Nothing says summer quite like peaches. It's no wonder many folks stock up on the popular produce this time of year. But if you bought too many, or just want to make sure you always have some of your favorite fruit on hand, you should learn how to freeze them so you can enjoy them later.
According to the South Carolina Peach Council, the best way to freeze peaches is by slicing them first. (Psst: This method can also work for nectarines.) To do: Peel and slice your soft ripe peaches and put them into a self-sealing freezer bag. For every 1 cup of peaches, add 2 tablespoons of sugar. Seal the bag and let it sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes. This will allow the sugar to extract juice from the peaches, ensuring that your fruit will remain sweet when you're finally ready to eat it. Then, just put the bag in the freezer. Consider writing the date somewhere on the bag before storing it. Experts say your frozen peaches will be at best quality for up to two months — you don't want all your prep work to go to waste!
If you don't want to add sugar to your fruit, you'll be happy to know there are alternative ways of freezing them. Two other methods include crushing them or puréeing them. According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, both methods require you to coarsely crush your peeled and pitted peaches. If you choose to go the route of simply crushing your peaches, you just need to add 1/8 teaspoon ascorbic acid (aka vitamin C) to each quart of fruit. Then seal them in freezer-safe containers (leave a bit of headspace) and pop them in the freezer. Crushed peaches are wonderful for a whole host of baked goods, such as peach crisp or peach streusel — so just choose which sounds the best to you when the time comes.
The purée method will take a bit more legwork: You'll need to either press them through a sieve or put them through a food processor in order to get the smooth, silky texture you desire for your delicious smoothies or brunch cocktails you can make from it later. If you're having trouble blending the peaches, you can try heating them for a few minutes in warm water (just be careful not to scorch the fruit). Once you have a consistency you're happy with, add 1/8 teaspoon ascorbic acid per quart of fruit. Close up the freezer-safe containers, and into the freezer they go! For best quality, enjoy up to two months later.
Get ready to have a peachy summer last even longer!