How to Preserve Fresh Fruit
Summer may be over, but that doesn't mean you can't still enjoy fresh fruits from this season. Berries, peaches and even apples can be easily preserved using your vacuum sealer, ensuring that you have access to your favorite fruits all year round. The National Center for Home Food Preservation reported that properly stored fruits can maintain their high quality for eight to twelve months, while frozen citrus fruits can last between four and six months.
If you're aching to go apple picking this autumn, be sure to learn about the best ways to ensure your collection lasts through the winter. Follow these steps when freezing your fruits for the long haul.
1. Prepare Your Pickings with Care
The way you handle your fruits before the freeze will significantly impact how long the food lasts, how difficult it is to thaw and how it will taste after it's removed. Be sure to wash or peel your fruits before freezing so they're ready to go when you want to use them. Larger fruits, such as apples, pears, peaches and pineapples, should be sliced in bite-sized pieces for optimal results. Cutting these fruits before the freezing process ensures that your foods thaw quickly and retain their texture.
2. Prefreeze on a Solid Sheet
It may be tempting to toss prepared fruits in plastic bags then store them in the freezer, but this causes fruits to clump together and freeze in one heap. This clunky collection not only takes up more room in your freezer, but it can also take much longer to thaw and separate.
Instead of mindlessly placing fruits in the freezer, The Kitchn recommended prefreezing the foods on a large baking sheet. Separate fruits by their type and spread the pieces out in one even layer on the sheet. By freezing each group individually, you ensure your foods do not stick together during the freezing process. Allow your fruits to freeze for about five to six hours before storing long-term.
3. Vacuum Seal for Optimal Results
Once you've made the necessary preparations, it's time to break out your food sealer and get to work. Place different fruits in individual bags and use your vacuum sealer to remove the air, which may give way to premature freezer burn. The Kitchn recommended freezing your fruits in portions that will be easy to use in your favorite recipes. By only sealing two to three cups per bag, you can more easily separate portions and ensure you're not thawing too many or too few of your ingredients.