We have had many calls about food preservation this summer and fall. Many people have chosen to freeze extra produce. I thought it might be good to review the best ways to thaw and use the fruit you have in your freezer.
Here are some tips for using frozen fruit:
- Don’t allow the fruit to completely thaw if you are serving frozen fruit as a dessert. If allowed to thaw completely it will have a mushy texture but if a few ice crystals remain the texture will be much better.
- According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation frozen fruit can be thawed safely in the refrigerator, in a sealed bag under running water or in a microwave if you are using it immediately.
- If you plan to use the frozen fruit in baked goods like muffins or bread keep the fruit frozen when adding. If it is thawed the fruit will be soft and the color will bleed into the final product.
- If sugar was added when freezing be sure and count that when making a baked good. Be sure and mark the packages with amounts before putting them in the freezer.
- Only thaw the amount that you are needing for a recipe. If too much fruit is thawed you may refreeze it (if it was thawed safely) but the texture will be even softer when you are using it.
- You can use frozen fruit to make jam and jelly. Thaw it in the refrigerator and measure the fruit and the juice after it is thawed.
- Use frozen fruit in smoothies instead of adding extra ice cubes. Your drink will contain even more nutrition since you are not watering it down.
- Frozen fruit will remain safe indefinitely as long as they stay solidly frozen. They will lose quality if they aren’t well protected. Use freezer bags or containers since the more protection you give them the better quality they will be.