feature food storage green living healthy eating how to smoothies zero waste There are few things more glorious than strolling through your local farmers market, enjoying the bounty of summer’s fruit. But how do you extend the shelf life of these natural sweets into autumn and winter while reducing food and plastic waste? By freezing, you can enjoy local, seasonal fruit all year round.

Can you freeze fruit?

Whether you love nectarines, peaches, and citrus or raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries, we’ve got good news: no matter what tickles your fancy, all fruit can be frozen! However, there may be optimal ways to pack fruits, freeze whole fruits, and use certain fruits once thawed. Can you freeze fresh fruit?

How do you freeze fresh fruit?

First, stock up on fruit from the farmers market or grocery store (the more local, the healthier for you and the planet). If you’re visiting the farmers market, select the “uglier” or very ripe fruits, as these will often be cheaper and are better for freezing; the more ripe, the more flavor will maintain through freezing. Don’t see any non-perfect produce? Just ask the vendor — they may have some hidden! Then, you’ll want to prep your fruit beforehand and store it properly in freezer-safe containers, like Stasher reusables, to prevent freezer burn. Freezer burn happens when moisture from food evaporates and creates ice crystals, depleting the flavor and quality. (Note: Food that has freezer burn is still safe to consume.) It’s also important to keep in mind how to preserve nutrients since fruit and vegetables stored in the freezer for too long (say, over six months) will begin to lose their nutritional content. This also means avoiding blanching of certain leafy produce — like rhubarb — as doing so can deplete the vitamin c, aka ascorbic acid. Let’s get on with how to freeze by following this super easy process:

  1. Wash, dry, and slice up your fruit (removing cores, stems, and all the things you wouldn’t want to eat). Berries will not need to be chopped. Make sure that your fruit cools to room temperature before freezing because putting warm food in the freezer encourages freezer burn!
  2. Place the cut up fruit in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with compostable parchment paper or a silicone sheet liner.
  3. Freeze the fruit on the baking sheet for about 2-3 hours, or until fully frozen. Pre-freezing the fruit on a tray prevents the fruit from sticking together so you don’t end up with one big blob.
  4. Once frozen, transfer fruit into a freezer-safe Stasher bag or bowl, removing as much air as possible as you close the Pinch-Loc® seal. Stasher reusables are perfect for storing frozen fruit and you can easily label them using a non-toxic chalk marker.

How to Freeze Fresh Fruit

How long can you store frozen fruit?

Frozen fruit will remain safe to eat for an extended period of time, but you may want to enjoy it within six to nine months for the best taste and nutritional value. When you’re ready to use it, simply thaw it or throw it into a recipe that calls for frozen fruit. Your fruit will be great for making smoothies, adding texture to oatmeal, or adding a little extra something to ice cream.

How do you thaw frozen fruit?

If you’d like to thaw the fruit, you can do so by placing your Stasher filled with frozen fruit in the fridge, or placing it in a bowl of cold water. Make sure to only thaw as much as you want to use — you won’t want to freeze it again. Keep in mind that the texture of thawed fruit will change, so it’s better to use it as part of a recipe where it can be mushier. Frozen and thawed fruit is great for making cobblers, compotes, adding to baked goods or pancakes, pies, and more. Another way to use frozen fruit and save time is to create smoothie packs in the freezer. This follows the same process as outlined above to pre-freeze the fruit on trays, but instead of separating and storing frozen fruit by the variety of fruit, you can create pre-mixed packs of smoothie fruit using our Sandwich or Stand-up Mini bags. When you’re ready to enjoy, dump the whole bag into the blender, add your favorite liquid, a protein powder if you so desire, and blend. How do you thaw frozen fruit?

Why freeze fruit?

You may be wondering, “Why not just buy pre-frozen fruit?” Well, that’s certainly an option! But buying fresh fruit from a farmers market allows you to support local and optimize the health benefits, while lowering the environmental impact since it doesn’t have to travel so far. Freezing your own fruit also helps you avoid accumulating extra plastic packaging that pre-frozen fruit comes in. And you don’t have to stop at fruit — learn how to freeze vegetables in your Stashers! It’s easy, affordable and affordable to learn how to freeze fruit, and helps you have a steady stash in your freezer no matter what time of year it is. Want to join the #StasherSquad? Follow us on Instagram and TikTok, tagging @stasherbag to show us how you’re reducing single-use plastic. Updated March 25, 2020 How to Freeze Fresh Fruit Don’t let the season’s best fresh fruit go to waste! Learn how to freeze your favorites now so you can enjoy them all year long.

