If you have found yourself with excess fruit, perhaps due to bulk-buying or because you grow your own and have experienced a glut in the harvest, then freezing fruit is a great way to avoid food wastage. Following these simple tips on how to freeze fruit will allow you to continue to enjoy it for the months ahead.
Another tasty way to enjoy all the benefits of fruit is through buying dried fruit. Enjoy it as a snack, with breakfast or used in a range of baked recipes for a fruity boost.
How to prepare your fruit for freezing
Just about any fruit can be frozen and enjoyed at a later date, however different types of fruit require different preparations to keep them at their best. The tips below provide guidance on how to freeze specific fruits.1
Check all fruit thoroughly before freezing and remove any that are damaged. All fruit should then be rinsed and patted dry with a clean cloth or kitchen towel to remove any excess water. Larger fruit can be chopped for later ease of use.
Apples, Peaches, Nectarines and Apricots
It is best to treat any fruit that browns when exposed to air with an acidic solution.2 Dissolve ½ teaspoon of ascorbic acid or vitamin C powder with three tablespoons of water and mix with your fruit before freezing. Alternatively, soak the fruit for a few minutes in a mix of – One tablespoon of lemon juice and approximately 250ml of water, remove and pat dry before freezing.
Berries, such as strawberries, raspberries or blueberries, freeze best when first placed on a lined baking sheet and frozen in a single layer to avoid them getting crushed. Once frozen, they can be packed and stored in the freezer as normal.3
Bananas can be frozen whole and then used for baking. They also make great smoothies or instant ice cream when cut into slices and used straight from the freezer. 4
Citrus fruit, such as oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes, can be frozen in their skins to use when required for juices and smoothies. Alternatively, they can be peeled, sliced or segmented and frozen. The zest and juice of citrus fruits can also be conveniently frozen separately in ice cube trays and used as needed.
How to pack your fruit for freezing
Once prepared, fruit should be packed into air-tight containers or freezer bags. Avoid exposure to air by filling the container as full as possible. Remember to label and date for later reference.
How long can you freeze fruit?
Most fruits can be kept in the freezer for up to a year, as long as they are kept properly sealed. Citrus fruits are better used within three months.
Thawing and using frozen fruit
Simply thaw frozen fruit at room temperature. Fruit that has been frozen and defrosted does lose its structure a little, so it is perfectly fine to eat it when not fully thawed. Enjoy partially thawed fruit as a frozen dessert with ice cream or whizzed up to make refreshing smoothies. Alternatively, use it in any recipes for tasty fruit desserts.
Last updated: 16 April 2020