We all can agree that peaches are versatile fruits.
Aside from being rich in many nutrients, you can use peaches for cooking, baking, and canning and even as an ingredient in beauty products. There is no doubt that you can turn these sweet fruits into all kinds of products with enough resources.
But if you have a few small peach trees in your backyard and are not looking to produce them commercially, you can still freeze these fruits so they can last longer.
Keeping a stash of frozen peaches in your house can come in handy, especially when you need them for a family dinner or as quick treats. So, here’s how to freeze peaches.
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Choose the Best Peaches
To get the most flavor out of the fruits, choose the best peaches so they can last longer even after they have been frozen. Pick ripe peaches instead of unripe ones.
You can tell the difference between ripe peaches, which are not too firm and smell good, from the unripened ones that usually have harder flesh.
Depending on your preference, you can choose either freestone or clingstone peaches.
The only difference is that for freestones, it is a bit easier to remove the hard pit from their flesh.
Find the Right Types of Containers
Finding the proper containers is vital to protecting your peaches from contamination, both internally and externally. Choose the right size depending on the number of peaches you want to freeze.
There are three types of recommended containers that you can use which are plastic containers, plastic freezer bags, and canning jars.
You can find plastic containers with airtight lids at department and grocery stores.
For canning jars, use the ones that are suitable for freezing. Avoid using jars with necks because they can easily crack and are less reliable than wide-mouth jars.
Finally, for freezer bags, use those made from durable and thicker materials. The best type of freezer bag would be vacuum freezer bags. They can protect your peaches from the air and other outside contaminants.
Wash and Cut a Little Part of the Skin
Once you’ve brought the good peaches back home, wash them thoroughly. You never know if the fruits are covered with pesticides, chemicals, or even dirt.
Then, use a small, sharp knife and cut a slit in the skin at the bottom end. This will make it easier for you to proceed to the next part, which is blanching.
Blanch and Peel the Peaches
Depending on your preference, you can leave the skins on or peel them off.
There is nothing wrong with freezing unpeeled peaches. In fact, you can use them for different dishes or recipes that need unpeeled peaches.
But if you prefer to have your peaches with no skin, it is time for you to blanch them. To do this, you need a large bowl of boiling water and another bowl filled with ice and water.
Put the peaches in the boiling water. Let them sink and soak for about 30 seconds. Then, using a small spoon, scoop the peaches out of the bowl and put them in a bowl of ice water.
Once the fruits have cooled off, peel the skin using a small knife. If you prefer the peaches with skin, then skip this step.
Slice the Peaches
Once you have blanched the peaches, it will be easier to slice them because their flesh is softer than before.
You can also freeze them without slicing, but it uses more freezer space. Plus, you can save a lot of time when they are fully ready to be used later.
To cut the peaches, you must first find the midline of the peach using your index finger. Then, use a sharp knife and cut it in half.
Using your thumbs, slowly pull or rip the peaches in half. You will finally see the hard pit that needs to be removed using a small knife.
Finally, you can slice the peaches into 4 to 6 wedges.
Treat the Sliced Peaches With Lemon Juice
Find a large bowl to put all the sliced peaches in. Then, treat or soak them with lemon juice for about 3 to 5 minutes.
As a rule of thumb, you will need at least one tablespoon of lemon juice for every pound of peach.
Freeze the Peaches to Make Them Firm
This is not the last step.
You need to freeze the fruits for at least 3 to 4 hours or until they feel firm. This will prevent the peaches from sticking or clumping together if they are not entirely frozen into hard slices.
What you need is a large baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Then, put the peaches on the baking sheet in a single layer.
Finally, keep them in a freezer until they feel firm.
Put the Peaches in Freezer Bags (or Airtight Containers or Jars)
Once you’ve frozen the peaches, transfer them into an airtight freezer bag.
Try to remove as much air as possible from the bag. The presence of air could contaminate the fruits and turn them brown much quicker than you think.
Seal the bag and label it with a date before putting it back inside the freezer.
If you’re using airtight containers or wide-mouthed jars instead, ensure they are mostly full so that there is as little air as possible but enough space to prevent the container from cracking when the peaches fully freeze.
Additional Tips When Freezing Peaches
- Depending on your choice, you can freeze peaches with or without sugar. The flesh alone is juicy and soft enough to retain the sweet taste for a long time.
- It would be best if you treated or soaked the sliced peaches in a mixture of water and lemon juice. This is because the ascorbic acid from the lemon juice acts as a layer that protects the peaches from the air.
- If you’re using freezer bags, try to remove as much water and air as possible from the bag. This can make your peaches last longer when there is less air or water that can turn the flesh bad.
- Before using frozen peaches, you should thaw them until they are completely defrosted. To do this, find a large bowl and fill it with water. Don’t removDon’t peaches out of the freezer bags. Instead, soak the bag of peaches in the water until they are defrosted. You can also change the water bath frequently if you need to save more time.
5 Ideas for Frozen-Peach Desserts
Now that you know to freeze peaches properly, it is time to look at some of the best ways to use frozen peaches. This way, you will have some ideas on the types of dishes you can make whenever your frozen peaches are ready.
Peach cobbler is an easy-to-make, sweet dessert that uses frozen peaches and other ingredients such as butter, flour, baking powder, vanilla extract, brown sugar, and salt.
You will also need different tasty ingredients for topping or filling the cobbler, such as brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, lemon juice, turbinado sugar, and cornstarch.
Peach Frozen Yogurt
Not only is this recipe healthy, but it also takes less than 10 minutes for you to make it.
To make peach frozen yogurt, you will need honey or agave nectar, nonfat or whole plain yogurt, fresh lemon juice, and most importantly, your frozen peaches.
Mix all the ingredients in one bowl and stir it for about 5 minutes or until it gets creamy. The frozen yogurt is ready to be eaten, or if you want to keep it for later, transfer the yogurt into an airtight container and keep it in the freezer.
Tennessee Peach Pudding
To make this delicious dessert, you will need ingredients such as baking powder, sugar, all-purpose flour, salt, milk, ground cinnamon, and frozen peaches.
For the toppings, you will need brown sugar, butter, sugar, water, and ground nutmeg.
This dessert alone can provide you with at least 253 calories per serving. Hence, you can eat it as a go-to treat for an extra energy supply.
Peach and Coconut Cream Popsicles
Popsicles are some of the best treats for your children and families. And you can make them by using frozen peaches.
But first, you will need to gather other ingredients such as unsweetened coconut cream, honey, vanilla bean extract, water, and sugar.
Use popsicle molds for the mixture of coconut and peaches before transferring them into a freezer.
A peach smoothie is one of the healthiest beverages that can be served to everyone of all ages.
Blend all the ingredients well, including frozen peaches, bananas, milk, nonfat Greek yogurt, vanilla extract, cinnamon, ginger, and honey.
Depending on your preference, you can replace bananas with other fruits such as orange slices, strawberries, or even protein powder.
Keep the smoothie in a fridge until it is cold before serving it.
At most, tightly sealed frozen peaches will still taste good between 6 and 12 months after being frozen. Once they pass this period, the peaches will gradually lose their taste due to freezer burn.
Therefore, the best course of action would be to check them once in a while to avoid keeping badly frozen peaches with the good ones.