How To Freeze Summer Fruit To Last All Winter

The luscious, ripe fruits of summer are just one of the season's gifts that are hard to say goodbye to as autumn rolls in. And while the hearty soups and stews of cold weather menus are just as delectable to some, there's no reason peaches and berries can't also be part of your diet just because there's snow on the ground. On those sub-zero temp days, a slice or two of summertime fruit might just taste like heaven and you'll be reliving your farmer's market outings through each bite.

We have all likely heard about the importance of eating seasonally to minimize harm to the environment (via The Farm Project), but luckily, freezing your summer plums and raspberries to eat later in the year doesn't create any more greenhouse gas emissions. You're simply storing your local produce and keeping strawberries to eat every day and longer than usual. 

Also, preserving your summertime fruits isn't just limited to jams. Pies, crisps, smoothies, and sorbets — these can all be yours in November or December with the help of your freezer. Take the proper steps and you can make this a reality (via Glamour).

Dry fruits completely before freezing

Freezing your fruit is actually not as simple as tossing it into a plastic bag whole or even chopped up. The goal is to enjoy these juicy fruits months from now, and there is a certain amount of prep involved to make that happen. If you put fruit into the freezer after washing it and it hasn't yet had a chance to dry, it'll most likely develop freezer burn (via Glamour). So instead, lay out your clean blueberries or strawberries on something like a cookie sheet. Let them air dry, then freeze them like this. Obviously, you don't want a cookie sheet in your freezer all winter, so once they are frozen, take them out and transfer them into a freezer bag for long-term freezing. As always, be sure to label and date!

As for larger fruits, you'll want to prep them for freezing exactly how you plan to use them later. This means, peeling, pitting, and dicing your peaches, apples, and pears. These can go straight into a sealed baggie as long as they aren't wet and you'll want to make sure to release all air out of the bag first (via Kitchn). Frozen this way, your fruit should keep for up to three months. (via Glamour).

Frozen fruit recipes beyond smoothies

Even if you don't have much time to get creative in the kitchen, there are some quick and delicious ways to use your healthy, frozen summer fruits other than tossing them in the blender for a smoothie — although there is always a time and place for that. If you've dried, bagged, and frozen your summer berries, try using them for muffins or pancakes. Just thaw when ready for use and add them to your favorite muffin or pancake batter (via The Food Network). 

Sauces are another great avenue for your frozen berries. If you choose to freeze raspberries during the summer, try using them in a raspberry vinaigrette for a fresh salad. This recipe from The Spruce Eats also happens to be vegan. As for cherries, opt for a sweet cherry sauce to top ice cream or crepes. This one will be quite the treat on a chilly day. You may have seen your favorite food bloggers make their own fruit snacks and this is a trend you can definitely hop on with your frozen summer berries. Try this recipe from The Spruce Eats. The best part? No artificial ingredients or preservatives and your family will likely notice no difference.