Fall is here! We can feel it in the weather and our bones – but we can also see it in our markets. Those delicious summer fruits are slowly disappearing. Local strawberries, peaches and raspberries are slowly fading away, and won’t make a starring appearance again for another 8 months. To preserve those happy feelings that come from biting into a delicious summer fruit, why not try freezing? Don’t forget about the money you save when you buy local rather than imported. From berries, melons and peaches, here is a simple how-to-guide for freezing your summer favourites. You can take one afternoon to prep and freeze.

Steps for Freezing Summer Fruits:

  1. Rinse your fruits of choice under cool water
  2. Dry the fruit thoroughly and lay out in a single layer on a towel. Try to remove as much moisture as you can – it’ll help freeze better.
  3. When dry, hull, slice, dice or pit and chop the fruits as needed. Carve out bruises and imperfections. If you’re dealing with apples or peaches, or most fruits with a skin, take time to skin the fruit when you’re dicing! Dice your fruit as needed; ideally, bite-sized pieces.
  4. Lay out your fruit on a parchment paper covered baking sheet. Take care in not overlapping the fruit; keep them in one single layer. If they’re touching, it’s fine.
  5. Make some room in your freezer, and pop them in there!
  6. Freeze until solid – this will usually take a few hours.
  7. Once frozen, transfer to an air-tight container or a Ziploc freezer bag.  *Pro-tip: squeezing air out of the bag helps keep the fruit fresher for longer! It helps deter freezer burn.
  8. Voila! You’re done. Store and use for up to 3 months in all your favourite dishes.

Remember, it may be tempting to just chop and throw your fruit into a bag and toss it into the freezer – but don’t! If you don’t take the proper time and care, you risk your fruit becoming a brick that you can’t use and end up throwing away.

These tips are ideal for the restaurateur or chef looking to bring specific fruits into their menu during off-season. Smoothies, gelées, cobblers and pie, oh my! The possibilities are endless.

Check out this article to get fruit-specific freezing instructions.

Author

Content Marketing Specialist at Restaurants Canada. For inquiries or guest submissions, contact achauhan@restaurantscanada.org