Even though we're heading toward the end of summer, berries and stone fruit are still abundant and cheap. Take advantage of the bounty while it's still here: buy some extra fruit, freeze it, and enjoy later in the year when the days are short and only citrus is available.
Here are some tips to help you get started and make the most of your frozen stash!
Know What to Freeze
While the freezer is a fabulous way to preserve fruit, not all fruits will survive the freezing process well. Unless you're planning on eating them frozen, don't freeze watery fruits. Apples, grapefruit, grapes, lemons, limes, oranges (but DO freeze citrus zest!), and watermelon should stay out of the freezer.
How to Freeze
Once you've decided what fruits you're freezing, there are a couple of routes you can take for the actual freezing process:
1. Freeze individually. Cutting up the fruit or freezing whole berries is the easiest and and most versatile way to freeze fruit. Just clean, dry, and cut up if desired, and freeze in a single layer before transferring to airtight containers. Doing it this way means that you have ready-to-go chunks of fruit that aren't frozen together into one mass. Bonus points if you actually measure and label the amounts in the bag too!
2. Freeze in a form. If you love making pies, you can actually pre-freeze the fruit and filling in the pie pan so it's ready to go when that craving hits!
3. Freeze on a stick. Another way to freeze fruit is to turn it into frozen yogurt treats! Skewer fresh fruit, dip in yogurt, and freeze until solid for a healthy, delicious popsicle snack.
Make Your Own Frozen Fruit Combinations
Don't spend money on bags of mixed berries when you can make your own! Once your fruit is individually frozen, break out some freezer bags and make your own combinations.
If you're a smoothie person, portion out these combos into individual serving bags so that the morning smoothie making is easy since your fruit is measured and ready-to-go!
How to Use Frozen Fruit
Don't forget to use up your stash of frozen fruit! While they're great in smoothies, here are a few other recipes and ideas on ways to use them to add some summer flavor to your day, from breakfast to baking to cocktail hour:
Ways to Use Frozen Fruit:
How do you like to use frozen fruit?
(Image credits: Emma Christensen; Kelli Dunn)