What’s In This Article

  • Introduction
  • General Tips for Freezing Fruit
  • How to Freeze Blueberries
  • How to Freeze Strawberries
  • How to Freeze Raspberries
  • How to Freeze Bananas
  • How to Freeze Peaches
  • How to Freeze Cantaloupe


Whether it’s a bumper crop from the bush in your yard or the yield from a too-good-to-resist sale at the store, finding yourself with a lot of fresh fruit on your hands can feel like a bittersweet blessing. Of course, there are few things better in the world than fruit at its juiciest peak ripeness. But by the same token, when there’s a lot to eat—more than you can reasonably get through before it starts to fade—there’s the stressful threat of waste. Well, waste not, stress not! Your freezer is the perfect tool for keeping your fruit from going to waste, and we’re sharing the secrets to the best methods for freezing fruit so that you can enjoy it well beyond its usual shelf life. We’ll walk you through freezing a few different kinds of berries, plus bananas, peaches and melons, but you can use these tips for just about any kind of fruit! washing strawberries

General Tips for Freezing Fruit

No matter the fruit, no matter the season, these tips will set you on the right path to freezing fruit successfully:

  • Always choose fruit at its peak quality—and freeze it when it’s ripe.
  • Use high-quality freezer bags that seal tightly. Any amount of fruit can be frozen; just choose an appropriately sized bag for the amount of fruit you’re freezing.
  • Remove as much air as possible before placing bags of fruit in the freezer. Air is your fruit’s worst enemy as it can lead to the formation of ice crystals that’ll leave you with subpar thawed fruit.
  • Label bags of fruit with the freeze date so you know when you need to use it up. Remember, freezing things doesn’t mean that they’re good indefinitely!

How to Freeze Blueberries

preparing blueberries for freezing

Step 1:

If you bought blueberries in a grocery store, place them in a bowl filled with water. Allow the blueberries to sit in the water for a couple of minutes to remove any debris.

Step 2:

Remove from bowl and rinse with water. (If you picked blueberries yourself and no chemicals were used, give them a quick rinse before proceeding to the next step.)

Step 3:

Place blueberries on a paper towel-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Allow to air-dry for an hour or so.

Step 4:

Transfer blueberries to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place in freezer for 60 minutes. Remove and transfer to a freezer bag, removing as much air as possible. Label and return to freezer.

How to Freeze Strawberries

freezing strawberries

Step 1:

Place strawberries in a large bowl filled with water. Allow the strawberries to sit in the water for 20 minutes, swishing them around with your hand a few times to remove debris.

Step 2:

Drain water and rinse strawberries. Place strawberries on a paper towel-lined rimmed baking sheet and allow to air dry for at least an hour.

Step 3:

Once the strawberries are dry, cut them into small pieces or leave them whole, as desired. Place on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Place in the freezer for 60 minutes, until firm.

Step 4:

Remove baking sheet from freezer. Place strawberries into sealable freezer bags, removing as much air as possible. Label and return to freezer.

How to Freeze Raspberries


Step 1:

If your raspberries are store-bought, place them in a bowl filled with water. Allow them to sit in the water for a couple of minutes to remove any debris. If they’re from your yard or you’ve picked them yourself, you can skip the soaking and just rinse them gently—raspberries are tender!

Step 2:

If you’ve soaked your berries, remove from bowl and rinse with water.

Step 2:

Place raspberries on a paper towel-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Let them air-dry for about an hour.

Step 3:

Transfer berries to a baking sheet lined parchment. Place in freezer for 60 minutes before removing and transferring the berries to a freezer bag. Carefully squeeze out as much air as possible, being careful not to crush the berries. Label the bag and return to freezer.

How to Freeze Bananas


Step 1:

Select bananas that are ripe, i.e., ones you’d want to eat fresh. You can freeze bananas at that stage, but don’t worry if they start to get a little beyond ripe—you can still freeze them.

Step 2:

Peel bananas—this will make them easier to work with when you’re ready to use them.

Step 3:

You can either leave bananas whole or cut them into slices approximately ½ inch thick. If leaving bananas whole, place them in a freezer bag and remove as much air as you can before labeling the bag and placing it in the freezer. If you’re slicing, places the slices on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and put it in the freezer for 1-2 hours.

Step 4:

Remove the frozen banana slices, place them in a labeled freezer bag and, after removing as much air as possible from the bag, seal it and place it in the freezer.

How to Freeze Peaches

freezing peaches

Step 1:

Peel peaches. Cut each peach in half and carefully remove the pit.

Step 2:

Cut each half into four or five slices. Place each slice on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet.

