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Tips for Freezing Fresh Produce

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The Basics
• Use the freshest produce you can find, and freeze it as soon as you can—the quicker the better.

• Make sure to wash and dry everything thoroughly. Remove pits and cut into uniform sized pieces.

• Use containers, freezer bags or a vacuum seal system—and remember to leave headroom for expansion.

If you are watching your use of plastic, the ever popular Ball makes freezer safe glass jars—bless them! Label with contents and date.

• When ready to use, defrost in the refrigerator.

Freezing Fruit
There are several approaches to freezing fruit: packed in sugar, packed in a simple sugar syrup, or (my preference) naked. Many experts suggest that freezing with sugar helps to better preserve the flavor and texture of fruit. While once defrosted much of the sugar can be carefully rinsed off, but pure-and-simple still works wonderfully. To pack in sugar you only need to gently combine the prepared fruit in sugar, let stand until the fruit begins to release their juices, then pack for freezing. To make a simple sugar syrup, heat 3 cups of sugar with 4 cups of water over medium-high heat until sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Let cool and pour over prepared fruit to cover, and pack for freezing. The best method for freezing fruit au natural is to prepare the fruit and spread out on cookie sheets to freeze. Once frozen, pack in freezer bags.

Freezing Vegetables
Freezing vegetables is not quite as straightforward as fruit. Although just as easy, different vegetables respond to different methods; some do better cooked, some better raw. There are several excellent web sites that provide specific advice for different vegetables. Garden Guides has one of the most comprehensive guide to freezing vegetables.

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.

118 comments

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5:00AM PDT on May 1, 2014

The information in this blog is extremely useful for the people.
acai berry supplement

12:16PM PST on Jan 22, 2012

Thanks.

9:33AM PDT on Aug 5, 2011

Great info, thanks so much...

9:05AM PDT on Jun 17, 2011

Valuable information. Thank you

12:10AM PDT on Jun 17, 2011

Thanks for the tips.

12:12PM PDT on Jun 9, 2011

Great info. Thank you.

8:41AM PST on Feb 18, 2011

Half my freezer is full with onion, black and red currant, strawberries, herbs and raspberries! Thanks for the tips!

11:07AM PDT on Nov 4, 2010

I love to freeze fresh fruit but did not know about the cookie sheets great info!!!

12:30PM PDT on Oct 29, 2010

I'm trying to get in the habit of freezing for fruit smoothies in the middle of winter.

10:28AM PDT on Oct 26, 2010

super post, thanks!

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