Stone fruit called apricots, which usually ripen between the end of July and the middle of August, is sweet and tasty. You might have more apricots than you can consume in a single sitting during the harvest season. The good news is that you can quickly freeze them to enjoy their flavor all year long!
As you may buy fruits like apricots in bulk and save them for later, learning how to freeze them can help you save a tonne of money. When you’re ready to include them into your preferred recipe, or if you want to enjoy them in a smoothie or fruit salad, take them out. However, is freezing fresh apricots recommended or even possible?
For up to 4 months, apricots can be frozen. To properly freeze fresh apricots, cut them up, flash-freeze them on a baking sheet, then bag them and put them in the freezer.
How to Freeze Apricots?
It’s easy to freeze apricots. Whether you peel them beforehand is up to you; you can freeze them with or without the skin. You can choose to peel or not; it shouldn’t affect the taste or texture.
The procedures for freezing apricots are outlined below.
1. Selecting the Apricots
The most crucial action! It would help if you had delicious and cling-free apricots to make the job easier (also called freestone). This indicates that the apricot and pit are readily separated.
Pick mature, ripe apricot. They should be just as ripe as you would eat them fresh—not mushy nor firm as a rock. Apricots still green and immature will soften but not ripen or develop the flavor of ripe apricots from trees.
2. Wash and Dry
Apricots need to be cleaned and peeled before being frozen. Peel the fruit after removing the pit. After that, put each half on a baking sheet that has been linked with a baking mat or parchment paper. The apricots can be dried and put in a zipper-top freezer bag for later use. Using parchment paper or a baking mat will make the procedure simpler.
When the apricots are completely dry, you may touch them to determine how dry they are or how much water they contain. The flesh may fade at a greater temperature. Vacuum sealing is a great solution if you worry that your fruits will dry up too quickly.
3. Remove the Pit by Slicing your Apricot
After washing, cut the apricot in half with a sharp knife. The pit should then be simple to remove from the center. Peel the apricot slices by slipping the knife between the skin and the fruit’s flesh. Remove the peel and throw it away.
4. Clean and Blanch
The apricots should be carefully washed before being placed in a boiling water kettle to blanch them for 20 to 30 seconds. To stop any additional cooking, place them in an ice bath.
Blanching apricots first will help maintain the fruit’s quality and flavor if you plan to freeze them for longer periods. Apricots can be frozen for up to four months after being blanched.
5. Preserving Good Looks
Apricots typically oxidize to a brown color when internal fruit chemicals interact with oxygen. Although the browning is harmless, it could be unpleasant to consume. While preparing the cut apricot pieces for freezing, soak them in a big saucepan with 3 grams of ascorbic acid for every gallon of water. Vitamin C tablets and ascorbic acid in their purest powdered form are readily accessible in supermarkets. After soaking, drain the apricots and give them a cold water rinse.
6. Pack the Apricots in Heavy Syrup
To keep the texture of the apricots after freezing, pack them in thick syrup. Preparing an 80/20 mixture of water and sugar will produce a thick syrup for apricots. The raw fruits in the freezer-safe containers should be covered with a boiling mixture of water and sugar.
7. Portion and Seal
After squeezing out all the extra air in the bag, put the frozen apricots inside and close the Ziploc bag. As apricots tend to expand when frozen, ensure you leave extra headspace in the bag.
8. Label and Freeze
The freezer-safe bag’s front has a use-by date, which should be noted as the last step. Keep in mind that apricots can be frozen for around four months.
Additional Tips for Freezing Apricots
Now that you know how to freeze them, here are our top 3 recommendations for getting the greatest results from freezing apricots:
1. Take the Air Out
Press out as much air as possible before transferring your apricot halves to a freezer-safe bag to prevent the fruit from turning stale.
2. Dishes from the Freezer to Be Added
Vitamins A and C are abundant in apricots, which also have a lot of fiber, making you feel fuller for longer. Straight from the freezer, they taste great and are the ideal complement to smoothies, salads, cereals, and desserts.
