Peaches are sweet and juicy at this time of year - especially from Palisade CO.
It's easy to get carried away purchasing peaches at the peak of the season. You can find them everywhere! Farmer's markets, grocery stores, road side stands. If you're like me I LOVE to have the fresh peach taste all year long but especially in December and January. It's a fun way to surprise your family with the taste of summer at the holidays.
How can you keep peaches fresh till the holidays? Freezing! It's easier than canning and you can enjoy the taste of fresh peaches anytime. The perks of freezing is preservation without sugar, cooking or canning.
Frozen peaches will last up to 6 months. So plan to surprise your family in December or January (even February) with some great cobbler or simply peaches and cream!
How to Freeze Peaches
Fresh, ripe peaches
Step 1: Start by rinsing the peaches and patting them dry.
Peeling the peaches is optional—you don’t actually need to peel peaches before freezing, as the skins will slip right off once thawed.
But, if you prefer to peel before freezing, you can blanch them.
Blanching: bring a pot of water to a boil and fill a large bowl with water and ice. Drop the peaches into the boiling water and let blanch for about 1 minute. Immediately transfer the peaches into the ice water bath, then peel off the skins.
Step 2: Slice the peaches
I recommend slicing peaches prior to freezing them. It’s quicker to defrost peach slices than a whole fruit. Sliced peaches also take up less space in the freezer. Using a knife and following the peach line, cut open the peach, remove the pit and slice.
Step 3: Freeze the peaches
Place sliced peaches on a parchment-lined sheet pan and freeze until solid.
Once frozen, transfer peaches to a freezer bag, label with the date and store for up to 6 months.
I love Zip Top freezer bags. They are affordable and they allow you to squeeze as much air out of the bag as possible. This will help the peaches last longer. You can also use any bag size you like to create "personal snack size", "pie size", "crumble size", etc.
If you have glass food storage containers they work wonderfully too! The only drawback is that you can't squeeze excess air out and the peaches can occasionally freezer burn.
So you have frozen peaches, how do you use them?
Smoothies are a great way to enjoy frozen fruits of any kind. You can make smoothie bowls too! You can bake with them. Anything from crisps to pies frozen peaches can be used just like the ones from the store! You can chop them into a salad grilled with balsamic glaze, anything you desire you can create with frozen peaches.
Best practices for getting the best frozen peaches.
How do I pick the best peaches for freezing? The slightly soft, golden yellow and fragrant ripe are perfect! Avoid bruised or over ripe fruit. They can turn to mush when frozen.
How to remove a peach pit?
This works for any peach - you don't have to freeze it after. Use a knife and slice the peach all the way around following the peach line. Then twist the peach halves in opposite directions. The peach will be exposed. You can either tear the pit out or scoop it out with a spoon.
So Now I want to defrost my peach slices, How can I thaw the peach slices?
Just simply pull them out and put them into the refrigerator to defrost. If that will take too long, plunge the bag of frozen peaches into cold water.
How do you thaw frozen peaches?
Quick tip on keeping your peach a lovely peach color rather than brown.
Peaches tend to turn brown just by being exposed to air. To prevent browning, toss the sliced peaches into lemon juice.