Extend the Life Of Your Favorite Fruits and Vegetables
There are a variety of ways to keep food fresh longer and one I use often is freezing.
I freeze fruit if a favorite seasonal fruit is going out of season, if the fruit is going to become overripe before I use it and to add to smoothies. Freezing temporarily stops the process that makes food spoil and helps keep the vitamins in fruits and vegetables.
I freeze fruits more often than vegetables and the process can be very basic or detailed including blanching, adding sugar and/or commercial products. Basic works for me.
1. Select fruit that is fully ripe and before it becomes soft and mushy.
2. Wash thoroughly.
3. Remove pits, seeds and trim and discard parts that are green or bruised
4. Leave whole, slice, chop or puree fruits.
5. Spread fruit in a single layer on a tray until nearly solid.
6. Transfer to storage container (I use the Ziploc containers above. No freezer burn.)
Serving Frozen Fruit:
If adding frozen fruit to a smoothie simply add it to the blender. No thawing needed. When thawing fruit to serve, thaw unopened in the refrigerator or at room temperature. The texture is best when ice crystals remain on the fruit otherwise some fruits become mushy in texture.
Fruits and vegetables I freeze regularly with great results:
- bananas (sliced)
- strawberries (whole)
- grapes (whole)
- pineapple (sliced or chopped)
- mango (sliced)
- avocado (halved)
- greens (whole)
For more a more detailed freezing process and additional information specific to vegetables check out Freezing Fruits and Vegetables (West Virginia University).
Do you use frozen fruits and vegetables? Do you freeze your own or buy frozen? Any tips to share?
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