Fruit all year!

A great way to save money is to freeze fruit when it is in season and inexpensive, so that you can use it throughout the year. This is also useful if you have a garden and want to enjoy the "fruits" of your labor for longer. Here are a few tips to help people new to freezing produce.

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- Use ripe fruit, but not overripe and mushy.

- All fruit should be cleaned well.

- Remove unwanted parts; stems, bruises, etc.

- Cut fruit to the desired size. Keep in mind what youplan to use it for.

- Divide your fruit into portions that will be useful in the future. This will allow you to thaw just the right amount of fruit when you use it.

- To preserve fruit color and texture, add sugar.

- Freeze in air tight containers that keep out both moisture and air.

- Prepare the fruit in a sterile environment.

- Mark packages with frozen fruit and be sure to rotate.Always use the oldest first.

- What works best for me is packaging in bags. Use bags that are intended for freezing. Squeeze as much air out as you can before sealing the bag.

Tip: One way to prevent some fruit from sticking together, like strawberries, for example, is to first freeze them on a cookie sheet until they are solid. Then when you transfer them to their container for long term storage, they will be less likely to stick together.

Answers:

Fruit all year!

Fruit Slushy: My kids like fruit in phases. At times they will eat it as fast as it comes in the house. Then, usually after a big purchase of fruit, they decide they've had enough and won't touch it. When this happens, before the fruit gets too ripe, I cut it up and freeze it, saving it for a nutritious, high vitamin and fibre slushy. Just blend the fruit with water or juice, a touch of sugar or honey. Fruits great for this are watermelon, any berries, peaches, plums, mangoes and kiwis. Bananas and yogurt (especially homemade yogurt that hasn't set) are also good to add. (12/12/2000)

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By Lori

Fruit all year!

Freezing Blueberries: It's way past their season this year, but blueberries are especially easy to freeze. Wash, dry, and put on trays in the freezer. After they're solid, put them in zip-lock bags, and freeze. It they were dry before they were frozen, you will be able to use just a portion of a bag. They will remain separate. (12/12/2000)

By Kate

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