How to Freeze Summer Fruit in 5 Easy Steps

strawberries cut up 1024x730 How to Freeze Summer Fruit in 5 Easy Steps

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.

strawberries 1024x682 How to Freeze Summer Fruit in 5 Easy Steps

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.

strawberries on tray 1024x682 How to Freeze Summer Fruit in 5 Easy Steps

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.

strawberries in freezer 1024x682 How to Freeze Summer Fruit in 5 Easy Steps

Here are some more of my tips for saving money on produce.

Do you freeze, can or dehydrate fresh produce? What’s your technique?

Comments

comments

Comments

  1. Thanks so much for sharing as I was one of those who’d inquired about “flash freezing”!

  2. Does the fruit get mushy & soggy after it’s frozen? Can it be defrosted and not used for baking/smoothies?

    • Strawberries in particular are a bit mushy when defrosted. I think most frozen fruit is better IN something that snacked on directly. HTH.

  3. Rivki locker says:

    We pick fresh berries (in New Jersey) and always get enough to freeze some. It’s a major bargain and tastes awesome.

    • That sounds wonderful. I love berry picking! I wanted to take the kids blueberry picking this summer – but it’s been so hot that the season lasted a nano-second. :(

  4. I am teaching myself to can! I will have homemade jam from organic blueberries and strawberries all winter – at a pittance of the price of store bought. Much tastier, too, and works as little gifts.

    • Oooh, I would love to learn how to do that. It sounds so intimidating, though. Do you have to buy a lot of supplies?

  5. Thanks for the tips! We went strawberry picking earlier in the summer. I’d planned to freeze half of what we picked, but they were so good everyone ate them before I was able to get them in the freezer! I use the frozen fruit to make fruit soup, which is a fun alternative for a Shabbat appetizer.

  6. We had a lot of extra watermelon so I put it all on popsicle. Sticks and froze it. It came out great as a refreshing and healthy popsicle

  7. Susan B. says:

    I have frozen stone fruits by rinsing them, slicing them with the skins on, rubbing them with lemon and freezing them in freezer bags. I bake them for Shabbos during the winter. Nothing like baked peaches, apricots or nectarines with snow on the ground. Cherries I sometimes pit and if on limited time I skip this step. Simply rinse, dry & freeze. Baked cherries are delicious treat for Shabbos. I also freeze fresh green beans by rinsing and drying. Have cored and frozen peppers too. The peppers are fine to cook with. Zipper freezer bags are the best.I freeze blueberries and cranberries as is in original packages.

  8. I love freezing fruit. I don’t do anything for blueberries. Just stick them in the freezer and rinse them when I use them. Also, bananas are one of my favorites. I peel and wrap in aluminum foil. Makes a great frozen pop.

  9. I am a big fan of canning. I started about 8 years ago. It gets sort of addicting. :) But it is a real savings and I love when my pantry is fully stocked. I usually start with making jams in the early summer (strawberry, blueberry and cherry), then dilly beans, pickles and peaches. When tomatoes are at their peak at the farmers market I can lots of tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes (makes a great parve soup base wintertime). I usually finish canning season in the fall with apple sauce and pear slices.
    There is definitely some supplies that need to be purchased for canning but most of it is not expensive. And the good thing is that except for the jar lids everything is reusable!

    I wish I was better at using my dehydrator more. My kids love fruit rolls from it, which would be a good use of the frozen fruits – just defrost and purée) and dried apple slices. Its also good for making “sun dried” tomatoes.

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