3. Do Not Freeze Whole
The apricot can technically be frozen whole without being cut open and having the pit removed. You can freeze them as you like, but it makes them much easier to eat when cut into slices and pitted.
Health Benefits of Apricots
Even though apricots are small, they are packed with taste and nutrients. Depending on the kind, the flavor of these yellow-orange fruits, which are high in vitamins and minerals, can range from sweet to sweet-tart.
The abundance of vitamins, flavonoids, and potassium in apricots contributes to their great health advantages. Your blood vessels are strengthened and protected by flavonoids, which also lessen inflammation symptoms. Potassium, a mineral necessary for healthy neuron and muscle function, is also essential for the body’s ability to transport nutrients. Additionally, it promotes heart and blood pressure wellness.
Here are a few more advantages of apricots for health:
1. Skin Defense
Vitamin E and vitamin C are two antioxidants well-known for their skin-improving qualities. They can lessen the appearance of early wrinkles and increase skin suppleness while shielding skin cells from ultraviolet (UV) exposure. Another antioxidant that helps shield your skin from sunburns and subsequent UV deterioration is beta-carotene. Apricots are a great way to moisturize your skin because of their high water content, and about 2/3 of a cup of water can be found in one cup of apricots.
2. Optimal Vision
Apricots are a fantastic food for promoting eye health since they are high in vitamin A, beta-carotene, and other carotenoids. Carotenoids and vitamin E support general vision, while lutein supports the retina and lens health. Apricot nutrients also lower the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
3. Improved Digestion
Apricots are a great source of dietary fiber that will benefit your digestive system. They have nearly equal amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber overall. Your digestive tract can retain more water with the aid of soluble fiber, which also supports the growth of healthy bacteria. For balanced levels of intestinal flora, insoluble fiber is also advantageous.
How Long can Apricots be Frozen?
Apricots can be frozen for about four months.
Because apricots have rather thin skin, you must take extra care when freezing them to prevent harm. For this reason, we advise you to freeze them on a tray first before putting them in a bag.
You don’t have to worry about where to put them in the freezer after they’re firm.
How can Frozen Apricots be Defrosted?
If you need to defrost a part quickly, place it in a basin of cold water and let it sit there for an hour or two. The apricots can be microwaved to defrost, but you should remember that they can become mushy and should be eaten right away.
The apricots can be added straight from the freezer to recipes like smoothies and juices without having to thaw them first.
Can I Freeze Dry Apricots that haven’t been Sweetened?
Yes. You may wish to add a little juice (peach or white grape) to fill the air holes because you risk getting freezer burn. Alternately, you may pack them dry and use a vacuum food sealer to prevent freezer burn by doing away with the need to add juice. If you choose to dry pack, mix three tablespoons of water with 1/2 teaspoon of ascorbic acid (commonly known as “FruitFresh”) to prevent discoloration. Then, shake the apricots in the solution to coat them uniformly before freezing.
How are Apricots Used?
Due to their perishable nature, fresh apricots are often consumed as snacks during their season. They are also a common fruit for jam and preserve manufacturing. They can also be served with pork and poultry, roasted, grilled, or broiled, and used to make sauces and salad dressings. Popular apricot-based delicacies include cakes, pastries, tarts, biscuits, scones, and quick bread. Chutneys, salads, pilafs, and cocktails are also popular. When using dried apricots in recipes, they can be diced and eaten whole and reconstituted by soaking in hot water.
Apricots come in variety and come in a variety of colors, from deep orange to bright yellow, frequently with red or rosy undertones. They have soft, juicy flesh around a firm stone in the middle, with a sweet to slightly tangy flavor.
The sale of apricots in cans is also common. Surprisingly, commercially canned apricots frequently have a considerably richer flavor than fresh apricots purchased from the market. For the apricots to ripen and naturally acquire more taste, they are kept on the tree for a longer period. Apricots make a delicious snack with vitamin A and C and are an excellent fiber source. Thanks to fiber, you will feel fuller for longer, which increases metabolism.