Peaches can be used to make homemade yogurt or smoothies. There are a variety of ways by which peaches can be utilized. So if you get a special sale on peaches and you decide to buy a full peck of peaches, you will be surprised to see your enthusiasm fade away when you realize that you cannot finish that amount of peaches with your family before it goes bad.
Can you freeze peaches? Yes, you can. Freezing peaches can make them last for about 8 – 10 months. If the peaches are properly frozen, they will keep their taste, color, and texture. So, freezing is a great idea if the other alternative is spoilage.
Peaches might not be worth purchasing out of season. So, freezing them while they are still fresh and in season is the best alternative. Peaches freeze well when done right and can be used as Jam, in oatmeals, and crisp and crumble.
How to Freeze Peaches
Peaches are easy to freeze but it has to be done properly. Peaches are similar to apples in the sense that they tend to brown when exposed to air. You can prevent this by coating the peaches with lemon juice. Let’s go into the steps that comprise freezing peaches.
Step 1: Preparation
When freezing fruits, picking the fruits that are in the best condition is the key to getting the best results. If you are getting your peaches from the store or garden. Pick unblemished fruits. Wash them under running water and scrub away all the dirt and debris. Pat them down with a dry towel to dry them.
Step 2: Slicing and Removing the Pit
The easiest way to remove the pit is to cut with a paring knife, all around the peaches, all the way to the center. Remove the pit or scoop it out with a spoon. Then slice the halves into quarters or wedges or into any size you desire. Don’t forget to coat the slices with lemon juice to prevent browning.
Step 3: Flash-freezing
Fruits tend to clump together during the freezing process. Hence the need for flash freezing. Place the slices of peaches individually with enough space in between them, on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Place the tray into the freezer to freeze for the better part of the day or overnight.
Step 4: Storage
Remove the now half-frozen slices of peaches from the freezer. They are now ready to be packed into Ziploc bags or airtight freezer bags. Pack the frozen peaches into the bags, and expel as much air as you can before sealing.
Label the bags with a sharpie, indicating the contents and date of the freeze. This would help you keep track of how long you have kept the peaches in the freezer.
How to Freeze Peaches in Syrup
Freezing peaches in syrup help to sweeten them, and also add additional flavor. If you like your peaches the way they are; unsweetened. Then, you can freeze them normally as described above.
Step 1: Preparation
Wash the peaches and scrub them thoroughly. Rinse them under a running tap in a colander to drain away all the dirt and debris. The hardest part of freezing peaches is peeling. But, don’t worry this can be achieved very easily with the next step.
Step 2: Blanching and Peeling the Peaches
Blanching is used in vegetables and fruits to stop the ripening process and prevent them from rotting. It can also help the skin of the peaches come off easily. Put a pan of water on the fire to boil, gently place the peaches in the boiling water to boil for about 20 – 45 seconds.
With a slotted spoon remove the peaches from the hot bath and transfer them into icy cold water. Wait until the peaches are cool to touch before trying to get the skins off. They would slide off very easily.
Step 3: Cutting and Removing the Pits
With a paring knife cut the peaches from the edges right down to the center, into two halves, remove the pits and discard them before cutting the peaches into your desired sizes. Don’t forget to coat the sliced peaches with lemon juice to prevent browning on exposure to air.
Step 4: Coating the Peaches in Syrup and Storage
Prepare your syrup, 3 cups of water to one cup of sugar should be enough. After preparing your syrup, let it cool down before doing anything else. Get freezer friendly plastic containers, put the sliced peaches into them, and pour in the syrup till the peaches are submerged in the syrup. Leave a little bit of headspace in the containers as the water expands upon freezing.
Don’t forget to label the containers before putting them in the freezer to freeze.
How to Defrost Frozen Peaches
Peaches can be used in their frozen state. You can use them in smoothies, bake them into pies, or turn them into ice cream. They can also be served over pancakes or waffles. You can enhance the flavor of wine and cocktails by adding frozen peaches.
However, if you need to defrost frozen peaches, leave them in the refrigerator overnight to thaw.
How to Recognize Spoiled Peaches
Peaches that are spoiled will start to ooze and develop an odd appearance or smell. If your peaches become super soft, and you notice signs of mold or decay on them, you should discard such peaches.
What to do with Overripe Peaches?
Overripe peaches do not have to be thrown away so easily. The first step is to check that the peaches are not spoiled. Overripe peaches can be turned into desserts. Consider making them into cobblers, peach ice creams, or mini spiced rum peach pies.