How to Freeze your food? – 3- Freezing Fruits and Nuts
Often, most of us long for a yummy strawberries with strawberry cream when they are not in season. It would be so simple for us if we would just stock up on fresh fruits and nuts and learn to freeze them properly. I have found that the practice of freezing fruits and nuts properly comes in to handy especially if you are the kind that likes to whip up a traditional Christmas cake or a fruit and nut cake simply when you feel like it!
How to freeze fruits
1. Clean the fruits well in water
2. Trim them and slice them up
3. To ensure that the fruit remains fresh even after frozen and then thawed you will have to cover the fruits in a mild syrup, acid, water, fruit juice or sugar.
4. If you are using syrup then fill ½ the container with syrup before adding the fruit. Ensure that the syrup is at room temperature and the 30 % of the constitution is sugar.
5. If you are using sugar then what you need to do is sprinkle a little sugar over the fruit, mix and then freeze. The sugar sucks out the extra juice in the apple.
6. If you want to submerge the fruit in a sugarless medium you can use water mixed with ascorbic acid.
7. You can also freeze the fruit without packing it into a medium. To do so all you have to do is spread them out on trays or baking sheets and the freezing them. Once the fruits are frozen, pack them into bags or containers and then return them to the freezer
8. When packing the fruit in a container, no matter what liquid the fruit is submerged in , leave some expansion space in the bottle between the content and the lid.
9. Seal the container and freeze it.
Tips For Freezing Fruits
- Freeze berries immediately after harvest, if possible but avoid doing the same with peach, apples and plums. Wait for a few days and then freeze them.
- To freeze small fruits simply scatter them on trays.
- To freeze fruits without their peel, simply soak them in a vessel of hot water and then cold water. The peel will come off easily. Now freeze!
- If you are worried that fruits may get discolored, cover the fruits with ascorbic acid or citric acid. I use ascorbic acid as I find them more effective than citrus acid.
- The amount of sugar or syrup used to retain the freshness of fruits will depend on the fruit used, how sweet they are and how sweet you would like it to taste.
- While labelling the fruit containers indicate the sugar amount used. It will help you to manage the sugar you add for the recipe you are using the thawed fruits for.
- Don’t throw away over ripe fruits, puree them and then pour them into ice trays and freeze them. When frozen, pack the frozed fruit puree into containers and return them to the freezer.
- To keep the fruits submerged in the syrup crumble a piece of waxed paper or foil and place on top of the fruit before sealing the container.
- Remember that most fruits can be frozen without damage for 8 to 12 months but citrus fruits and juices will last for only 4 to 6 months.
How to Freeze Nuts?
Freezing nuts is not as detailed a process as freezing fruits. All you need to do is:
1. Shell the nuts and spread in a thin layer and dry for 24 hours. Retain as much of the kernel as possible when shelling the nuts.
2. Double bag the nuts and pop them into the freezer.
Nuts will keep for up to 6 months but salted or seasoned ones will last only for 3 to 4 months.
I will be back with another blog on How to freeze Meat soon, till then Happy Freezing!