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If you’re wondering how to defrost frozen fruit to avoid the mushy mess, we’ve got you covered.
The idea of bagged frozen fruit or freezing fresh fruit might sound like a perfect way to eat healthier. You don’t have to worry about frozen berries going bad before you get a chance to eat it. But it’s essential to know how to defrost frozen fruit so it doesn’t turn into a soggy mess.
Do you plan to buy some frozen fruit on your next trip to the grocery store? Or, maybe you already have some hanging out in your silicone freezer containers. Either way, read on to decide which method of thawing frozen fruit works best for you.
A Quick Review Of The Freezing Process
Fresh berries and tropical fruits are delicious, but freezing them is a great way to extend the shelf life and preserve the nutritional value.
What if you want to freeze fresh fruit? There’s more to the process than just tossing it in a reusable freezer bag and calling it a day.
It’s important to prepare fruit properly before freezing. You need to wash the fruit in cool tap water, drain, and towel dry. Many fruits are usually peeled before freezing. This is done by submerging them in boiling water for about 30 to 45 seconds. Then, place them in ice water immediately to cool them off and remove skins more easily.
Before freezing, remove any seeds, pits, stems, or leaves, and cut the fruit into desired pieces. For light-colored fruits, like peaches, apples, etc., ascorbic acid helps keep them from darkening. You can purchase ascorbic acid from the grocery store or use an alternative like lemon juice or citric acid.
If you plan to freeze fruit, do it quickly to avoid formation of large ice crystals. When fruit freezes, the water between the fruit’s cell walls forms ice crystals that rupture cell walls. This process makes the fruit softer once it’s thawed, but freezing fruit as soon as you get it can make these crystals smaller.
How To Store Frozen Fruit
Make sure you only freeze an amount of food that can freeze within 24 hours. It’s best to use high-quality freezer bags or an airtight container that protect against freezer burn. Any old plastic bag or plastic wrap won’t do the trick.
Label the containers with the name of the fruit and the day you processed it for freezing.
If you plan to use your favorite fruits in a pie or spread or as an ice cream topping, you can use a tray. For example, you can pace mixed berries on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Then place the whole tray in the freezer.
Defrosting At Room Temperature
If you plan to defrost fruit at room temperature, don’t just stick it on the counter. Instead, make sure the fruit is in a well-sealed bag and place and hold the bag of fruit under running water. Turn it every so often, about every ten minutes, to thaw it evenly.
Alternatively, you can place the bag in a bowl of cool water. Keep an eye on the fruit, and make sure to change out the bowl of water every 30 minutes. This is to make sure the water stays cold and doesn’t introduce bacteria.
The fruit will likely thaw in about two hours. Check it often during this process to see when it reaches the desired level of defrosting. The ideal temperature for the water is noting over 70 degrees.
Defrosting In A Microwave Oven
If you need to defrost fruit quickly, a microwave is the best way. But, it’s really only ideal if you plan to cook or mix the fruit into a dish afterward. The fruit will likely be relatively soft once you thaw it in the microwave oven.
Defrost the fruit inside the bag or a microwave-safe container for about two minutes on the defrost setting. Use the lowest power setting if your microwave doesn’t feature a defrost button. Check the fruit about halfway through to see if it feels soft. If it does, remove it from the microwave.
After thawing, stir the fruit to check for evenness. If parts are still frozen, replace the fruit in the microwave for 30 more seconds.
Thawing Process In The Refrigerator
This is the easiest way to defrost frozen fruit if time is on your side. Place it in the fridge for about 6 to 8 hours per pound. Place the bag in a bowl or on a plate with a paper towel to help prevent messes from dripping.
If possible, set a timer to remind you to rotate the fruit every hour to ensure an even thaw. The temp of your fridge should be at 40-degrees or less during this process.
No matter what defrosting method you choose, make sure to defrost the amount of fruit you plan to use or eat. You can’t refreeze fruit once you thaw it (or at least you shouldn’t). Thawing more than you need is a waste of a perfectly good food item.
If you follow these steps, you can thaw frozen fruit without it being mushy. Just make sure to consider what you plan to use the fruit for and how soon you plan to use it. This is often the preferred thawing method.
Typically, the best way to defrost frozen fruit is in the refrigerator. A one-pound bag of frozen fruits needs 6 to 8 hours in the fridge to defrost thoroughly. You can also hold the bag under running water, turning it to thaw it evenly. As a last resort, you can use a microwave if you need to thaw frozen fruit quickly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have to defrost frozen fruit for smoothies or other blended drinks?
It depends on your taste. If your blender or food processor can handle it, it’s easy to toss some frozen fruit in and mix it up. It keeps the smoothie nice and cold and doesn’t water it down.
But when you defrost the fruit, you likely will need to add some ice, which adds water.
However, before you put frozen fruits in the blender, make sure it can handle it. You don’t want to break your appliance.
How long does frozen fruit last in the freezer?
Most frozen fruit can last for about 8 months to a year. Factors that influence the timeframe are freshness before freezing, storage methods, and preparation.
How do I thaw frozen fruit puree for my baby?
Place the frozen cubes into your baby’s dish, cover them, and place them in the refrigerator overnight. Alternatively, you can put them in a freezer-safe bag and set the bag in a bowl of cool (not cold) water. Change the water every 30 minutes.
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