As the leaves begin to blush, and the luscious flavours of summer begin to fade, we all find ourselves wanting to preserve our favourite summer fruits. Luckily, the freezer will allow you to enjoy these ephemeral delights even well into the fall and winter. Here are five of the most popular summer fruits you can freeze to maintain its freshness and nutrients without canning or jamming.
- Cherries are one of the most popular fruits of summer, yet with one of the briefest seasons lasting only two months. Fortunately, they are also one of the easiest fruits to freeze. Simply wash the cherries, blot them dry, then lay them out on a cookie sheet to freeze for a couple of hours. Once they are frozen, put them in a seal-able bag, and place them back in the freezer!
- While the season for some peach varieties extends into September, most peaches peak in July. To freeze peaches, you’ll want to blanch clean ones in boiling water for about thirty seconds then quickly transfer them to a bowl of ice water. Peel the skin, remove the pit by cutting them in halves, then slice the peaches. You can freeze peaches by packing them in a container and filling it with water. Or you can sugar-pack them by playing a small layer of peaches in a container, sprinkle sugar, then repeat the steps until the container is full.
- Strawberries can be hard to freeze, as it can get mushy after thawing. To diminish this, make sure the strawberries are frozen at their peak ripeness and are blotted as dry as possible; place them on a cookie sheet to freeze for a couple of hours, then store them in an airtight container in the freezer.
- Apricots are notorious for their short season. Despite some extra steps to the freezing process, these delicious stone fruits are definitely worth the hassle. Wash the apricots thoroughly and blanch them in boiling water for around thirty seconds to soften the skin. Cut the apricots in halves and remove the pit. Dip the apricots in citrus juice to prevent them from blackening. Alternatively, you can sugar pack them with sugar or syrup for storage of more than three months.
- Blueberries, one of the healthiest foods in the world, rank second only to strawberries in terms of popularity amongst all berries. Like cherries, they are also incredibly easy to freeze. All you have to do is wash them, lay them out on a cookie sheet, and freeze them for a couple hours before storing them in a freezer-friendly container. Depending on the region, blueberry season usually ends in August, so you’ll want to stock up soon!
Let us know which fruits you plan on freezing to enjoy after summer!