A Guide to Freezing and Defrosting Fruit
Whether you are taking a bite of a crisp apple or tucking into a punnet of plump and juicy raspberries, fresh fruit is a healthy, affordable and delicious addition to any diet. Nutritionists recommend that we eat at least 5 portions of vitamin-packed fruit and vegetables per day for good health, so try to fill your plate with a rainbow of berries, citrus fruits, stone fruits and tropical fruits whenever possible.
Freezing fruit is a great way to preserve it for future use. Fruit tastes best when it is in season, for example, strawberries are at their sweet, fragrant prime in the 20 weeks between May and October, whereas British favourite Gala apples are most crunchy and delicious from late September to early May. Freezing fruit when it is in season allows you to enjoy it at its best all year round.
Whether you plan on eating fresh fruit in its raw form, using it to make delicious drinks such as this exotic mango and passionfruit smoothie or to create delicious pies, bakes, jams and preserves, you can freeze fruit so it stays in perfect condition for months to come. It’s an easy and affordable way of ensuring you have a store of ingredients at hand whenever you need them.
Check out this guide to freezing and defrosting fruit and thank yourself later!
How to freeze fruit
Freezing fruit couldn’t be easier. If you are wondering how to freeze apples or how to freeze rhubarb, the process is the same. First, wash and dry whatever fruit you wish to preserve. Then, prepare the fruit as you would if you were going to use it immediately. For example, peel and core apples, strip rhubarb of its stalks and strings and remove the pits from apricots. It’s a good idea to chop bigger fruits into bite size pieces, but you can leave smaller fruits like berries and grapes whole.
Next, pop your fruit in a freezer bag and label it with the date and contents. Be sure not to overfill the bag, because pieces of fruit are prone to getting stuck together when stored at sub-zero temperatures. Remove as much air as possible from the bag prior to freezing, to prevent the fruit from getting ice crystals or freezer burn.
Whether you are freezing a batch of blueberries to add to your morning porridge or keeping a store of seasonal strawberries to make jam in the autumn, frozen fruit is safe to eat for an indefinite period of time, but it’s recommended that you thaw and enjoy it within 3 months to ensure it tastes best.
How to thaw frozen fruit
When it comes to thawing frozen fruit, you just need to take it out of the freezer, and submerge the wrapped fruit in cold water. Fruit with a high water content may change consistency after it thaws, for example, berries and citrus fruit can be more watery. Defrosted bananas can appear mushier than they would from fresh, but they are still perfectly suitable for using in smoothies, or for making delicious banana bread. Most fruit can be added to recipes straight from the freezer, but you might prefer to use fresh fruit to garnish.
Now you know how to freeze and defrost fresh fruit, it’s time to put your skills to practice and try out one of these delicious fruity recipes.