It’s easy to freeze fruit without added sugar or syrup. Individually frozen fruit pieces work well in smoothies or as kid-friendly snacks.
Every year I freeze gallons and gallons of fruit. We use most of it for smoothies, but also for muffins, over pancakes, and even as snacks for the grandchildren. I NEVER freeze fruit in sugar syrup or mixed with sugar. Fruit is plenty sweet all on its own, why would I add sugar?
But if you have ever searched “how to freeze fruit” in the primary canning tomes, it always says to freeze fruit in rigid containers bathed in sugar syrup. My process is much easier, and healthier too.
1. Wash fruit well.
2. Peel if appropriate (peaches) or remove stems (strawberries, cherries and the like), or pit (cherries, etc.)
3. Cut into favored pieces. I usually halve strawberries, slice peaches and nectarines, cut mango into large pieces, and leave pitted cherries and blueberries/blackberries whole.
4. Some fruits benefit from an acid bath at this point. Peaches, nectarines, and mango go into a bowl filled with a lemon juice/water combination. This helps them retain their bright orange color. I don’t measure anything – just squirt a good amount of lemon juice (maybe 2 Tbsp) into the water and then make sure that the fruit is submersed. Let the fruit sit for about 1/2 hour and then drain.
5. Spread fruit out on a parchment lined baking sheet. Let sit in the freezer overnight.
6. Remove fruit from the parchment and store in gallon sized freezer bags. Now you can remove as much or as little of the frozen fruit as you like at one time.
Individually frozen fruit will remain good for about 1 year. After that it tends to get freezer burn. Still usable, just not as tasty.
All kinds of fruit can be frozen:
- Berries like strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries
- Stone fruits like peaches, nectarines, plums and cherries
- Melon pieces like cantaloupe, watermelon and honeydew
- Tropical fruit like mango, papaya, and pineapple
- Other fruits like grapes and even banana pieces
You might also be interested in this earlier post: How to Freeze Sweet Cherries