Peaches - freezing techniques?

terri_portlandAugust 1, 2006

I'm looking for a good technique to freeze peaches (without heavy syrup). I've tried slicing them and laying them on a tray to freeze, then bagging them up, but they stick together in a big clump - not as cooperative as berries! I like using a handful at a time, but I find I have to hammer chunks off or thaw the whole bag; there's something about hammering peaches that goes against my nature.

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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)

If you find a way, let me know!

I freeze them in small portions in Ziploc bags (1-cup or 2-cup) because of the "hammering" issue...

Something I have been thinking about trying, to waste less plastic, is packing some in those really small "snack pack" Ziplocs, which aren't really hefty enough for freezing, but then packing a bunch of THOSE inside a large freezer bag for the extra protection against freezer burn.

I'll let you know how it goes (though of course the real test will be in January when I see how well they've survived).

I've only just acquired a dedicated freezer so I'm still figuring things out!

Zabby

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 8:57AM
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aberwacky_ar7b(Southern Ozarks, AR z7a)

Hmmm, I haven't had the clumping problem when I freeze them sliced on trays, so can't help with that, but one thing I did this year when we were overloaded with peaches was to freeze some whole.

Takes up more room, but I've tried a few samples, and have been very pleased with the quality of the results. Run them under hot water and the peel slips off, then a little while at room temp and you can slice them up. No browning, of course, since they're still in their skin, and no need to peel them first.

Good technique when you're overloaded!

Leigh

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 9:08AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Be sure to add the necessary ascrobic acid to the peaches as a dip or syrup before freezing. If this is not done, they turn an unappetizing brown color.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 11:09AM
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bejay9_10(zone 9/10)

I had almost given up with browning peaches and apricots, no matter how hard I tried to keep those rascals under the syrup.

This year I had planned to just BWB them in light syrup. They turned out better than freezing that way, as far as edibility was concerned, not to mention browning.

But if freezing them whole doesn't alter flavor, I'm interested, will definitely give it a try.

Haven't made my annual visit to the mountains, but they should be having some apples and other fruit available soon. I hope the very hot weather we have had, hasn't ruined their crops this year.

Bejay

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 11:10AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

A fairly strong ascorbic acid dip can help to keep them yellow. If your freezing, the dip would be made with a fruit juice or water and have 2-3 times the recommended amount of ascorbic acid added. The peaches are placed in the dip soilution for about half an hour before packing in jars. Even for that, if you do use a syrup and they get brown on the top, a careful sprinkle of about a 1/4 teaspoon of ascorbic acid on the top of the contents before placing a lid should also help some. I have done the latter and was careful not to shake up the mix of peaches after they were canned and processed. Eventually the small amount of ascorbic will dissolve, and help to hold in the color. Ascorbic has very little taste on its own, and is not as acidic as most other granulated acids like citric.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 11:26AM
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terri_portland

Thanks, everyone, for your suggestions. I do like the taste of frozen better than canned and will try the smaller bags (though I try to cut down on plastic use) and also freezing whole. Never would have tried that one!

I may try a technique I use when I freeze chicken breasts -- I put them in a large plastic bag (not a freezer bag, but like a bread bag) and separate each one with a twist tie in between. It ends up looking like a long balloon with twists. They don't get all stuck together that way.

Mostly I use them for smoothies, so appearances aren't crucial since they get all whirled together with other things.

Enjoy the bounty!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 11:29AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

A chicken breast smoothie?? How interesting....

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 11:35AM
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terri_portland

Oh yuk! No, the peaches, the peaches! LOL.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 12:03PM
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beebonnet(8)

I love peach smoothies, so here's what I do. I use those little zip sandwich bags and put into it the amount of peaches I will need for a smoothie next winter. I roll the bag to get out as much air as possible. Zip it. Then I place the rolled bag into a qt. size freezer zip bag. Then I keep doing this until the large bag is full of the little rolled bags containing peaches. I make it flat so it will stack nicely. I do this with green peppers, too. Then, you just take 1 out, reclose the bag and stick it back in the freezer. It's kind of a mindless task, but works great in the winter. No hammering.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 1:48PM
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annie1992

I just slice my peaches into a bowl of water with a couple of vitamin c capsules dissolved into it, then package and freeze. I never freeze in syrup at all.

My peaches don't turn brown, but they do clump together. I use frozen peaches mostly for baking, cobbler and pie, etc. so I thaw and make the filling anyway.

Annie

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 4:07PM
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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)

beebonnet,

Sounds like you long ago thought of the idea that only just occurred to me! Glad you find it works well.

Terri, I don't like to go crazy with the plastic, either, but I do love the convenience of baggies! I have about five kinds/sizes on hand at any given time. Sigh.

I do find I can easily rinse them and re-use them several times, unless they've been used for meat.

Zabby

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 6:08PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Terri,
As you know, I was kidding about the chicken smoothie... I just thought we needed a bit of 'yuk' here..

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 8:50AM
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terri_portland

Yes, of course, love the kidding! It did put me in mind of a hilarious computer animation I saw years ago about a frog in a blender.

