full of flavor.
But unlike pasta, cereal and canned goods, you can’t really stockpile fresh fruit. I mean, even with the best of storage techniques, there is only so long that it will last on your counter/fridge.
Which is why I like to FREEZE fresh fruit when they’re at their peak. You get the best flavor — and the best price.
Take frozen strawberries, for example. They are typically $2 per pound or more (even at Walmart and Costco), so if you freeze them at $.99/lb, that’s a 50% savings!
You can’t use frozen berries in exactly the same way as fresh (i.e. as snack food, defrosted berries taste a little weird), but they are perfect for my breakfast soothies and wonderful to bake with.
If you missed this tutorial last year, I wanted to reshare it with you, as this is such an easy way to preserve the best of summer!
How to Freeze Summer Fruit in 5 Easy Steps
These pictures show what I did with strawberries, but you do the same process for most fruits – even pineapple, mango and grapes works great (in fact, I love frozen grapes as a fun dessert novelty!). I don’t freeze citrus or apples, other than that, it’s fair game.
Step #1: Wash thoroughly.
Step #2: Dry gently with a towel.
Step #3: Hull or otherwise prepare for freezer. With mangoes for example, I cut up into half-inch squares.
Step #4: Lay out the fruit on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer for about an hour. For those that have asked me “how do you flash freeze” – this is it! You are “flash” (i.e. quick) freezing your fruit, so that it becomes just frozen enough NOT to stick together.
Step #5: Remove from cookie sheet and toss into a freezer bag or other freezer-safe container. If you skip the flash freezing, your fruit may stick together and it will be harder to get out the amount that you want. Label the bag with the date, so you can eat the “oldest” stock first.
Here are some more of my tips for saving money on produce.
Do you freeze, can or dehydrate fresh produce? What’s your technique?