Freezing is a great way to preserve apples, no doubt. But, when it comes to making smoothies, freezing offers twofold benefits: fresh apples don’t have a chance to rot, and they become softer on thawing. Softer apples make smoothie preparation easier.
So, when freezing apples for smoothies, how do you ensure you do it right? What should you do? What should you not do?
Can You Freeze Whole Apples?
You can freeze apples whole. This is perhaps the most straightforward way to freeze apples.
If you want to freeze whole apples, wash them first, place them on a baking sheet, then transfer into the freezer.
When the apples are frozen, remove them from the tray and place them in a freezer bag.
Freezing the apples separately before bagging prevents the apples from sticking together. When the apples are frozen together, separating, thawing, and slicing them will be more difficult.
Can You Freeze Apples With the Skin On?
When making smoothies, you do not have to remove the skin, so it is okay to freeze apples with the skin on.
If you don’t want the skin, peel it off before freezing. The apples will be much harder to peel after freezing.
Also, if you peel the skin of the apples off, you may get better results from freezing. Without the skin, apples freeze faster and are less likely to turn soggy and brown.
Does Freezing Apples Ruin Them?
If you freeze the apples properly, they will likely not be ruined.
While frozen, the nutrients are well-preserved, and the activity of microorganisms is significantly minimized. But you should try to avoid leaving them frozen too long because they can lose flavor with time.
Also, ensure that the apples are frozen as fast as possible. Slowly freezing them will most likely make them soggy and watery after thawing.
Try to maintain the freezer at low temperatures when freezing apples. Fluctuating temperatures can contribute to poor apple texture after thawing.
How to Prepare Apples for Freezing
If you are unsure of how to prepare apples for freezing, here’s a little guide.
1. Wash the Apples
The first thing you should do is wash the apples thoroughly. You do not want germs on the apples before you store them. If there are any labels on the apple, remove them.
2. Peel the Apples
You may choose to peel the apple or leave the skin on. But peeling can make freezing faster and reduce the chances of browning.
3. Slice the Apples
Before slicing the apples, cut them into half and remove the core. Then cut the halves into 4 – 8 slices.
4. Soak in Lemon Juice
This step is important to preserve and prevent the apples from turning brown. Add 1 part lemon juice to 10 parts water, and stir thoroughly.
Then add the apple slices to the diluted lemon juice, and let them stay for 5 minutes. Ensure that each one of the slices gets submerged in the mixture.
Besides lemon juice, you can also use a fruit preserver or salt water for this process.
5. Dry the Apples
After 5 minutes, dry the apple slices. You can dry them by draining them in a sieve and patting them dry with a paper towel.
6. Place the Apples on a Baking Sheet
Place the apple slices on a baking sheet. You may line the baking sheet with parchment paper before you place the slices to prevent sticking.
Make sure the slices are well-spaced so they do not stick together.
7. Place the Baking Sheet in the Freezer
Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 3-4 hours.
If the slices are thin, freeze for 1-2 hours.
8. Transfer the Apple Slices to a Freezer Bag
After the freezing period, take the baking sheet out of the freezer and transfer the apple slices into a freezer bag.
You can place the apples in large freezer bags or store them in smaller portions for single use.
How to Freeze Apples With Salt Water
In the 4th step of the previous section, we talked about how you can preserve apples and prevent browning using lemon juice. You can also use salt water when lemon juice is unavailable.
To prepare the salt water, add 1 tablespoon of table salt to 4 cups of water. Stir the mixture thoroughly until the salt dissolves.
Add the apple slices to the salt water for a few minutes (1-3 minutes should do). Then proceed with steps 5 through 8.
Can You Freeze Apples Without Cooking Them First?
Yes, you can freeze apples without cooking them. Freezing makes apples softer, so you may not enjoy eating them raw after thawing. But they will do great in smoothies.
Do All Varieties of Apples Freeze Well?
All types of apples freeze well. The variety of apple you freeze and use in making your smoothie largely depends on the sweetness you want and what is available.