How to Freeze Fruit and Vegetables

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This method is the easiest, most convenient, and the least time consuming method of preserving foods.

Learning how to freeze fruits and vegetables is such a great skill to have! If you have a small garden or a large one, freezing the harvest while it’s in season is the a great way to have seasonal fruits and vegetables during the off season. Here’s a full guide to help you along your way.

green beans in plastic freezer bag with date
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How to Freeze Fruit and Vegetables

I love canning, I love dehydrating, but what I find myself doing the most often is freezing! Freezing is a favorite long term storage solution for seasonal fruits and vegetables. It’s easy to do, you don’t need a lot of supplies, and one of my favorite parts is that you can freeze small or large batches!

You don’t need gallons and gallons of tomatoes to freeze like you might to do a batch of canning, you can put in one bag of fruits or vegetables at a time in the freezer. Before you know it, you’ll have a freezer full of amazing fruits and vegetables to use all winter long.

Why should I freeze fruits and vegetables? 

This provides a supply of a variety of foods when those fresh products are not readily available. When properly done, freezing can preserve most of the quality of the fresh product. This method is also easier than other preserving options (such as canning) and it tends to be more accessible to more people.

What fruits and vegetables shouldn’t I freeze?

  • Cabbage
  • Celery
  • Cress
  • Cucumbers
  • Endive
  • Irish Potatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Parsley (unless doing it in oil, see here)
  • Radishes

What supplies do I need to freeze?

  • Freezer
  • Marker or something to label food
  • Packaging (such as: rigid containers such as plastic or glass, flexible freezer bags, vacuum packing)
frozen apricots in a freezer bag

How long are things good for in the freezer?

ProductStorage Period
Bacon1 month
Butter6-9 months
Chops4-6 months
Egg whites or yolks12 months
Fish, fatty2-3 months
Fish, lean4-8 months
Fruits8-12 months
Ground or Stew Meat3-4 months
Ham1-2 months
Milk1-3 months
Poultry, Cooked1 month
Poultry, Uncooked12 months
Roasts4-12 months
Steaks6-12 months
Vegetables8-12 months
Yogurt1-2 months

How does freezing affect the food? 

Freezing can cause a change in texture and color, moisture loss, and nutrient loss. 

How does this method work? Freezing does not sterilize foods. It reduces the temperature of the food so that microorganisms cannot grown; however, many will survive. Enzyme activity is also slowed down.

Factors when Considering Freezing:

Relatively high energy cost
Medium preparation time
Short processing time
Closest to nutrient value of fresh product

Raw Product FRUITApproximate Pounds needed for 1 Quart Jar or Container
Apples2 ½- 3
Apricots2- 2 1/2
Berries (except Strawberries and cranberries)1 ½- 3
Cantaloupes1 large melon
Cherries2- 2 ½ 
Figs2- 2 ½ 
Grapefruit4- 6 fruits
Nectarines2- 3
Peaches2- 2 ½ 
Pears2- 2 ½ 
Pineapples2 ½ 
Plums2- 2 ½ 
Strawberries6- 8 cups
Tomatoes2 ½ – 3 ½ 
Raw Product VEGETABLESApproximate Pounds Needed for 1 Quart Jar or Container
Beans, Lima4-5
Beans, Green or Wax1 ½ -2
Beets2 ½-3
Brussels Sprouts2
Cabbage2 ½ -3
Carrots2 ½ -3
Cauliflower2 medium heads
Corn, Sweet4-5
Okra1 ½
Peas, Field Green3 ½ -4
Peppers1 1/3
Pumpkin1 ½ -3
Squash, Summer2-2 1/2
Squash, Winter3

Tips when freezing:

  • Cool cooked and blanched foods
  • Package in appropriate freezer materials
  • Remove as much air from containers as you can
  • Most vegetables need to be blanched before freezing to help prevent loss of flavor, color, texture, and vitamins. 
  • Some fruits such as peaches, apples, pears, and apricots darken when exposed to air. They need to be placed in a solution to prevent discoloration. These may include ascorbic acid mixtures, citric acid, lemon juice, and steaming (if you’re going to cook the food before eating)

I have a few more in-depth posts on freezing specific things if you are interested. You can find them here:

And there you have! One robust guide on how to freeze. I hope it encourages you to preserve some of the summer bounty for colder days. Pulling a bag of strawberries, zucchini, or cherries out in the middle of the winter is such a gift. And don’t forget that learning how to freeze small amount of leftover food to prevent food waste is also a great skill to acquire!

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1 Comment

  1. deb c says:

    Ahhhhh…..the how to freeze bananas post…..the one google found for me which hooked me on your blog… makes my heart smile seeing it listed!