My Favorite Way to Freeze Fruit

Four things I’ve learned this summer:

1. I do not understand why these Jersey Shore kids are famous and making more money than I probably ever will in my lifetime. Am I the only one that doesn’t get this? I also don’t watch Teen Mom or Toddlers and Tiaras, so maybe I’m missing something. If I am, I don’t think I really want to find out.

2. Measuring your summer in peach consumption is a good thing.

3. Figs don’t last past 2-3 days once they’re picked. Make jam, eat them, or freeze them, but don’t leave them in a bowl on the porch and expect them to still be good in a few days. I learned this the hard way…more than once.

4. Freezing fruit on parchment on a baking sheet is the best idea ever.

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So far this summer, Nick and I have picked 1 gallon of raspberries, 8 pounds of blueberries, and bought at least 13 pounds of local peaches.

I’ve made jam. Eaten the berries by the handful and in yogurt and on oatmeal. Sliced peaches on shortcakes and dropped berries into pancakes.

The biggest difference this summer is that we finally have a deep freezer. At our old house, we didn’t have the space to buy a separate deep freezer, but now, with our basement, we finally have the room. And thanks to a very generous gift from my grandmother’s friend, we’re now the proud owners of our first freezer.

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With all the amazing local produce around us, I’ve wanted to freeze fruit to enjoy in the winter for the past 7 years that I’ve lived here. And I finally have the chance to do it.

This isn’t a recipe, but it’s the best way to freeze your fresh fruit and keep it in the greatest shape possible until you’re ready to use it this fall or on a frigid day in February. It’s also easy and most of the work is hands off!

For the peaches, I took about 8 medium ones, peeled them, halved them, removed the pit, and sliced them into 6-8 pieces.

I placed the peach slices on a parchment lined baking sheet and put them in the freezer for a day until the peaches were completely frozen.

Then I just removed them from the sheet, placed them in a labeled bag, and put the bag right back in the freezer.

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Because the fruit isn’t already in the bag while it’s freezing, they slices won’t freeze into a giant clump of fruit.

A frozen cluster of peaches might work okay if you’re thawing it out to make a cobbler or pie, but if you just want a handful of slices for a smoothie, you’ll have a hard time breaking off just a few pieces.

Freezing them solid, separately, on the baking sheet helps keep them from clumping once they’re in the bag – as long as they stay frozen.

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I also froze blueberries and raspberries this same way (on baking sheet, bagging after they’re frozen) and some fresh, whole figs!

Will the frozen figs be good? I have no idea. But when the figs were coming off the bushes 2-3 pounds at a time, I had to do something with them. Even after eating them and making 15 jars of jam, I ended up freezing 4 bags of whole figs. And I think we may get another fall harvest?

If nothing else, I think they’ll be delicious cooked down into a sauce for ice cream or thawed and mixed with other fruit in a dessert.

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So far, all of the fruit is still separated in the bags. I can pick them up and move the fruit around – no clumps in sight.

Is it weird that this makes me happy? I think I need a new hobby if non-clumping fruit is what makes me smile.

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What’s your best kitchen tip you learned this year? About anything!

18 Responses to “My Favorite Way to Freeze Fruit”

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    1
    Lauren — September 16, 2011 at 10:53 am

    The only fruit I seem to have luck with freezing is grapes. Although, I’ve never really tried anything else. Such a great idea and a good way to save money.

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    chelsey @ clean eating chelsey — September 16, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Okay this totally trumps my freezing fruit post. That’s an AWESOME idea.

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    Erica — September 16, 2011 at 10:59 am

    I bought a hugeeee bundle of peaches last year and froze them. Awesome in smoothies and crisps. I think the jersey shore kids are popular because they make us feel better about ourselves ;)

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    Erika - The Teenage Taste — September 16, 2011 at 11:16 am

    So jealous that you’ll be enjoying the flavors of Summer long after the first snow fall! :-P

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    the wicked noodle — September 16, 2011 at 11:19 am

    You’re not the only one. Almost all reality tv shows give me a rash. I tried watching Survivor once – ONCE – and only made it about five minutes in. That’s one trend I wish would have died out long ago. But freezing fruit rocks!

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    Lauren @ What Lauren Likes — September 16, 2011 at 11:30 am

    I mist admit that I buy frozen fruit! My family goes through the fresh stuff so fast! I lovelovelove that you have frozen figs btw…so jealous :)

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    Joanne — September 16, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Right now, my freezer is approximately the size of my pinky finger, especially with all the chicken my roommate keeps buying, freezing, and never using (makes no sense).

    I’m bookmarking this, though, in the hopes that someday…I will have a freezer the size of TWO pinky fingers (that’s really all I can hope for in NYC). And then I will be freezing all of the fresh fruit I can get my hands on.

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    Jess — September 16, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    This is a great idea! too bad I don’t have a big freezer!

    Tip I learned from the kitchen: I’m totally weird about having to have my chicken cooked completely and really well so I always had to cut it in half to check it… I learned from a friend that half a chicken breast (butterflied) in oil, 4 minutes on each side, cooks it perfectly!!!!

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    Molly — September 16, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Target have freeze dried peaches that I’m obsessed with. (of course not as good at local/fresh but super fun if you’re craving a “crunch”)

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    Tammy — September 16, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    I Live in New Jersey,
    I’m guilty of watching the Jersey Shore.
    I find the show funny, I have been there (not the sleeping around part)
    but the dancing and the drinking on Saturday nights.
    Kicking myself, why didnt I think of taping me look like an idiot.

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    11
    Jessica @ Stylish Stealthy and Healthy — September 16, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    my mom used to do that and I completely forgot about it. Thanks for the refresher :) And my best tip I learned this year (not necessarily a kitchen tip) is to put a spoon in the top of your champagne to keep it fizzy. Works like a charm.

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    12
    Shannon — September 16, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    that;’s the way i freeze my fruit :) i did it with cherries and peaches… just one small bag, as i’m sharing a freezer. so so jealous of your deep freeze. someday.

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    13
    Amanda — September 16, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    This makes me want to go out to a local farmer’s market and buy tons of fruit to freeze. YUM!

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    Paige @ Running Around Normal — September 16, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    You are so organized, Brandi!
    Is it weird that I’m totally jealous of your freezer?? :-P

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    15
    Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray — September 16, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    So jealous of your deep freeze! And you’re right, clumping fruit stinks! Pain in the rear.

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    Nutmeg Nanny — September 16, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    Great tips! Have you thought of drying the figs? We have a dehydrator and use it all the time. We dry our own herbs, make homemade jerky and dry our own fruit (apples are the best!).

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    Jen @ keepitsimplefoods — September 16, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    Great tips on freezing fruit! I’m always lazy and end up with frozen fruit clumps in my freezer. Boooo. :(

    And I totally agree with point number one!

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    Teacher Girl — September 16, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    I think your hobby is awesome. The hubby must be loving it! I am so jealous of all your amazing fruit! =)

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