8 fruits to preserve for a longer shelf life

Fruit should be a staple in everyone's diet, if not for its nutritional value, then for its fresh taste. But it doesn't have the longest shelf life. Here's how to preserve it longer.

8 fruits to preserve for a longer shelf life

Basic tips

  • Use only unblemished fruit and keep the handling time to a minimum (fruit tends to brown when handled).
  • Be sure to press out any excess air before sealing the freezer bags.
  • Thaw frozen fruit in the bag in the refrigerator for several hours or place the bag in a bowl of cool water 30 minutes.

1. Apples

1.25-1.5 kg (2 1/2-3 lbs) fresh yields 1 kg (4 c) prepared

  • Peel, core, and slice the apples.
  • Dip and drain the slices thoroughly.
  • Arrange in a single layer on a rimmed tray and freeze until just firm.
  • Pack, seal, label, date and freeze.

2. Apricots

550-750 g (1 1/4-1 1/2 lbs) yields 1 kg (4 c) prepared

  • Pit and slice or halve the apricots.
  • Dip and drain the slices or halves thoroughly.
  • Arrange in a single layer on a rimmed tray and freeze until just firm.
  • Pack, seal, label, date and freeze.

3. Blueberries

550-750 g (1 1/4-1 1/2 lbs) fresh yields 1 kg (4 c) prepared

  • Remove any stems.
  • Dip and drain the blueberries thoroughly.
  • Arrange in a single layer on a rimmed tray and freeze until just firm.
  • Pack, seal, label, date, and freeze.

4. Cherries

1-1.5 kg (2-3 lbs) fresh yields 1 kg (4 c) prepared

  • Stem and pit the cherries.
  • Dip and drain thoroughly.
  • Arrange in a single layer on a rimmed tray and freeze until just firm.
  • Pack, seal, label, date, and freeze.

5. Mangoes

1.25-1.5 kg (2 1/2-3 lbs) fresh yields 1 kg (4 c) prepared

  • Pit and slice or halve the mangoes.
  • Dip and drain the slices or halves thoroughly.
  • Arrange in a single layer on a rimmed tray and freeze until just firm.
  • Pack, seal, label, date, and freeze.

6. Peaches and plums

1.25-1.5 kg (2 1/2-3 lbs) fresh yields 1 kg (4 c) prepared

  • Pit and slice or halve the peaches or apricots.
  • Dip and drain the slices or halves thoroughly.
  • Arrange in a single layer on a rimmed tray and freeze until just firm.
  • Pack, seal, label, date, and freeze.

7. Raspberries

500 g (1 lb) fresh yields 1 kg (4 c) prepared

  • Remove stems and leaves from the raspberries.
  • Dip and drain the berries thoroughly.
  • Arrange in a single layer on a rimmed tray and freeze until just firm.
  • Pack, seal, label, date, and freeze.

8. Strawberries

550 g (1 1/4 lb) fresh yields 1 kg (4 c) frozen

  • Remove leaves and hull strawberries.
  • Strawberries can be sliced or left whole.
  • Dip and drain the berries thoroughly.
  • Arrange in a single layer on a rimmed tray and freeze until just firm.
  • Pack, seal, label, date and freeze.

How to dip fruits for freezing

  • While working, keep fresh fruit in a bowl of acidulated water that's about two litres, or eight cups, water with 22 millilitres (one and a half tablespoons) of lemon juice or mild vinegar added.
  • This keeps the cut fruit from browning and is commonly referred to as dipping.
  • After dipping, drain the fruit on paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible.
  • This helps prevent ice from forming around the pieces and keeps them from sticking together.

Mixed vegetables

  • Chop larger vegetables or cut them into bite-size pieces.
  • Blanch according to directions for each individual vegetable, remembering that a shorter blanching time may be required to compensate for the smaller piece size.
  • When they are cool, mix your choice of vegetables and pack in plastic freezer bags in meal-size quantities.
  • Seal, label, date, and freeze.

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