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Can I Freeze Fruit?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
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You certainly can freeze fruit to preserve it, and a number of freezing techniques can be used, depending on how you want to use the fruit, and how long it will remain frozen. In fact, in terms of nutritional value, freezing is better than canning, because freezing arrests the fruit at peak ripeness, preserving the vitamins and minerals which make fruit so nutritious. Frozen fruit can be used in all sorts of ways, from smoothies to pies, and it can be especially refreshing in the winter, when your access to fruit might be limited otherwise.

If you want to freeze fruit, it is best to use fruit which is at the peak of its ripeness. The fruit should be washed before freezing and allowed to dry on a towel, minimizing the amount of moisture which will enter the freezer with the fruit. Many people like to chop fruit after washing so that it is ready to use, removing rinds, pits, and other unwanted materials. This also cuts down on the amount of space needed to store the fruit. Once the fruit is prepared, rapid freezing is key, because slow freezing creates big ice crystals which will damage the cell walls of the fruit.

It's a good idea to make lots of room in the freezer to freeze fruit, allowing air to circulate all the way around the fruit while it freezes. You may also want to turn the freezer down a bit to increase the speed at which the fruit freezes.

Tray freezing is a method suitable for small fruits like berries, cherries, and so forth. In this type of freezing, the fruit is laid out on a tray, allowed to freeze, and then bagged or boxed for storage. This reduces the buildup of ice in the container, and freezes each fruit individually so that it can be removed individually. For larger fruits and cut fruits, you will need to pack to freeze.

In a basic dry pack to freeze fruit, you just stick the fruit in a plastic bag or freezer container, squeeze it to get the air out, leave a little bit of headroom so that the fruit can expand, and stick the fruit in the freezer. To reduce browning and preserve the nutrients, you can squeeze lemon juice over the fruit and mix before freezing. In sugar and syrup packing, you mix the fruit with sugar or syrup, which acts as a preservative to keep the fruit in good condition in the freezer. You can also puree fruit for freezing, a technique which works really well for fruits which have peaked.

When you freeze fruit, the freezer life is around eight to 12 months, with syrup and sugar packed fruits faring better on the 12 month end of the spectrum than dry frozen fruit. To use the frozen fruit, you can move it into the fridge to thaw, or run warm water over the fruit in a sieve, allowing the fruit to come quickly to room temperature. Frozen fruit can be added to recipes, blended in smoothies, used as a pie base, made into jams and jellies, and thawed and eaten out of hand like fresh fruit, among many other things.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By fLEXI — On Apr 14, 2011

I can definitely attest to the fact that lemon juice is good for preserving frozen fruit -- I use it all the time! While frozen fruit usually keeps pretty well, I tend to forget about it for a while and even a week later it just isn’t very good.

When I use lemon juice on frozen fruit, it tastes fresh for a lot longer and it usually doesn’t brown. The lemon taste usually isn’t very obvious, but I have found that it tends to taste kind of weird with bitter fruits, like some berries. When I freeze blueberries, I usually don’t use lemon juice and they tend to wrinkle quickly. Does anyone have any suggestions about this?

By LesterT — On Apr 12, 2011

@elsewhen - I also freeze fruit for smoothies and other drinks. I agree that a mixture of frozen and fresh fruit is the best for drinks. Even though I can buy frozen fruit at the store, there is just something about freezing fresh fruit. It usually maintains that fresh flavor in drinks and it’s also really good as a healthy dessert.

Another awesome way to use fresh fruit is with chocolate. I usually make frozen bananas covered in chocolate, but I also love to freeze strawberries and even apples for this. Frozen apples are also really good covered in caramel.

By elsewhen — On May 16, 2009

I like to freeze fruit that i am going to add to blended drinks. It makes the final product very cold without diluting the concoction with a bunch of ice. A combination of fresh fruit and frozen fruit is a perfect way to make a great smoothie.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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