Re: plastic bags -- oh yes, we reuse them until they practically fall apart. I can't stand the thought of all those immortal bags sitting in landfills.

Here is a link that might be useful: Frog in a blender (kinda gross at high speed)

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 9:33AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Actually, have you ever seen what the sun does to poly bags? After a couple of seasons, they do crumble and break down. I had some fertilizer in some in my greenhouse and after two years the bags were nearly nothing left but the zipper part. They totally shredded.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 8:08PM
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waynesjane_hotmail_com

the easiest - I learned from my grandfather to just throw the peaches in the freezer whole. You put about a dozen in each bag - take them out as you need them.
Run the peach under luke-warm water and the peel slips off. Let it sit for a couple of minutes, slice the peach and use as you want. You'll be surprised at he consistency - quite nice!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2007 at 4:32PM
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lilacs_of_may

I just gathered three bags of peaches from my tree. They were falling to the ground and the bugs and squirrels were getting to them. Unfortunately, there were 50-60 ruined peaches on the ground.

I'm a peach newbie. Just bought the house last year and the tree that went with it. Am enjoying this thread!

Some of the peaches I picked (either off the tree or the ground) were red on one side but still green on the other. Will they ripen up okay, or was it just too soon for them? And where do I find the ascorbic acid? Do I just use Vit. C tablets?

I'm going to have so many peaches that I'll have to do something to preserve them, and I don't can. Luckily, when I moved here, a friend gave me a freezer that he never used.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2007 at 8:21PM
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kathy_in_washington(Zone 8 Sequim,WA)

We've always sliced our into the "freezer" "canning" jars (the ones with the sloped sides) and poured orange juice on them. Freeze them with the orange juice which adds flavor and stops any discoloration. I take a jar out at night and refrigerate it, and it's usually perfect for a bowl of peaches with breakfast. Fresh tasting, and good for you. I'm sure you could slice peaches into a ziplock plastic bag, add some orange juice to it, too, and do the same.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2007 at 10:36PM
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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)

lilacs,

I don't have fruit trees, alas, but buy my peaches, so I can't answer your question about the half-ripe ones (though I can say that that has happened to me with tomatoes this year more than usual).

But for the ascorbic acid, you can
-- toss the peaches with a little lemon juice (or put them in water that has some lemon juice added as you slice them)
OR
-- look for ascorbic acid with the canning supplies under the name "Fruit Fresh" and sprinkle it on the slices.

No reason you can't crunch up some vitamin C tablets if you want, mind you!

Enjoy your new bounty!

And while you say you don't can, consider giving it a try sometime since you have a steady supply of free fruit! It's easier than you might think, and you don't need expensive equipment to start out --- just use your biggest pot and get a box of jars (on sale at a lot of places this time of year) to try it! You can get a Ball Blue Book (about $6) for instructions or check out all the info here. We love initiating new canners!

Fruits are perhaps the easiest thing of all to can. You can make jam (try peach-maple, mmm) or maybe sliced peaches in a light syrup... perhaps add a hint of vanilla... I like a splash of Frangelico liqueur... mmm...

C'mon, you know you want to try... ;-)

Zabby,
btw, I should report that the freezing-peaches-in-mini- Ziploc-snack-bags-and-putting-the-little-bags-into-a-freezer-bag worked very well for me. Two peaches per mini bag, enough for a mornign batch of smoothies for me & BF.

Though i really like the "freeze them in OJ" idea, too --- you could put the whole shebang in the smoothie (I often add OJ to them anyway). VERY clever! Maybe some with pineapple juice for a change of pace...

Zabby

    Bookmark   September 2, 2007 at 7:35PM
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earthnut(WA/usda8/ahs2)

Maybe we have a fancy freezer or something, but what we do is slice them and put on a tray lined with wax paper, single layer, no touching, and freeze them with nothing added. No sugar, no vit C, no acid, no syrup. When frozen, we put them in gallon bags. They don't clump or discolor and they taste great!

There are different types of freezers - the better ones don't have defrost cycles, because the defrost cycles will slightly thaw the freezer items, causing freezer burn, and perhaps in your case, clumping.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 12:21AM
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mellyofthesouth(9a FL)

When I freeze soup, I put individual servings in a tupperware type container. Once it is frozen, I pop them out into a big ziploc bag. Occasionally they might stick together a bit, but a quick bang knocks them apart again. If you don't want to use a bunch of bags, you could try it. Then you would have multiple clumps in one large bag. Granted, the soup doesn't stay very long in the freezer. Usually around 3 months at the most, so about the time it might begin to suffer from not being better wrapped, it is eaten.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 6:52AM
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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)

I don't find much discolouring with frozen peaches, either even without adding ascorbic acid. After a whole year they darken a wee bit, to maybe a golden orange rather than bright yellow (I know this because I just used the last of the ones from last summer today!).

Zabby, who hasn't put up any peaches this year at all because she's been kept busy with her tomato harvest; really want to do some, though; I LOVED having them for smoothies this past year....

    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 10:55PM
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dafygardennut(5b-ish, CO)

Lilacs - Try a freezer jam for your peaches, you should be able to get everything you need at the grocery right by you, including the freezer containers.

