We all love fresh fruits, especially when they are in season and cheap. So, when you find a great deal in the farmer’s market, you can’t help but buy more than your family can eat for a couple of weeks.
If that’s the case with pineapple, you might be wondering: can you freeze pineapple at home?
A hundred times, yes! This tropical fruit makes a perfect candidate for freezing. It stands well at cold temperatures and after thawing.
If you are curious about the nitty-gritty of freezing pineapple, keep on reading. You’ll find the answers down below.
How To Store Pineapple
A whole, fresh pineapple lasts for 2 to 3 days at room temperature. It shouldn’t be refrigerated. When stored longer than that, this greenish-yellow fruit will continue to ripen and begin to ferment.
Once the flesh is cut and sliced, keep it refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
If you can’t finish this juicy fruit before it goes bad, extend the shelf life by freezing.
How To Freeze Pineapple
Freezing pineapple is an excellent way to bring the laid-back tropical vibes to your home all year round. Plus, this crowned fruit is versatile to use in so many foods and beverage recipes.
It is best to freeze fresh pineapple 1 to 2 days after purchase. Don’t wait until the last minute because this summer fruit doesn’t keep fresh too long.
Check our step-by-step guide below on preparing and freezing pineapple to preserve its juicy flavor.
1. Select a fresh and fully ripe fruit. This step is crucial and might be the trickiest one.
A ripe pineapple should have a vibrant greenish yellowish hue with green leaves. It should be firm with a sweet and fragrant smell. It should also feel heavy for its size.
Don’t freeze under- or overripe fruit that has started to ferment. Check the exterior carefully, and don’t pick the fruit if the bottom is soft or moldy.
2. Cut off the top, bottom, and peel off the sides with a sharp knife or use a pineapple corer.
3. Remove the eyes and any bad spots.
4. Remove the core and cut into wedges, rings, chunks, tidbit—or any shape to your liking.
5. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and arrange the slices on the tray in a single layer. Ensure they don’t touch each other, so they freeze individually rather than in a big clump.
7. Flash freeze for several hours or until frozen solid.
8. Bag them in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag.
9. Press extra air from the container.
10. Seal tightly, label with the freezing date, and freeze.
Thawing and Using Frozen Pineapple
Frozen pineapple can be eaten and cooked while still frozen. It is convenient if you want to make yourself smoothies, sorbet, or jams.
Some baking recipes allow the use of frozen fruits. In this case, consult the recipes whether or not you need to defrost them before baking.
When it comes to thawing, you have a bunch of options. If you are not in a hurry, refrigerator thawing is your go-to method.
For quick thawing, immerse a sealed, frozen pack in a cold water bath. Replace the water a few times until the fruits soften up.
If you need the fruits now, go straight to your microwave. Just keep your eyes on the machine and don’t let it overheat the fruits—unless you want to cook it.
Frozen pineapple is as versatile as a fresh one. You can use it similarly to its fresh counterpart. Here are some recipes to give ideas on using this yellow fruit:
- Enjoy as a standalone snack
- Eat with muesli, yogurt, ice cream
- Make into jams, marmalade, compote
- Blend into healthy smoothies and juices
- Garnish salads and pizza
- Use in baked goods, such as Southern-style pineapple casserole, muffin, cake
- Turn into tasty cold desserts, such as sorbet and granita
- Make yourself refreshing drinks and cocktails (pina colada, martini, mojito, etc.)
How Long Can You Refrigerate and Freeze Pineapple?
Generally speaking, frozen fruits (pineapple included) can be frozen for up to 12 months. It is possible to keep them longer. But, they might have passed their prime. (*)
Lengthy freezing also risks the fruits of taking freezer burn. So, enjoy them while still at their maximum freshness.
Yes. This Southern-style dish can be frozen for up to 2 months in a freezer-safe container.
Yes. Freezing doesn’t necessarily damage these nutrients. Frozen pineapple is as nutritious as the fresh one. It is packed with vitamins, fibers, and other nutrients. (*)
Pineapple that tastes fizzy is a sign that the fruit begins to ferment. It is a common sign that fruit is going bad. So, it is best to avoid fizzy tasting fruit for your own safety.
Commercially-prepared frozen fruits are usually cleaned and sanitized before freezing. So, it is not necessary to wash them before eating. But, if you want to take extra precaution, of course, re-washing them won’t hurt.
A number of outbreak cases were, indeed, linked to frozen berries, in particular, due to hepatitis A and norovirus. Fresh fruits may contain harmful bacteria such as E. coli and Listeria. So, if you freeze fruits by yourself, make sure to clean thoroughly and prepare accordingly to maintain safety. (*)
Although it is available all year round, pineapple deserves your freezer space. This tropical fruit is not only delicious and nutritious but also a versatile ingredient.
Next time you find a great deal on pineapple, don’t hesitate to buy extra pieces. With some simple steps, you can freeze and enjoy the taste of summer whenever you want.
*image by serezniy/depositphotos