Perhaps you got carried away at the local farmer’s market. The kids each wanted to fill a bag at the u-pick farm you went to last weekend. Or, you just had to stop at the adorable roadside fruit stand and load up. We get it; summer fruits are downright irresistible. And we know just how to help when you have way more than you can eat! Check out our tips below on how to freeze your summer fruits, plus five ways to enjoy them later.
Freezing Your Summer Fruit
It’s surprisingly easy to freeze summer fruit and doing so at its most fresh and ripe allows you to enjoy that delicious flavor all year long. Just follow these steps:
- Prepare the fruit – Just as you would if you were planning to eat it right away by washing and patting dry.
- For peaches, remove the pits and cut them into bite-sized pieces.
- For berries or cherries, remove any leaves, pits or stems, and leave whole although strawberries can be halved or cut into quarters.
- For melon, cut into cubes or scoop into bite-sized balls.
- Freeze on a baking sheet – Regardless of the type of fruit, place it in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. This ensures you can remove only the fruit you need later, instead of freezing it in one huge block. Make sure the fruits don’t touch, if possible. Then, freeze uncovered for about 4 hours or until frozen solid. If leaving overnight, cover it to keep the fruit from drying out.
- Store the fruit – Once frozen, transfer the fruit to a freezer bag. Press out as much air as possible, then seal and store it in the coldest part of the freezer. Frozen fruit should last about three months in standard freezer bags and six to 12 months in vacuum-sealed freezer bags.
Enjoying Your Frozen Summer Fruit
Although freezing summer fruit does change the original texture, it still tastes just as good and there are still plenty of ways to include it in recipes from desserts to snacks to breakfast dishes and drinks—even condiments!
This recipe by The Spruce Eats will have you reliving the warm sweetness of summer, regardless of the weather outside. Don’t forget to add your favorite vanilla ice cream on top for extra summer vibes.
Trust us, no one will guess you’re using frozen fruit in this breakfast dish from the Food Network; it’s that good! And you can even make it ahead of time. Pro tip: thaw and drain the berries completely before adding.
This Taste of Home recipe is easy, yummy and even pretty. Need we say more? Actually, yes—serve in chilled glasses to give these smoothies that extra oomph.
Apple butter is for fall, but this peach butter tastes like pure summer—and now you can enjoy it any time of year! This recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod creates a silky-smooth spread that can be canned or even frozen for later. Smear it on toast, biscuits, pancakes or waffles. Stir it into oatmeal and yogurt, or use as sauce for ice cream!
Add a refreshing twist to your favorite cocktail with this Food Network recipe. It’s easy to prepare and even easier to enjoy with friends as it makes enough for eight servings.