Frozen foods are convenient and safe to eat, but their quality can deteriorate over time. This post will talk about how long frozen fruit lasts a well as some storage tips and easy recipes that use frozen fruit.
Using frozen fruits and vegetables is not only convenient, it’s also a great way to eat clean, healthy, and tasty meals that are ready in a flash. But frozen food does not last forever. It can get freezer burn and lose its nutritional value and taste over time. Also, bacteria can grow in the food if it’s not stored properly, making it unsafe to eat.
I’m going to talk about the timelines for freezing fruit so that you can enjoy the taste, flavor, texture, nutrients, and convenience of frozen fruits.
I’ll also give you some tips on how to store frozen fruit so that it stays safe to eat and fresh for longer.
What Fruits Can You Freeze?
Apples, bananas, berries, cherries, kiwi, mango, nectarines, oranges, peaches, and pineapple are all fruits that freeze well.
How Long Do Frozen Fruits Last?
When you freeze fruit, how long it will last depends on what you do with it. Here are some general guidelines:
- At room temperature
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that perishables like frozen fruit, frozen vegetables, and frozen meat that are left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours should be discarded. In other words, you should eat frozen fruits within 2 hours of thawing at room temperature.
- In the chiller/refrigerator
Approximately 1 pound of frozen fruit will thaw in 6-8 hours when kept refrigerated. If you want to use frozen fruit immediately, you can thaw it under running cold water or in a microwave oven, although I find that this takes away the firm texture of the fruit and makes it less palatable.
- In the freezer
Fresh fruit can be frozen for 6-9 months. The shelf life of frozen fruits depends on various factors:
Freezer temperature: To maintain the best quality of frozen fruits you should store them at 0 degrees F or lower. It’s also important to keep the fruit constantly frozen and not repeatedly thaw and refreeze it.
Preparation method: Fresh fruit that is flash-frozen has the longest shelf life.
Storage: Frozen fruit that is stored properly in a freezer safe container will maintain its taste and consistency for longer.
Expiration date: There is a “Best By” date on store-bought frozen food. The fruit is usually good beyond this date if it’s in unopened packages.
How To Store Frozen Fruits
- Use airtight containers
Frozen fruit should be properly stored in a freezer safe container, airtight container, or zip lock bag. Using containers that are made for freezing food can help to keep your frozen fruit fresh for longer. This is especially important if you’ve already cut the fruit. Make sure you squeeze as much air as you can out of the freezer bag before you store it.
Here’s a list of my favorite meal prep containers.
- Use original food packaging
The food packaging your frozen vegetables and fruits come in is designed to prevent freezer burn, which is a loss of moisture from frozen foods that causes the food to look shriveled and discolored. If you haven’t saved the original package, a double layer of plastic wrap works well.
- Use this method for freezing fruits at home
Wash fresh fruit thoroughly under cold running water. Depending on the fruit, peel, core, and cut it into bite-sized pieces. Pat the pieces dry on paper towels to soak up excess moisture – this helps prevent freezer burn. Place the fruit in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze for a minimum of 4 hours.
Once the fruit is frozen solid, transfer it to a freezer bag or air-tight container.
This type of flash freezing prevents big chunks of fruit sticking together. I like to remove as much air as possible from the bag to prevent freezer burn. Keep the container back in the freezer at the proper frozen storage temperature.
- Use a cooking process like pureeing or stewing
Fruits like strawberries and apples stay fresh longer if you puree or stew them before freezing. You can use the puree in pies, preserves, jams, sauces, and smoothies. It saves freezer space too! For frozen berries and frozen bananas, consider making something like an ice cream or sorbet that you can serve directly.
- Use frozen fruit before it’s completely thawed
If you’re serving frozen fruits as fresh, it helps to use them when there’s still some ice remaining. This gives the fruit a better texture (more firm and less soggy).
How To Tell If Frozen Fruit Is Bad or Spoiled
Frozen food can be dangerous if you don’t practice proper hygiene. Fortunately, as long as you follow basic food safety techniques, you can eat frozen fruit safely.
How long food stays fresh depends on expiration dates. Frozen fruit usually has a “Best By” date and not a “Use By” date or “Expiration Date”. This means frozen fruit is safe to eat for 8-10 months beyond the printed date on an unopened package.
But… the fruit will not stay safe indefinitely. Signs that frozen fruit has gone bad, rotten, or spoiled include discoloration (dull color) and a frostbitten appearance with white colored ice crystals. While it may still remain safe to eat, the fruit will deteriorate and probably taste bland or have a weird texture.
Simple Frozen Fruit Recipes
- Strawberry Sorbet
With just three ingredients – strawberries, raw honey, and warm water – this dairy-free, low-carb, super healthy and tasty sorbet is the perfect refresher for hot summer days. I like to make it in batches because it keeps its consistency for two to three months.
Full recipe here.
- Sugar-Free Pineapple Sorbet
At just 45 calories per serving, this fat-free pineapple sorbet is a great way to indulge your sweet tooth without ruining your healthy eating plan. It’s the perfect summer dessert and so easy to make.
Check the detailed recipe + nutrition facts on this post.
- Watermelon Sorbet
You don’t have to forgo delicious desserts just because you don’t have an ice cream maker. My watermelon sorbet is a vibrant looking, dairy-free, frozen summer dessert that you can eat guilt-free.
Wrapping Up: How Long Do Frozen Fruits Last In The Freezer?
Frozen fruit can last 6-9 months in the freezer as long as you maintain a constant temperature and keep it fully frozen. Freezing fruits is a great way to save time and enjoy all the health benefits of fresh fruits. Some of my favorite meals and desserts feature frozen veggies and fruits. I find it’s a cost effective and convenient way to give my family nutritious, tasty food that’s pre-prepared.
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