There are certain fruits that just aren’t worth purchasing out of season, and peaches are one of them. Off-season peaches are mealy and flavorless, which is a shame, because a perfectly ripe peach in season is one of the most delectable, sweet, and flavorful fruits on the planet. So what’s a peach-loving person to do? Freeze them while they’re in season!
Peaches freeze beautifully, and they retain their color and flavor well. Frozen peaches work wonderfully in smoothies, crisps and crumbles, oatmeal, and even jam! Let’s show you how to freeze fresh peaches.
How do I freeze fresh peaches without them turning brown?
Like apples and avocados, peaches tend to turn brown when they are exposed to air. To prevent this, it’s as easy as treating the peaches with either a lemon juice and water mixture, an ascorbic acid and water mix, or a produce protector like Fruit Fresh.
Can I freeze peaches without sugar?
Yep—in fact, unsweetened is my preferred way to freeze peaches!
Do I need to peel peaches first? How do I do that?
You absolutely do not need to peel peaches before freezing—I almost never do! The peels just slip right off the peaches once they’ve defrosted, so I just freeze them with the skin on. But if you prefer to peel them before freezing, here’s how:
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Fill a large bowl with ice and water.
- Drop ripe peaches into the boiling water a few at a time, and let blanch for 1-2 minutes, or until the skins start to peel off.
- Using a slotted spoon or sieve, fish out the peaches and immediately plunge into the bowl of ice water.
- Once the peaches have cooled, peel off the skins.
Can you freeze fresh peaches with the skin on?
You sure can! In fact, it’s my preferred way. The skin on frozen peaches is fine to eat—I like to keep it on for smoothies. And if you want peeled peaches, just run the frozen peaches under water for a few seconds, and the skin should slip right off.
Are there different kinds of peaches?
Sure are! There are two main types of peaches—freestone and clingstone. This refers to how much the flesh of the peach “clings” to the pit. When you’re eating them fresh, it doesn’t much matter what kind you get, but if you are processing peaches for freezing, you want to look for freestone peaches. This makes it easy to remove the pit from the peaches and will make quick work for you! If you ask the farmer, market, or orchard, they should know what kind of peaches they have.
For preserving, you’ll want to track down freestone peaches, which will make your processing go much more quickly!
How do you remove pits from peaches?
With freestone peaches, it’s a breeze to remove the pits! Here’s how:
- Use a knife and slice into the peach along the peach line.
- Work the knife all the way around, following the line.
- Twist the two peach halves apart.
- Pull the pit out.
Teach me how to freeze peaches!
- Wash and prepare your peaches how you’d like them to be frozen—slices or halves are common.
- Treat your peaches using either a lemon juice and water mixture or a produce protector like Fruit Fresh.
- Place the peaches in a single layer on a baking sheet. Freeze until solid.
- Transfer the peaches to a freezer container. Label and then freeze until use.
How do I freeze peaches whole?
To freeze peaches whole, just slide them into a freezer bag and squeeze out as much air as you can. Easy peasy! The (big!) downside of this is that you have to wait for the entire peach to defrost to remove the pit. No tossing a whole peach into the blender for a smoothie.
I prefer to do sliced peaches because they are the most versatile, but pitted peach halves are a nice compromise. They are simpler to freeze than sliced, but faster to defrost than whole!
What are the best containers for freezing peaches?
Take a peek in my freezer, and you’ll see an assortment of glass containers and plastic bags holding my frozen fruit. Here are the ways I store frozen peaches:
- Glass Food Storage Containers—I love that these are reusable, and they stack so nicely in a chest or upright freezer. The downside is that they are a little spendier, and they take up the most space.
- Glass Canning Jars—We use glass jars for everything in our house, so it’s no surprise that we use them for freezing, too! Note that only the jars with straight sides are suitable for freezing.
- Zip-top Freezer Bags—I don’t always love single-use plastics, but freezer bags are affordable and space-saving, so I do use them from time to time. When you seal them, squeeze out as much air as possible to help the peaches last longer.
- Vacuum Sealing Bags—These are also single-use plastic, but they take up even less space than the zip-top bags. I only recommend these if you plan to use the whole bag at once, because it is hard to reseal the bags.
Can I freeze fresh peaches to make jam later?
Absolutely! This is my favorite canning hack—frozen fruit works great for jam, and freezing your peaches first gives you more flexibility for when you do your jamming. Peach season is the hottest time of the year here, so it’s nice to be able to have preserves simmering on the stove all afternoon on a cooler day.
How else can I use frozen peaches?
Frozen peaches are super versatile! Here are some of my favorite ways to use them:
- Make a smoothie. Drop them into one of our more than two dozen smoothie recipes!
- Peach crisp. Use frozen peach slices to make our single serving peach crisp. You can also use them in peach cobblers or peach pies.
- Peach oatmeal. This is one of my favorite ways to use frozen peaches! It’s such an amazing treat in the middle of winter.
- Peach sorbet. Our Peach and White Wine Sorbet is a light and refreshing dessert to try this summer.
- Mix them into overnight oats. Take any of our 15 amazing overnight oats recipes and add some chopped peaches for a fruity boost.
- Make some peach jam! Jars of this jam make for beautiful gifts, but be sure to save some for yourself, too!