Making fruit salad is super simple, and it gives you a healthy treat that you can eat for breakfast or dessert, or even as a snack! If you are wanting to make up a fruit salad using the fruit sitting in your fridge, you might land up with a batch larger than you can eat in a few tries.
If left in the fridge, the fruit will become soft and watery after a few days, and you really will not be too excited to finish it off then.
To help keep the fruit in better condition for longer, can you freeze fruit salad? There are a couple of different ways to freeze fruit salad. If possible, before making your fruit salad, decide how long you want to keep it frozen. There are a few differences in how you should make your fruit salad if you are freezing it for a few weeks or if you are freezing it for longer.
Here is how to prepare your fruit salad for both, and how to freeze it successfully.
How To Freeze Fruit Salad: A Few Weeks or Less
If you are planning on freezing your fruit salad for a few weeks, you can go ahead and make up the fruit salad normally, using your favorite recipes or by using up all the fruit you have in your fridge.
To start, you can cut up the fruit, such as blueberries, grapes, and apples, and make a light syrup to add to the fruit, such as a mix of water and sugar.
The syrup added to the fruit helps protect it during freezing and helps prevent the fruit from getting freezer burn.
To freeze the made-up fruit salad with syrup, you need a rigid, freezer-safe plastic container. It is best to use a deep container, rather than one which is wide.
First, add the fruit to the container, and then pour in enough syrup to cover the fruit to the top.
To further protect the fruit, you can bunch up some plastic wrap and place it on the top of the syrup to ensure the fruit it kept submerged under the syrup while it is frozen.
Having the fruit frozen while submerged in the syrup helps to keep its quality better for longer in the freezer, but fruit salad should only be frozen this way for up to 8 weeks.
Any longer than this and ice crystals will begin to form and break down the cell walls of the fruit, which will mean the fruit is mushy and soft when defrosted.
You can also choose to freeze the fruit salad in smaller containers, so you have a few portions on hand to enjoy without having to defrost the whole lot.
To avoid eating soft, mushy fruit, you can eat the fruit salad while it still has some ice crystals. Think of it as a frozen dessert!
How To Freeze Fruit Salad: Long-Term Storage
If you are wanting to freeze fruit salad for a longer period, it is best to freeze the fruit separate from the syrup.
Freezing fruit does alter the texture, but freezing it without syrup does help it keep for longer in the freezer.
To do this, you will need to plan to freeze the fruit before making the salad with a syrup. So you would make up the fruit salad that you want to eat then with the syrup, and then keep the rest of the fruit aside to freeze to use at a later stage.
You can choose to freeze all the fruit together, or separately, using a simple method.
Remember that excess moisture and air can bring down the quality of frozen foods, so take this into account when freezing the fruit.
- Wash and dry the fruit thoroughly, removing any dirt and germs.
- Peel away skin if the fruit has any, and get rid of any pieces that have bruises, spots, or gashes by carving these away.
- Cut the fruit into uniformly sized pieces that are suitable for a fruit salad.
- Pat the fruit dry with a paper towel or dishcloth, trying to remove as much moisture as possible, remembering that excess moisture can destroy the quality of the fruit when frozen.
- Place the cut-up fruit pieces onto a tray covered with parchment paper. Make sure the fruit is spread into a single layer and isn’t clumped on top of each other. Cover the fruit tray with plastic wrap and transfer it to the freezer.
- Leave the tray of fruit to freeze for several hours.
- Once the fruit has all frozen, remove the tray from the freezer and place the fruit into plastic freezer bags. Squeeze as much air as you can from the bag before sealing it.
Freezing the fruit on the tray before placing it into a plastic freezer bag stops the fruit from clumping together when frozen. This allows you to take a handful of fruit at a time without having to defrost the whole bit.
By freezing your fruit this way, it will be fine to keep in the freezer for up to 9 months. It will still be fine to eat after this, but the quality will deteriorate and you will be left with watery, mushy fruit.
Thawing Fruit Salad
Whether you freeze the fruit salad with or without syrup, you will thaw it the same. You obviously cannot heat the fruit salad to thaw it or place it in warm water to thaw as you won’t want to eat warm fruit salad.
One option to thaw fruit salad is to leave it out at room temperature for a few hours until it thaws. This is fine to do, but it carries a higher risk of bacteria growth if the fruit salad is left out for too long and reaches a temperature that supports bacteria growth.
You should only leave the fruit salad out at room temperature until just defrosted. With ice crystals is even better!
The safest way to thaw fruit salad is to leave it in the fridge overnight. You will have to plan ahead and won’t be able to eat the fruit salad straight away, but this method ensures that the fruit salad is kept at a constant temperature and will not experience any rapid bacteria growth.
Fruit salad is also delicious when eaten while still partially frozen, as the fruit will be slightly soft when it has thawed.
If you have frozen the fruit salad without the syrup, you can add in the syrup once the fruit has thawed through partially.
Can You Refreeze Fruit Salad?
The general rule for refreezing food is that it should not be done. It is not safe to freeze food for a second time, and the food quality will deteriorate even further and just be inedible after a while.
When it comes to fruit, you should not refreeze it at all.
While it can be fairly safe to refreeze food if there are still ice crystals present, and while it is technically safe to do so with fruit, the fruit will deteriorate in quality so much if frozen for a second time, that you more than likely won’t even want to eat the fruit once it has thawed.
Ice crystals in the fruit break down cell walls and cause the fruit to be soft and mushy, and freezing for a second time will only make this worse.
Do you need to blanch fruit before freezing?
While most vegetables need to be blanched (cooked briefly in boiling water and then cooled in ice water) before freezing, the fruit does not need to be blanched before freezing.
You just need to ensure that you wash the fruit thoroughly and dry it properly before freezing.
How long does fruit salad last in the fridge?
If stored properly in an airtight container, fruit salad can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days. However, you should try to consume the fruit salad within 3 days for the best quality.
Any fruit salad that will not be consumed at this time should be frozen to preserve its shelf life for longer.
Does lemon juice help to keep fruit salad fresh?
Lemon juice contains citric acid, which does help to protect cut up fruit from oxidation, which causes the fruit to turn brown when exposed to the air. Lemon juice can also help enhance the flavor of a fruit salad.
Adding lemon juice to your fruit salad can help it keep fresh for longer.
Freezing Fruit Salad
You can freeze fruit salad fairly easily, and it is suggested that you do so to keep extra fruit salad fresh for longer.
It is also a good idea to prep some fruit salad to freeze, so you have a few portions on hand for an easy breakfast, snack, or dessert.
You just need to remove the fruit salad from the freezer and allow it to sit in the fridge until thawed. Frozen fruit salad also makes for a wonderful treat in the summer!