Can You Freeze This?
Berries and broccoli, yes. Cucumber and lettuce, no.
If you found a great deal on fruits and veggies or you are looking to meal plan with your family’s favorite produce, freezing your fresh fruit and vegetables is a great way to save money and make your life a little easier. But, if you are wondering which fresh produce freezes well and if you need to do any prep work before doing so, this handy list will help. Here’s the good news—not only will you make your produce last longer but freezing everything is super easy, as well.
To prep your produce, start by washing and patting it dry with a towel. To make thawing easier, slice and core larger fruits and chop veggies. While raw fruit often freezes well, you’ll want to make sure your veggies get a little extra attention.
To ensure they keep their color and texture, give vegetables a quick blanch by tossing them in a pot of water. When the water begins to boil, take the veggies out and cool them down in an ice bath, then dry completely. If you are freezing peppers or onions, you can skip this step.
When you are ready to freeze, place all of your produce in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. When all of your fruit and vegetables are fully frozen, toss into a freezer bag or plastic container. Be sure to label and date each bag before stacking them in the freezer.
Once in the freezer, you’ll need to eat all citrus fruit in three months, but all of your other fruits and vegetables will still taste yummy at 8 to 12 months.
Here are a few fruits and veggies that don’t freeze well:
- Lettuce and salad greens
- Over-ripe bananas
Some produce require a few extra steps before freezing, including:
Apples: While whole, unpeeled apples can be frozen, sliced apples are easier to store and thaw. Before freezing, steam the apples for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes to prevent browning.
Butternut Squash: Uncooked squash that is frozen isn’t very tasty. So chop and cook the squash in the oven before freezing.
Citrus: For juicing, leave the peels on and cut into slices, or remove the peel and cut the citrus into chunks. You can also save the rind to make zest.
Corn: Start by blanching the cob for three to four minutes and removing the kernels with a sharp knife. Freeze only the kernels.
Potatoes: Skip potatoes unless they are waxy potatoes, like red potatoes or Yukon golds. Chop and boil them for five minutes before freezing.
Cherries, Peaches, and Plums: Be sure to remove the pit before freezing because it can leave a bitter flavor inside.