Step 3:

Place peaches in freezer for 60 minutes. Once peaches are frozen, remove from freezer and place into a sealable freezer bag. Remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn and ice crystals. Label and return to freezer.

How to Freeze Cantaloupe

freezing melon

Step 1:

Cut melon in half and remove seeds.

Step 2:

Use a melon baller to cut round sections of cantaloupe. Continue until the whole melon has been cut.

Step 3:

Place melon balls on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Place in freezer for one hour.

Step 4:

Remove from freezer and transfer melon balls to a resealable freezer bag, removing as much air as possible. Label and return to freezer. Comments We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing. Post Image Making jam and canning fruit aren’t the only ways to preserve summer fruits while they’re in season: There’s also the freezer! Cobblers, pies, and “fresh” fruit smoothies in the dead of winter? Game on. Here’s the best way to freeze those fruits so they stay in perfect condition for months to come. It’s tempting — and maybe intuitive — to just throw those fruits in a freezer bag and be done with it. But frozen this way, the fruits often freeze together into one solid brick, which makes things difficult when you need just a few cups to make a dessert or want to fit them nicely into a pie crust. Thawing the fruit turns them into a watery, pulpy mess — fine if they’re already encased in pastry dough, but less ideal for working with initially. A better and easier way to freeze fresh fruits is to first prepare them just as you would if you were going to use them immediately — peel and core apples and pears, remove the pits from peaches, and chop them into small bite-sized pieces. Berries and other small fruits can be left whole. Then freeze all the fruits in a single layer on a baking sheet. The small individual pieces freeze solid and can easily be transferred into a freezer container for longer storage. Removing as much air as possible from the bag or container will also help protect the fruit from freezer burn. As I mentioned earlier, frozen fruits will become mushy and watery once they thaw. They may not look the prettiest, but they still taste just as good! This means that they’re best when used in baked goods like pies, cobblers, and crumbles — or even folded into quick breads or scones. Don’t bother thawing them before making your pastry; use them straight from the freezer. Just don’t plan on using frozen fruit like fresh fruit to decorate a tart or top off a beautiful custard — better to cook them into a sauce or a quick jam first. During times when fresh fruit is a season or two away, this frozen summer fruit feels like your own little piece of heaven. Freeze it now — thank yourself later.


  • Any amount of ripe fruit


  1. Wash and dry the fruit: Rinse the fruit under cool running water, using a bit of soap or fruit wash if you prefer. Lay the fruit on a single layer on a clean dish towel and allow to dry. The fruit needs to be completely dry before freezing or the fruit will quickly develop freezer burn.
  2. Slice the fruit: In general, prepare the fruit the way you expect to be using it. If you will be using the fruit in a pie, slice it into chunks or wedges. If you will be blending it into smoothies, roughly chop. Here is a general guide for the most common kinds of fruits:• Apples and Pears: Core and cut into slices or chunks. Peels can be left on or removed as preferred.
    • Peaches, Nectarines, Plums and other Stone Fruit: Remove the pits and cut into slices or chunks. Peels can be left on or removed as preferred.
    • Cherries: Remove the pits and stems from all the fruits. Leave whole or slice in half.
    • Blueberries, Raspberries, and other Berries: Berries can be left whole
    • Strawberries: Hull the strawberries and cut into chunks or slices as preferred
    • Melons: Remove the rinds and slice into chunks or use a melon baller to scoop rounds.
  3. Arrange the fruit on a baking sheet: Line a baking sheet with parchment, then arrange the fruit in a single layer on top. It’s ok if the fruits are touching slightly, but avoid layering or overlapping the fruits. This allows the fruits to freeze individually, making them easier to store and, eventually, use.
  4. Freeze until the fruits are solid: Clear some space in your freezer and slide the tray of fruit inside. Freeze until the fruits are solid, about 4 hours. You can leave the fruits overnight, but be sure to package them within a day or two or they will start to develop freezer burn.
  5. Label the freezer containers: When ready to pack the fruit, label your freezer bags or other containers with the name of the fruit and the amount. This makes it easier to find the fruit you want (and identify similar-looking fruits!) and pull out the specific quantity that you need.
  6. Pack the fruits into freezer containers: Once the fruits have frozen solid, pack them into freezer containers. Lift the edges of the parchment to dislodge sticky fruits and use a spatula to transfer the fruits to the freezer container. Avoid touching the fruit as it will start to thaw quickly. Seal tightly, pressing out as much air as possible, and return the fruit to the freezer.
  7. Freeze fruit for up to 3 months: Fruits will keep for several months — at least 3 months and sometimes longer — before starting to develop ice crystals and freezer burn. There is usually no need to thaw the fruit before using it.

