Kiwi is one of the healthiest fruits you can eat. It is a good source of vitamin C and fiber, and a range of other vitamins and minerals. But kiwifruit goes bad quickly if it is soft and fully ripe. How can you extend the shelf life of kiwi?
Can you freeze kiwi? Yes, you can freeze kiwi. The best way to freeze kiwi so that it suffers minimal texture and flavor changes is to flash freeze it first. You can freeze kiwi in slices, wedges, or whole. For best results, freeze only ripe kiwis and make sure to peel them.
This article is a complete guide to freezing kiwi. From step-by-step instructions to various tips and tricks, it includes everything you need to know to freeze kiwi efficiently!
What Is Kiwi And Does It Freeze Well?
A kiwi, which is short for kiwifruit and kiwi berries, is a fuzzy fruit with bright green flesh and small black seeds. Kiwis have very unique flavor profile. They are sweet, sour, and tangy at the same time.
The fuzzy skin of the kiwifruit only looks inedible. In reality, it’s edible and you can leave it on if you like your fruit to have added tanginess.
As for the texture, kiwi can be soft or firm depending on the degree of its ripeness. A ripe kiwifruit has a pleasantly soft and squishy texture.
Kiwis are also very healthy. They are a powerful source of vitamin C and fiber. Kiwis are also rich in vitamins K and E, as well as folate, copper, magnesium, and potassium.
How long kiwis will last depends on how ripe they are. A ripe kiwi has a considerably shorter shelf life. It lasts around 5 days at room temperature while an unripe firm kiwi will last up to 1 week or until it’s ripe.
If you want kiwis to last longer, you can keep them in the fridge where they may last up to a month.
So, the fridge life of kiwis is quite long, but what if you have bought too many of them and there is no extra room in your fridge? In such cases, freezing kiwis is one of the easiest ways to preserve them.
Kiwi freezes well if you prepare it properly. While doing this requires some effort, it certainly calls for less time than dehydrating kiwifruit or making kiwi jams and jellies.
Why Freeze Kiwi?
So, freezing kiwis is a good way to save fridge space. But this storage method for kiwis has other benefits too.
Frozen kiwis are as healthy as fresh ones. There is a misconception that frozen fruits lose their vitamins and nutrients.
The truth is if the fruit is fresh and ripe and you freeze it quickly, it will retain almost all of its nutritional value.
Another reason is the long shelf life. You can keep kiwi in the freezer for over a year.
Additionally, having kiwi in the freezer means you can enjoy this fruit year-round. In some places, kiwi is a seasonal fruit. So, for those whose favorite fruit is kiwi, freezing is a great idea.
What You Should Know Before Freezing Kiwi?
Freezing is kiwifruit is an efficient way to preserve it. But in order to make this storage method work, you should put effort into the preparation process. Otherwise, the texture and the flavor of the fruit will be heavily affected.
Before you freeze kiwifruit, the key thing you should know is that your kiwi should be fully ripe when you freeze it. If the kiwis are still unripe, wait for a couple of days for them to ripen.
All you need to do to ripen kiwis is to put them in a bowl and leave it at room temperature for a few days until the kiwis ripen to your desired degree.
How To Freeze Kiwi
Here are step-by-step instructions for freezing kiwi so that it suffers minimal texture and flavor changes:
- Pick as many ripe kiwis as you want to freeze.
- Wash the fruit and peel it.
- Once you have peeled the kiwi, you can cut it into chunks, wedges, or slices of medium thickness.
- Next, line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Arrange the kiwi pieces on the baking tray, making sure that they are not touching each other.
- Cover the kiwis with another layer of parchment paper and put the tray into the freezer.
- Let the kiwis sit in the freezer until they harden. This may take anywhere from a couple of hours to an entire day depending on the size of your kiwi pieces.
- When the kiwis have hardened, transfer them into zip-top bags or airtight containers.
- Label the bag or container with the date.
You can coat the kiwi slices with sugar before flash-freezing them. While doing this adds extra calories and makes the fruit less healthy, it helps preserve the bright green color of the kiwi.
How To Freeze Kiwi In Sugar Syrup
Sugar is a natural preservative. Freezing kiwi in sugar is another good option to preserve it if you don’t mind extra calories. Here’s what you should do:
- Make simple sugar syrup.
- Cut the kiwi into pieces of your desired shape.
- Put the kiwi slices or chunks into an airtight container.
- Pour the sugar syrup into the container making sure it covers the fruit. Don’t fill the container to the rim. Leave some space for the syrup to expand.
- Seal the container, label with the date, and freeze.
How Long Does Kiwi Last In The Freezer?
Freezing extends the shelf life of kiwi significantly. Properly frozen kiwi will keep well in the freezer for up to 18 months. But the sooner you eat it the better as the flavor and texture of kiwi will deteriorate with time.
Can You Freeze Whole Kiwi?
You can freeze a whole peeled kiwi. However, there are a few reasons why we recommend you don’t do it.
First off, whole kiwis will take up a lot of space in the freezer. Secondly, they will take too long to defrost. And lastly, the texture of the kiwifruit may be heavily affected if you freeze it without cutting.
Can You Freez Kiwi Unpeeled?
Many people like eating fresh kiwi with the skin on. It is a source of fiber and antioxidants and adds a peculiar texture to the soft fruit.
But even if you enjoy eating fresh kiwis with their skin on, we don’t recommend freezing kiwi unpeeled. Once the kiwis thaw, the skin will have an unappealing texture.
Should You Defrost Frozen Kiwi?