3 cups prepared fruit (about 2 lb. fully ripe peaches)

4-1/2 cups sugar, measured into separate bowl

2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

3/4 cup water

1 box SURE.JELL Fruit Pectin

RINSE clean plastic containers and lids with boiling water. Dry thoroughly.

PEEL and pit peaches. Finely chop or grind fruit. Measure exactly 3 cups prepared peaches into large bowl. Add sugar and lemon juice; mix well. Let stand 10 min., stirring occasionally.

MIX water and pectin in small saucepan. Bring to boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 min. Add to peach mixture; stir 3 min. or until sugar is dissolved and no longer grainy. (A few sugar crystals may remain.)

FILL all containers immediately to within 1/2 inch of tops. Wipe off top edges of containers; immediately cover with lids. Let stand at room temperature 24 hours. Jam is now ready to use. Store in refrigerator up to 3 weeks or freeze extra containers up to 1 year. Thaw in refrigerator before using.
http://www.kraftfoods.com/Recipes/JamsJelliesPreserves/FreezerJamsJellies/30MinutesToHomemadeSURE.JELLPeachFreezerJam.html

Jen

Here is a link that might be useful: Freezing fruit

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 3:55AM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

I like the idea of orange juice. As Zabby said, that sounds perfect for smoothies.

I have had tremendous difficulty with browning of peaches. Even with ascorbic acid I have had some limited browning upon thawing, say for baking. (Used frozen there's no problem.)

I have two freezers, one new, and the freezer doesn't seem to make a difference. Neither has a defrost cycle.

I wonder if the variety of peach is a factor?

Carol

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 12:47PM
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dogear6(7 / Richmond VA)

Well, I froze peaches this summer without adding any ascorbic acid or Fresh Fruit. The first one I thawed was brownish and turned progressively browner as they sat in the refrigerator. They are very edible and taste fine, just look gross. Thankfully my yogurt covered it up.

I froze these in two cup plastic containers. How much ascorbic acid should I add before I thaw them out? Ken talks further up here about adding 1/4 tsp.

Is that sufficient or should I add more?

There was another link from this fall which I did not see until I'd frozen most of the peaches. It does not discuss how much to add to already frozen peaches.

Nancy

Here is a link that might be useful: frozen peaches question

    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 7:38PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Ascorbic acid is the same as Fruit Fresh, but Ascorbic will be much cheaper. Fruit Fresh is just a brand name. Yes, the fruits do get very brown after a short time in the freezer or even canned in jars. You can add more than a 1/4 teaspoon, even a half teaspoon per 2 cups is OK, any more, and the taste might be affected a little. If you add it after the peaches were canned or frozen, it will have little effect. A solution as a 'dip, could be up to a teaspoon, but most gets drained off once bagged and frozen. Even with a high amount of ascorbic, my canned freestone peaches had a little darkening at the top of the jars. Not bad though, even after 2 years. I also added it to my apricot preserves, as they are very senstive to oxidation too.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 2:15AM
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dogear6(7 / Richmond VA)

I did do an ascorbic acid dip with the peaches I froze individually (no sugar pack), so hopefully they will thaw better. You had sent me an earlier link for inexpensive ascorbic acid, which I will be changing over to shortly.

Thanks Ken.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 11:06AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

When you dip them, let them sit in the strong ascorbic solution for a few minutes, and do not rise them off afterwards. I find that when peaches are sliced and frozen, they seem to hold onto more flavor if they are sweetened too. Same with strawberries.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 11:45AM
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djaco

New bee, This July maybe my first, if my peach trees produce, 2 X red globe 2nd year. Has anybody frozen whole Peaches? Also has anybody tried blast freezing using dry ice for whole peaches? Thanks for any suggestionsÂ.David

    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 9:05PM
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bejay9_10(zone 9/10)

It was fun re-reading these old posts. I haven't changed my thinking about peaches, tho. Prefer to can them.

However, a comment about dry ice. Some years ago, we were traveling across country to a new location during the war. We felt it would be cheaper to take food in a cooler, especially to use up the meat in our freezer - using it for dog food.

Well anyway - the dry ice we used in the cooler co2'd the meat - and the milk, and the other stuff too. The dog took one whiff and gave us a dirty look - wouldn't touch it.

But - don't take my word for it - maybe we did it wrong.

Bejay

    Bookmark   March 28, 2010 at 2:10AM
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tracydr(9b)

So easy! Put in hot water until the skin slips. Then put the skinned ones into a big bowl of water you've prepare with some fruit fresh or lemon juice.
Cut into slices or chunks and stuff into quart bags. I've found that one quart bag stuffed full makes a perfect size pie. I don't add the sugar until I'm ready to make the pie. Other people will freeze in syrup but I find that wastes bag space.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2010 at 12:10PM
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heatherschulte_yahoo_com

I do not like using fruit fresh or commercial fruit protector, so I usually freeze my peaches covered in unsweetened juice. It prevents them from browning and I usually through them in the blender with the juice for smoothies anyway.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to Freeze Peaches Without Sugar

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 6:06PM
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