How To Freeze Summer Fruits & Veggies (Bonus Apple Pie Recipe)

Hey guys,
 Fall is officially started here in North Dakota, the weather has cooled and the trees are already changing color (plus my favorite holiday, Halloween is coming up). So with the end of summer means loads of produce goodies from the garden. Gardening is great! What better way to get fresh, healthy veg than growing your own. However, what do you do with all the extra? If your like me, you plant a huge garden but have so much produce you don't know what to do with it, so you either give it away or it goes bad. Today I have tips for freezing your garden produce to save for winter and cut down on food waste. 

Freeze it!
 A lot of fruit and veggies do well in the freezer. This is my preferred way to store extra food. I stored some extra corn in my chest freezer this year so I can enjoy it through the winter. Here's how you do it.

Vegetables that freeze best are the kind that hold up well to cooking like corn, green beans, peas & carrots.

Step 1- Clean and sort produce. Clean and get rid of anything that's bad or bug eaten. 

Corn- Husk them and trim off any dry bits. Blanch on cob then remove kernels.
Carrots- Peel and slice.
Green beans- Trim the stems on the ends.
Broccoli & Cauliflower- Cut into 1 inch florets. 
Asparagus- Trim off woody ends.
Peppers- Remove stem and seeds then cut into slices.
Peas- Remove peas from pod and discard any dry bits.
Zucchini, Squash & Pumpkin- Remove stem and seeds then cut into 1/2 inch slices or grate. (I prefer to grate my zucchini to use for zucchini bread.)

Step 2- Blanch. Before freezing you always want to blanch your vegetables in boiling water to kill any bad microorganisms that might be on the surface. For my corn I only boiled them for 5 minutes. Then immediately dunk in a bath of ice water to stop the cooking. For corn I also removed it from the cob and froze only the corn kernels.  

Step 3- Storage. Once dry put your veggies in a air tight container or freezer bags. You want to keep as much of the air out as possible and freeze quickly. For my corn I just cut it off the cob for easier storage.

Step 4- Thawing. When ready to eat most veggies can go straight from freezer to boiling water. As a rule I always date my veggies when frozen so I can eat them within 6-12 months.

*TIP* Another great way to use your vegetables is to make a big batch of vegetable soup then freeze in smaller containers. That way you can pull out a bowl and heat it up for yummy soup all winter long.

Fruit can also be frozen but tend to get mushy when thawed. When frozen, the water in fruits and veggies expands, causing ice crystals to puncture and break cell walls making them mushy but still tasty. 

Step 1- Wash again. Wash your fruit very well in cool water and let them completely dry.

Step 2- Cutting fruit. Prepare your fruit how you would typically eat it. Most berries can be left whole.

Strawberries- Hull the strawberries and either leave whole or sliced.
Cherries- Remove pits and stems. Can leave whole or halved. 
Apples & Pears- Peal, core and slice. Works great for pies.
Melons- Remove rind and cube.
Peaches- Any stone fruit with large pits can be peeled, sliced and pits removed.

Step 3- Freeze. Line baking sheets with parchment, then arrange the fruit in a single layer. Try to avoid layering or overlapping the fruits. This allows the fruits to freeze individually. Place in your freezer till solid, between 4-8 hours.

Step 4- Storage. Once frozen put your fruit in a air tight container or freezer bags. You want to keep as much of the air out as possible and try to do before they thaw.

Step 5- Thawing. I usually keep my fruit in the freezer for between 3-6 months, but try to remember to use it before it develops freezer burn. This fruit works great in pies, smoothies, parfaits and ice cream. 

*TIP* Another great way to freeze fruit is in a pie. When you're ready, just take it out of the freezer and bake from frozen.

Apple Pie Recipe:


1 Box Pie Crust (or use homemade crust)
6 Cup Apples (peeled & thinly sliced)
3/4 Cup Sugar
2 Tablespoon Flour
3/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

Egg Wash-
1 Egg
1 Tablespoon Water
1 Tablespoon Sugar


Mix together apples, sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and lemon juice. Give it a good toss but careful not to damage the apples to much. Then gently lay the bottom pie crust in a pie pan. Place filling into crust, don't worry if it looks like to much, just pile it high. Top pie with other half of pie crust. Flute the edges and cut away extra crust. Be sure to cut slits in to the top of pie to vent. Beat together egg and water and brush on to pie, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar. Bake right away on a cookie sheet in a 400°F oven (or 204°C) for 45 minutes or until crust is brown and apples are cooked.

To freeze, take unbaked pie and wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in freezer for 3-6 months. To bake from frozen, do not thaw pie. Place frozen pie on a cookie sheet and bake in two stages. Start off in a 400°F oven (or 204°C) for 30 minutes then finish at 350°F oven (or 176°C) for another 30 minutes or until crust is brown and apples are cooked.

*TIP* If crust edges are getting too brown then wrap in foil to prevent burning.

  If you like this recipe and want more then subscribe to my newsletter (top of the page⏫) so you know when a new blog is posted. If you're super bored you can check out my YouTube channel for videos on all my recipes and my Twitter for updates. Hope to see you soon 😊.