We don’t recommend defrosting frozen kiwis. Doing this makes the fruit mushy.
But if you absolutely need to defrost the kiwi, make sure to do it in the fridge. Transfer the kiwi from the freezer into the fridge and let it thaw and soften.
The bigger are the kiwi chunks the longer it will take it to defrost. Thus, if you know you will be defrosting the kiwi make sure to freeze it in smaller pieces.
How To Use Frozen Kiwi
As mentioned above, defrosting frozen kiwi is not a good idea as you are likely to end up with mushy fruit with an off-putting texture.
Defrosted kiwi is not good for fruit salads or plates. So, it is best to use frozen kiwi in recipes that don’t require the fruit to be thawed.
Here are the 4 best ways to use frozen kiwi:
Frozen kiwi is the ultimate best addition to your green smoothies. We all know how healthy green smoothies are.
But they don’t always taste good, especially when there is a lot of kale or celery added into the green smoothie. Adding frozen kiwi to your smoothies will make them sweeter and better-tasting.
Aside from using kiwifruit in green smoothies, you can blend it with a range of other fruits too for colorful, vitamin-packed, and delicious combinations.
Kiwifruit in smoothies pairs well with blueberry, pineapple, banana, spinach, apple, strawberry, and so on.
Making smoothies with frozen kiwi is even better. It makes the consistency of the drink thicker and you don’t have to add a lot of ice that will then thaw and thin out the drink.
2. Jams And Jellies
Another way to use frozen kiwi is to make jams and jellies. Having frozen kiwi in the freezer makes it so much easier to make a small batch of jam for the next day’s breakfast.
All you need to do is to add the frozen kiwi into a pot or saucepan, add sugar to make the jam as sweet as you like it to be, and add a few drops of lemon juice to balance out the flavor.
If your kiwi chunks are small, they will thaw almost instantly. As kiwi cooks, it will soften.
Turn off the heat when the jam reaches your desired consistency. If you like your jams to be chunky, don’t cook the kiwi for too long.
3. Kiwi Chutney
If you want to spice up your dinner, make some chutney with the kiwi you have in the freezer. Making kiwi chutney is quite easy and it doesn’t take that long either.
Place the frozen kiwi into a pot along with spices like ginger, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, cardamom, and salt. You can also add chopped onions and bananas to your kiwi chutney, as well as vinegar and lemon juice for better flavor.
Kiwi chutney is great for light meals. It pairs well with chicken, pork, and can simply be enjoyed with some crackers.
4. Baked Goods
Frozen fruits work great for baking. And frozen kiwi is not an exception. You can use frozen kiwi for tarts, quick kiwi bread, muffins, scones, and cheesecakes!
When cooking with frozen fruit, it is recommended to add a quarter teaspoon more thickener. You need to do this as the frozen kiwi you use will thaw and leak water.
3 Tips For Freezing Kiwi
Now you know how to freeze kiwi and how to use it…but a few extra tips never hurt nobody! Check out these tips!
1. Freeze Blended Kiwi
If you have a lot of kiwis that are ripe and soft and you know you don’t have a lot of time to eat them all, the best thing you can do is to puree the fruits.
Once you have blended the kiwis, pour the mixture into an ice cube tray (this one’s a great option!).
Once the kiwi cubes are solid, remove them from the ice cube tray and transfer them into a zip-top bag or a container. You can use these kiwi cubes to make smoothies. Also, you can add a couple of them to your water to flavor it.
2. Peel Kiwis With A Spoon
The toughest part in the process of freezing kiwi is the preparation of the fruit. Namely, peeling the kiwifruit.
If you are freezing a lot of kiwis, the process of peeling them may be frustrating. A clever hack to peel kiwifruit quickly is doing it with the help of a spoon.
To peel a kiwi with a spoon, first, wash it and cut off the ends. Next, get a teaspoon that best fits the size of the kiwi and insert the spoon in between the kiwi skin and the flesh. You should be able to do this easily if the fruit is ripe.
Then, work the spoon all around the fruit to separate the peel from the flesh. And here you have a perfectly peeled kiwi that you can cut however you want.
3. Strain Defrosted Kiwi
While defrosting kiwi is not a good idea, no one says you can’t do it. When you defrost a kiwi, it releases a lot of water. You can’t add the watery kiwi chunks into a fruit salad, can you?
Whenever you defrost kiwi, make sure to strain it first and let the fruit dry a bit before you mix it with other fruits or add it to a fruit plate.
Can You Freeze-Dry Kiwi?
Dehydrating kiwi is another way to extend the shelf life of this fruit. Properly dried kiwi slices will last up to a year in the pantry and 6-12 months in the fridge.
However, if it is too hot or humid where you live and there is no room in your refrigerator, you can freeze-dry kiwi.
Make sure to do so in heavy-duty zip-top bags or airtight containers. Dried kiwi will keep well in the freezer for 18 months and longer if the temperature of the freezer is stable.
If you have had the dried kiwi in the freezer for longer than 18 months, make sure to check them before eating. Spoiled dried kiwi has an off-putting smell and appearance.
Can You Refreeze Kiwi?
Refreezing food is not a good idea and kiwi is not an exception. Freezing affects the texture of kiwi to a certain extent no matter what freezing technique you are using. Refreezing kiwi will make it even squisher and not enjoyable at all.
If you have defrosted more kiwi than you need, it is easy to blend it with other fruits for a refreshing and nutritious smoothie for the next day’s breakfast.
While a fresh smoothie is certainly better, making a larger batch for the following day is a great way to save the fruit you will need to discard later.
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