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  5. How to freeze fruit for the best flavor

Quick facts

When freezing fruit, follow these guidelines to minimize color and flavor changes.

  • Freeze fruit as soon as possible after harvesting.
  • Pre-treat with vitamin C.
  • Use high-quality containers.
  • Keep frozen fruit below zero degrees F for a maximum of 8-12 months.
  • Unsweetened fruit loses quality faster than fruit packed in sugar or sugar syrups.

Watch our 5-minute video

Freeze as soon as possible

four honeycrisp apples on the tree When harvested, fresh fruit continues to undergo chemical changes that can cause spoilage and deterioration. Fruit should be frozen as soon after harvest as possible and at their peak degree of ripeness.

Pre-treating fruit before freezing

Fresh produce contains chemical compounds called enzymes that cause the loss of color, loss of nutrients, flavor changes and color changes in frozen fruit. These enzymes can cause brown colors and the loss of vitamin C.

To prevent these effects, follow the recipe to pre-treat fruit by adding ascorbic acid (vitamin C), blanching or other recommended pre-treatment options.

Storage temperature and length

To maintain top quality, frozen fruit should be stored at zero degrees F or lower. Most frozen fruit maintains high quality for 8 to 12 months. Freezer containers.

Use high quality containers

Use high quality containers which are moisture and vapor proof so moisture is kept in the product and air kept away from it. Rigid containers made of plastic are suitable for all packs and are especially good for liquid packs. Freezer bags work well for whole fruit.

Fruit pack methods

There are three ways to pack fruit for freezing: sugar pack, syrup pack, and unsweetened pack. Keep in mind, unsweetened fruit loses quality faster than fruit packed in sugar or sugar syrups. Adding sugar to berries.

  1. Sugar pack: Sprinkle the required amount of sugar over the fruit. Gently stir until the pieces are coated with sugar and juice.
  2. Sugar syrup: Dissolve the needed amount of sugar in cold water. Stir the mixture and let stand until the solution is clear.
  3. Unsweetened pack: Wash fruit, dry well. Place in container and freeze.

Steps to freeze fruit

  1. Wash and sort fruit carefully. Discard poor quality fruit or use for another purpose.

  2. Prepare fruit as you will use it when you remove it from the freezer.

  3. Check the chart below to see if an anti-browning treatment is suggested. Use ascorbic acid preparation as recommended in the chart or in the manufacturer’s instructions.

  4. Use dry sugar, or sugar syrup in proportions suggested in the chart.

    • Dissolve sugar needed in cold water.

    • Stir.

    • Allow to stand until sugar is completely dissolved. Do not heat.

    • You may hold sugar syrup 2 days in the refrigerator.

    • If you are preparing a sugarless pack of fruit that browns, be sure to treat with ascorbic acid or other anti-browning agents.

  5. Pack into plastic freezer bags, freezer containers or freezer jars.

    • Allow ½-inch headspace for expansion.

    • Pack fruit, such as peaches which darken easily, in rigid containers and cover with syrup.

    • Place crumpled wax paper between lid and fruit to help prevent browning.

Rinsing strawberries in colander.

Special tip for cleaning berries: Do not soak berries in water to clean. Instead, place the berries in a colander, dip into cool water, and gently swish, rinse and drain well.

Special tip for packing whole berries: Whole berries pack well using the tray pack method.

  • After cleaning and drying berries, place on a tray in a single layer.
  • Place tray in freezer for 30 minutes.
  • Remove tray from freezer and pack berries in freezer bags or freezer containers.
  • Freeze.
  • When ready to use, pour out the amount needed and return container to the freezer.

Recommended preparation of fruit for freezing

| Frozen apples in freezer. Most firm-fleshed cooking varieties, especially apples suitable for pies or sauces.

  • Wash in cold water, peel, core and cut into pie slices.
  • Add an ascorbic acid powder to prevent browning of fruit. Follow package directions.
  • OR: Pack in sugar syrup using 2 cups sugar and ½ teaspoon ascorbic acid to 1 quart water.
  • Fill container, seal, label, date and freeze.


  • Wash whole apples, drain and dry. Place in freezer bags. Freeze.
  • To use for pie, sauce or other cooked dessert, run cold water over each frozen apple just before peeling. Peel, slice and use immediately.

Well-ripened fruits of uniform golden-yellow color. Apricots are better canned than frozen.

  • Wash in cold water and sort.
  • Dip six fully-ripened apricots into boiling water until skins loosen (about 15 to 20 seconds).
  • Chill, peel, halve and remove pits.
  • Fill containers one-third full of syrup (3 cups sugar to 1 quart water with ½ teaspoon ascorbic acid).
  • Pack apricots in syrup.


