A great way to save money is to buy items when they are in season and freezing them for a later date. I am a huge fan of fruit but it can really make the grocery bill add up fast. But there are times when fruit is on a really great sale and that’s when I stock up and freeze some.
While frozen fruit is no where near the same as fresh fruit, it can still make some delicious things, such as smoothies. My kids love them and I like that they are getting another portion of fruit for the day. I also love to add frozen fruit to oatmeal as it adds a little extra goodness to it.
I’ve found that fruit tends to freeze best when you “flash freeze” it first. While it will never hold quite the same form as fresh fruit, it’s usually your best bet to preserve the taste and help keep them from clumping together. When I flash freeze them, I can usually just pull out a few that I need later.
Flash freezing simply means taking the fruit and putting it on something, such as a clean cookie sheet, and letting it chill for awhile. Once it’s frozen solid, that’s when I add it to a Ziploc bag. Here are a few that I’ve tried it with:
We picked these blueberries this last summer. Had a fun outing and blueberries to enjoy most of the winter! Enjoyed them on pancakes/waffles, oatmeal, cereal, etc.
Strawberries – The cut-up pieces are what I took off some strawberries that were starting to get mushy. These work perfect in oatmeal, cereal, pancakes/waffles etc. The others, I just cored and will use those in smoothies. I just set the cookie sheet on top of the other stuff in my deep freezer and threw them in a Ziploc bag when they were solid.
Bananas – These are the over-ripe ones that I shared earlier. They stayed true to color and form for a few weeks. They did turn a smidge discolored after that. Had I been thinking, I would have mashed them first, as I knew I was going to use them in banana bread. You could also cut them into chunks and flash freeze them for smoothies.
It’s very easy to freeze excess fruit or fruit you find on a great sale. You might even talk to the produce manager at your store to see when they discount slightly bruised fruit for extra savings.
What fruit have you tried to freeze? What ways have you found to use the fruit later?