Peaches are in season and it’s time for smoothies, cobblers, and pies! This post will show you how to freeze peaches effectively (there’s a technique), so that you can enjoy these sweet culinary wonders all year round.
Y’all don’t know how much I look forward to peach season!!!! (As you can see from all those exclamation marks).
But c’mon! Is there anything better than biting into a freshly picked peach in the peak of summer? Hardly! Canned peaches don’t hold a candle to the fresh ones so truth be told, I often over-buy. Yeah…I can’t even count the number of times Dustin has to remind me to stop hoarding peaches from our local grocery store.
With my peach surplus, I quickly realized the downside, that they are – in fact – perishable. And I needed to find ways to preserve them for use in my favorite peach recipes. Freezing is an excellent option because, smoothies! After much peach freezing over the years, I’ve discovered a unique technique (oh yeah) that I will be sharing with you in this post.
One of my favorite fruit filled recipes is a peach protein shake, that has just 5 ingredients. You can find it here. I treat myself to this refreshing drink in peach season – almost daily! I add cleanish Brand vanilla protein powder as an extra boost to my protein intake for the day. Yum!
Can You Buy Peaches All Year Round?
Not exactly. Here in the U.S., fresh and domestically grown peaches are usually available beginning in May and that’s when the peach crisp and peach pie season begins. Not to mention peach cobblers and peach jams. See why I love peaches? Peach season peaks around mid July and continues on until late September. Late spring to early fall is your window for peaches and fresh peach recipes! Canning fresh peaches at home or freezing them is how you can enjoy them all year round.
Why Did My Frozen Peaches Turn Brown?
Peaches can turn brown in the freezer when they oxidize with any air caught in the bag. And while a little brown won’t make a difference in taste, I like to keep my peaches as colorful as possible. If you feel the same, you’ve got to call in the powers of lemon juice. Adding this citrus magic will prevent your peaches from browning because its low PH prevents those sneaky chemical reactions. Science, my friends!
How Do I Know If The Peach Is Ready for Freezing?
When you freeze peaches, you have to choose ones that are already ripe. Because once the cold hits…that’s the end of their ripening cycle. How do you find ones at peak ripeness? At full maturity, peaches are usually intensely fragrant (yum!) and are slightly soft to the touch – but not mushy.
Here are some more tips for picking the best peaches for freezing!
- Ripe peaches usually have a dark yellow color, and are often found at local farmer markets and farm stands. You can also get them at your nearest grocery (but they’re usually picked before they ripen).
- The best variety for freezing is clingstone peaches, which reach their peak in mid-June. Freestone peaches, which are in season between July and September, can also work well.
Which Type of Container Should I Freeze Them In?
When freezing peaches, you should choose containers that are durable, easily sealable, resistant to well freezing, and also moisture and vapor resistant. I normally opt for either Ziploc containers or plastic freezer bags (pressing out as much air as possible before I seal them!) but you can find more sustainable containers for the refrigerator and freezer, too.
Can I Freeze Peaches Whole?
Surprisingly, you can freeze peaches whole! The main caveat to this method is that you must wait until your peach defrosts in order to remove the pit. So ultimately, I recommend removing the pit and cutting them into halves or quarters. The skin can be left alone because it’s full of fiber and a great addition to your smoothies. But if you’d really prefer it off, the skin will easily peel away from the frozen peach under cool water.
How Long Do Frozen Peaches Last?
When they are stored properly, peaches last around 12 months in the freezer when the frigid temperature is kept constant. How to tell when they’ve reached the end of their road? If you notice that your peaches are starting to ooze and are developing dark spots, they’ve gone bad and should be thrown out.
What’s The Best Way To Freeze Fresh Peaches (For Smoothies)?
NOTE: If you’d rather keep the skin on, skip steps 1-3
Step 1: Slit the skin
Quickly rinse the peaches with running water. Then make a shallow x shaped slit at the bottom of each peach. Doing so will allow them to expand once you blanch them in the next step.
Step 2: Blanch them shortly
“Blanching” it’s basically the process of submerging fruits or vegetables into boiling water for approx. 15 seconds and then popping them into a large bowl of ice water (to stop the cooking process). So put the peaches in a large pot of water that’s already at the boiling point. Doing this not only firms the flesh of the peaches but also heightens the flavor and loosens up the skin for easy peeling.
Step 3: Peel the skin off
After submerging them in the ice bath, check whether they are cool enough to touch. When they are, begin peeling. You can either use a knife or your fingers to remove the skin.
Step 4: Remove the pits
No one benefits from accidentally biting into peach pits except maybe your dentist! Before you freeze your peaches, remove the pits. This is easily accomplished by cutting the peach in half and gently twisting it to expose the pit. Use a knife to carefully pry it out of the peach.
Step 5: Cut them into slices
Slice peaches! Now that you’ve gotten rid of those pesky pits, it’s time to cut them up using a good paring knife. I personally prefer to slice them before freezing because that makes them ideal for my smoothies! I cut them into ¼-½ inch slices depending on the size of the peach.
Step 6: Drizzle some lemon juice on them
Now for my magic trick (just kidding it’s science)! To keep your peaches from turning brown, all you need is lemon juice. Before you freeze the peaches, make sure you drizzle a bit of lemon juice, toss the peaches, and let them sit for 3-5 minutes. My rule of thumb is to use around 1 tbsp of lemon juice for every 1lb of peaches.
Step 7: Spread them on a baking sheet
I recommend placing the peaches on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet so that the peaches are easier to remove once frozen. Spread the sliced peaches in a single layer and place the baking sheet in the freezer for 1-2 hours (or even overnight).
Step 8: Transfer them to a freezer bag
Last but not least, pop your frozen peaches into a freezer bag or other freezer friendly container! Be sure to label them with a date and content. I tend to mix them up because, as you might suspect, I have many fruits in my freezer.
More Frozen Fruit Recipes
Now that you know how to effectively freeze peaches, you can try experimenting with different recipes. I love to use frozen peaches in my smoothie bowls but they’re also super good as a peach sorbet! I’m sure you’ll run out of peaches faster than you run out of recipes. Here are more recipes you can make with frozen fruit!
- How To Make Frozen Yogurt
- Peach Frozen Yogurt (no need to thaw the peaches!)
- 4 Healthy and Easy Frozen Desserts for Summer
- 4 Ingredient Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
- 14 Smoothie Freezer Packs (You’re gonna love these)
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