  • Halve soft ripe fruit, steam 4 minutes, crush and pack with 1 cup sugar to 8-9 cups fruit.
  • Wash in cold water and sort.
  • Pack in sugar syrup using 3 cups sugar to 1 quart water.


  • Crush and pack in sugar using 1 cup sugar to 7-8 cups fruit.
  • For pies, pack berries dry without sugar.

blueberries on branch Any good quality berry, cultivated or wild.

  • Wash in cold water and sort.
  • For desserts, pack in sugar syrup using 3 cups sugar to 1 quart water.


  • Pack in sugar using 1 cup sugar to 8-9 cups fruit.
  • For pies, pack dry without sugar or sugar syrup.

Any good quality cherry.

  • Wash in cold water, stem and pit.
  • For pies, use 1 ½ to 2 cups sugar to 4 cups cherries for 9-inch pie.
  • To improve color, add ¼ teaspoon ascorbic acid.

Choose bright, fully ripe cherries.

  • Wash in cold water, sort, stem, and pit.
  • Pack in syrup using 2 cups sugar to 1 quart water, ½ teaspoon ascorbic acid, and either 1 teaspoon citric acid or 4 teaspoons lemon juice.

Available citrus fruits.

  • Wash, peel, section or slice fruit. Sprinkle sugar over each layer of citrus fruit, sweetening to taste.
  • Let stand in refrigerator until fruit forms its own juice, about 30 minutes.
  • If you wish to keep the mix 3-4 months, add ¼ teaspoon ascorbic acid to the sugar for each 2 pints of fruit.

Any good quality fruit.

  • Wash in cold water.
  • Sort and pack without sugar.

Red Lake and similar large fruit varieties.

  • Wash in cold water and sort.
  • Pack in sugar using 1 cup sugar to 8-9 cups fruit.
  • For cooking, pack dry without sugar.

Any good cooking variety.

  • Wash in cold water and sort.
  • Pack without sugar or syrup.


  • Mix berries and sugar called for in pie recipe.

Any available varieties.

  • Wash in cold water and sort.
  • Husk, then blanch cherries for 2 minutes.
  • Pack in sugar syrup (3 cups sugar to 1 quart water).

Use firm-fleshed fruit.

  • Wash in cold water.
  • Cut flesh into ½- to ¾-inch cubes or balls.
  • Cover with sugar syrup using 2 cups sugar to 1 quart water.
  • You can add whole seedless grapes.
  • Serve partially frozen.

Any good quality fruit.

  • Same as apricots for preparation and packing.

Choose well ripened fruit of good quality.

  • Wash in cold water and sort.
  • Dip 3 or 4 peaches into boiling water until skins loosen; 15-20 seconds.
  • Chill and peel.
  • Freeze in a sugar syrup following directions for apricots.
  • You may halve, quarter or slice peaches.
  • See steps 4 and 5 under “Steps to freeze fruits”.


  • Freeze non-browning varieties like Redhaven, RISINGSTAR® with dry sugar using ½ teaspoon ascorbic acid and 4 cups sugar with 8 pounds fruit (about 4 quarts).

Any fruit of bright appearance, dark orange-yellow color.

  • Peel and core.
  • Dice, slice or cut into wedges.
  • Cover with syrup using 3 cups sugar to 1 quart water.


  • Pack in dry sugar, 1 cup sugar to 8-9 cups fruit.
  • Do not use uncooked pineapple in gelatin molds.

Frozen raspberries on a tray.

Red or purple fruit of good quality.

  • Wash in cold water and sort.
  • Pack raspberries in syrup using 3 cups sugar to 1 quart water.


  • Pack in dry sugar, 1 cup sugar to 7-8 cups fruit.
  • Handle gently. Pack purple raspberries for jam without sweetening.

Select stalks that are crisp and tender and of good red color in early spring. Do not pick after July 1.

  • Remove leaves and woody ends, wash in cold water and cut in 1-inch lengths. Do not blanch.
  • For sauce, pack in sugar syrup using 3½ cups sugar to 1 quart water.
  • For pies, pack in dry sugar using 1 cup sugar to 4 cups rhubarb, or pack without sugar for a few months’ storage.

Wiping rim of berry container.

Choose firm, ripe berries of bright red color or rich aromatic flavor.

  • Wash in cold water, sort and stem. Pack whole, sliced (preferred) or crushed berries in 1 cup sugar to 7- 8 cups fruit.


  • Pack whole berries in syrup using 3-4 cups sugar to 1 quart water.

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