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Freezing to Preserve Fruits

I have some extra apples and plums that I do not want to go to waste. The last time I froze fruit, it turned brownish. What did I do wrong?
Freezing to Preserve Fruits

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Freezing is a great way to preserve fruits and other foods, but some fruit needs special pretreatment to prevent it from changing color. The natural chemicals in some fruits (enzymes) cause changes in color. In the case of apples, you can add ascorbic acid and/or sugar syrup to the fruit to prevent browning. You can find ascorbic acid in the canning section of many grocery stores.

Here’s how to freeze apples without added sugar:
Select firm, crisp apples. Prepare a steamer before you begin slicing apples. (You can use a metal strainer and large pot of boiling water.)  Wash, peel and core the apples. Slice medium apples into 12 slices or large apples into 16 slices.

Dissolve ½ teaspoon of ascorbic acid in 3 tablespoons of water (per 4 cups of fruit). Sprinkle this liquid mixture over the fruit. To slow down darkening,  place the apple slices in a single layer in the steamer; steam 1½ to two minutes, depending on the thickness of the slices.

Cool in cold water and drain. Pack apples into freezer containers or freezer bags. Press the fruit down. Leave some “head space” (room between the fruit and the container lid) to allow for expansion during freezing. Seal the container and freeze.

You can learn more about freezing fruit by downloading the publication at this website:


Julie Garden-Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

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