Thanks to a summer full of picking, washing and chopping, we now have a freezer stocked full of fruit. While nothing beats a fresh peach or handful of raspberries picked off the branch, it’s still nice to be able to eat these things (even if it’s to a slightly less enjoyable degree) all year round. So everything that didn’t get eaten fresh, got shoved into the freezer. And will enjoy a chilly extended life as they await being sprinkled over granola or baked into crumbles, pies and muffins. Here’s some tips:
Apricots, plums, peaches, etc. To avoid biting into a giant solid block, you should always pit and slice these before freezing. If they are particularly juicy, freeze them first on a baking sheet, and then put them into a freezer bag. This prevents the slices from freezing together, and you having to hack them apart with a pick ax.
Blueberries, raspberries, cherries, etc. Depending on the berry, these can either be washed and put directly into bags to freeze, or laid flat on a pan to freeze individually first. Like the stone fruit, this depends how soft they are, and whether they will stick together. If they have a pit, get rid of that first (either by chopping by hand or with a fancy device). Blueberries and cranberries can be frozen directly, and I would recommend freezing raspberries, strawberries (if you slice them) and cherries on a pan first.
Other types of fruit….
Rhubarb: You can either chop it and freeze in a bag, or stew it first and then bag it. I’ve done both, but if you’re looking to bake with it, then just chop it. For some reason, I could not find a single decent recipe with pre-stewed rhubarb in it.
Bananas: They may not grow here (that well..) but they’re still fruit and they still go bad. Peel, chop and freeze- for use in smoothies. If they’re black- just throw them in whole, and thaw them out for your next batch of banana bread.
Grapes: Also may not particularly thrive around these parts, but oh well. Just freeze these whole. And then eat them whole (while still frozen). Unless you’re an infant or afraid of choking on them, in which case I suppose you could chop them first…
Melons/Pineapples/other exotic things: Peel and chop seems to be the general rule.
Whatever you do, just don’t let the fruit flies win….