Summer is the season we get to taste many varieties of fruits. Sometimes we buy excess fruits and throw them or fruits get spoiled. One way to make use of excess fruits is to freeze and use them during off season. Freezing fruits will help during off season baking or cooking varieties of dishes and desserts. Not all fruits do well in freezer or does not taste good after freezing. To freeze fruits properly in terms of “retaining quality” one should know how to freeze fruits properly.
- Choose good quality fruits and they should be fresh and at optimum maturity.
- Do not freeze fruits immediately after you bring them in. Keep them in refrigerator to retain freshness, minimum four hours storage in refrigerator helps fruit to get used to cold temperature.
- Before proceeding with freezing – wash, clean and drain the fruits. Remove seeds, pits, hulls or if needed remove skin. Use normal temperature water and then give few washes in cold water.
- Place fruits in freezer containers. You can use freezer bags to save the space. If you are using freezer bags remove all the air and leave enough head space both in container as well as in bags
- Label the bags and containers with time, date and types of fruits. If you have added any ingredients during the freezing mention on it on the label (salt, sugar, honey, water etc.)
- Use the frozen fruits within one year for to get better nutrition and quality
- For freezing, pack fruits in sugar syrup, dry or unsweetened fruit juice (same fruit juice is better or in water. Fruits will have better texture if we use sugar syrup. Fruits that are packed dry are best for preparation of desserts and jam.
- To avoid discoloration: Use ascorbic acid, salt or lemon juice. Some fruits can be steamed before freezing. Ascorbic acid crystal or tablets can be used to preserve color.
- Place containers immediately in the freezer after preparing them – this helps to avoid development of larger ice crystals in fruits. Larger ice crystals destroy the texture and taste of fruits while thawing. Whereas smaller ice crystals help to retain the quality.
- While placing in the freezer leave space between containers and bags for even freezing.
- To slow down enzyme activity, temperature of the freezer should be -18C or 0 F or lower.
When you want to use the frozen fruits, re thaw and bring it to normal room temperature.
Author: Sumana Rao | Posted on: June 17, 2019