Peaches are pretty, sweet, and delicious. It’s easy to be enchanted by their lovely hues. And the next thing you know, you left a farmer’s market with tons of them.
So, what can I do with a lot of peaches? Well, you have so many options to use up this summer fruit. Or, freeze them!
There are multiple ways to lengthen their shelf life, such as by canning or making jams. But, the simplest method to preserve this stone fruit is actually freezing.
Keep reading to find the nitty-gritty of freezing peaches, so you can bring the flavor of summer any time of the year!
Easy Methods To Store Peaches
Peaches can stay for 1 to 3 days on the counter until they’re ripe. Once ripe, they only keep fresh for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Peaches can be frozen on their own or sweetened in sugar or syrup, depending on how you intend to use them in the future. (*)
Unsweetened peaches are more versatile to use. You can use them similarly to fresh peaches. Meanwhile, sweetened ones are easier to use in pies and baking recipes.
No matter which freezing method you choose, you need to start with selecting fresh and fully ripe peaches. Don’t use underripe ones and discard those with mushy texture, bruises, and defects.
Let’s go through the step-by-step guide for each freezing method. The directions below are also applicable for nectarines.
How To Freeze Unsweetened Peaches
Following the directions below to freeze unsweetened peaches.
- 1. Select fresh, ripe fruits.
- 2. Wash and rinse them under running water.
- 3. Drain off the excess water.
- 4. Decide to peel or not. You can leave the skins on or peel them.
- 5. Halve the peaches and remove the pit. You can free them halved or cut into slices and smaller chunks.
- 6. Place prepped peaches in a bowl and toss with lemon juice. The acid from lemon juice helps to preserve the color and prevent browning. Make sure all parts are coated in the liquid.
- 7. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and arrange the peaches in a single layer.
- 8. Flash freeze them for a few hours until frozen solid.
- 9. Once frozen, bag them in a freezer bag.
- 10. Press excess air from the bag.
- 11. Seal tightly, label with the freezing date, and return to the freezer.
How To Freeze Peaches In Syrup Pack
- 1. Prepare peaches following the steps above.
- 2. Make 40% syrup by dissolving 2 ¾ cups of sugar in 4 cups of water. For a less sweet option, make 30% syrup with composition 1 ¾ cup of sugar in 4 cups of water.
- 3. To help prevent darkening, add ½ teaspoon ascorbic acid to each quart of syrup (optional).
- 4. In a freezer-safe container, pour the syrup and put the prepped peaches.
- 5. Make sure all fruits are covered in syrup.
- 6. Leave a headspace.
- 7. Seal the container, label with freezing date, and freeze.
How To Freeze Peaches In Sugar Pack
- 1. Prepare peaches following the steps above.
- 2. To prevent darkening, dissolve ¼ teaspoon ascorbic acid in 3 tablespoons for each quart of fruit (optional).
- 3. In a big bowl, place the prepared fruits and sprinkle them with the ascorbic acid solution.
- 4. Add 2/3 cup sugar for each quart of fruits (1 1/3 pound).
- 5. Stir gently until the sugar dissolves.
- 6. Pack into a freezer-safe container.
- 7. Leave headspace, seal tightly and write the freezing date.
- 8. Transfer the package into the freezer.
Defrosting and Using Frozen Peaches
Frozen peaches serve so many purposes in the kitchen. They can be eaten and served straight away or after thawing.
Defrost them in the refrigerator, in a cold water batch, or in the microwave. Fruits thawed in the microwave should be used immediately.
Thawed fruits usually take on a softer texture. This is totally normal because the water that expands and breaks the cell walls during freezing will leak the juice after thawing. (*)
You can find so many recipes calling for this stone fruit. Here are some delicious ways to use up your supply.
- – On top of oatmeal, muesli, yogurt, ice cream
- – Enjoy it straight from the freezer
- – Use in baking; muffins, pies, tart, cobbler
- – Make smoothies and refreshing drinks
- – Sorbet and cold dessert
- – Jams and compote
How Long Do Peaches Last In The Freezer?
With proper preparation and freezing, peaches maintain maximum freshness for 10 to 12 months. Of course, it is possible to stretch a little longer. Just keep in mind that lengthy freezing diminishes the flavor and texture.
Yes. But, sliced peaches turn darker quickly. To prevent browning, simply coat them with an acidic substance such as lemon juice. Next, store them in a sealed airtight container or a resealable plastic bag. Enjoy them within 2 to 3 days for a quick snack, in smoothies, or with yogurt and cereals.
In August 2020, the US FDA issued a recall for fresh peaches from a Californian-based producer due to the Salmonella infection. (*)
Naturally, fruits in general (including peach) can harbor harmful bacteria that can cause food poisonings such as E. coli and Salmonella. Cooking kills these bacteria. If you don’t cook fruits, make sure to always wash and rinse them before peeling, cutting, and eating them. When the government issues a recall, don’t eat or cook them. Follow food safety guidelines to ensure safe consumption for you and your loved ones. (*)
Refrigerate ripe fruits in a loosely sealed plastic bag for up to 3 to 5 days to slow down the ripening process. For long-term storage, freeze them before they spoil. Follow our guide above on freezing this stone fruit.
Just like other fresh produce, peaches go bad pretty quickly. Some general signs of spoilage include overly soft texture, dark spots, visible molds, and rotting smell. Discard the fruits immediately and clean the storage.
Peaches are delicious but have limited shelf life in the fridge. Luckily, they can be frozen unsweetened or in sugar and syrup packs.
On their peak season, buy in bulk, and freeze up to a year. This way, you can enjoy the taste of summer throughout the year.
*image by qwartm/depositphotos