If you Like my Facebook Page, you already know that I was unexpectedly bombarded with fresh produce over the weekend. We are talking about a half bushel of peaches, a box full of tomatoes and 50 pounds of onions, in addition to a few miscellaneous items thrown in the mix. I’m cheap! You know I’m not letting a single bite of these freebies go to waste intentionally.
Freezing is my preferred method of preservation. I find it far less expensive and more friendly than canning. I also don’t have the same storage constraints with freezing that I do with canning. I have two refrigerators available with freezers in addition to my chest freezer. This is far more space than what I have available in my cupboards.
The peaches were first up on the chopping block. I don’t like adding unnecessary sugar and salt when I’m freezing. If you do this now, you are going to have to figure this into the equation somewhere down the line if you plan to use your frozen goods in another recipe. Also, it’s just bad for you. And, this is the good stuff. Why cover up the flavor with all of that junk? If those aren’t enough excuses for you, this is just how I roll when I cook. It’s one of the reasons I do far more cooking than baking. I’m the boss. I’m going to put in there what I want to put in there.
Things You Need:
Note: These were huge peaches. I was getting a quart of slices from about three peaches. Your results may vary depending on the size. Why quarts? Most of your recipes for cobbler, crisp, etc. call for four cups. I don’t think we need to go into any math here, but four cups equals a quart.
Fruit Juice – 1/4 to 1/2 c per quart (I used orange, feel free to try pineapple, white grape, anything that will compliment the taste without ruining the color.)
Quart Freezer Bags
A Chef’s Knife
A Paring Knife
Tackling the Peaches:
I find it best to work in batches. Especially when you are dealing with a large amount. You want to get them into the freezer as quickly as possible to keep them from browning.
1. Grab as many peaches as you believe at this point will take to make a quart or two. Cut them in half and remove the pit.
2. Remove the skin with your paring knife. My peaches were pretty ripe. The skins came off rather easily. If your peaches are a little on the under-ripe side, you can dip them in boiling water for about 1 minute followed by a quick dip in cold water to get those skins off easily prior to halving them to remove the pits.
3. Get to slicing with that chef’s knife. Keep your slices uniform if you plan on cooking with them later. This ensures they will cook evenly.
4. Pack them into your quart freezer bags. You want these packed tightly so there isn’t much air in there to contribute to freezer burn. Make sure they are packed well, then cover them with a 1/4 to 1/2 c of fruit juice per bag.
5. Seal them tight. Mark them with the name and date. Throw them in the freezer. When you are ready to use them, stick a bag in the refrigerator the night before. Or, you can also run the bag under cold water to dethaw.
Without adding those gallons of sugar most recipes call for, your freezer life span may be shortened a bit. You are likely looking at about 3 to 6 months.
You are also going to want to use them as quickly as possible once they are thawed. They will likely start to brown the longer you let them sit around. This is the compromise you have to make to eliminate that sugar.
Other Easy Freezer Peaches Methods:
I haven’t personally tried these two, but I have heard success stories.
1. Freeze the whole darned thing. That’s right. Stick the entire peach, skin and all, straight into the freezer. As they thaw, the skin supposedly comes right off. My only concern here would be the amount of space this would require if you are freezing a large amount of peaches.
2. My grandmother has been freezing them halved, which she is loving. Halve them, remove the pits, skin them, place them on a cookie sheet. Place your cookie sheet in the freezer until your peaches are completely frozen, then bag them up.
This is not complicated. If you cook like me, you will likely need to mop your floor afterward. However, the number of dirty dishes to do is very limited with this recipe.
What do you think? Can you handle it?