Nicole MacPherson: Meatless Mummy Con Carne


How to Freeze Fruit and Vegetables



I have a confession to make: up until about nine months ago, I had lived my entire adult life without a deep freezer. Oh sure, I had a freezer compartment on my fridge, and there was a tiny, beer fridge-sized freezer in my basement, but no full-size deep freezer. That meant that with the amount of baking and cooking I do, just putting away groceries was like playing Tetris, but with colder hands and more frustration.

I can tell you this: getting a deep freezer has changed my life. I am now able to buy seasonal fruits and vegetables in bulk and freeze them for future use. What a concept!

I've learned a few things along the way, so here is a guide to my favourite freezable fruits and vegetables:


Peel, core, and slice apples, and brush with diluted lemon juice to prevent browning. Freeze on a baking sheet before packing into a freezer bag or airtight container. Use in pies, crumbles, and crisps.

Best if used within 4 months. 

Helpful Hint: this is my favourite apple peeler, and it works to core and slice as well. It's great if you are freezing large amounts of apples.


The elusive "ripe stage" of the avocado can be captured! Avocados are notorious for being perfectly ripe for only about a day before becoming brown and unappetizingly mushy. When the avocado is perfectly ripe, scoop out the flesh, then discard the pit and skin. Puree in a food processor (or mash smoothly with a fork) along with one tablespoon of lemon or lime juice. Freeze in a freezer bag or an airtight container. Use for guacamole, smoothies, or pasta sauce.

Best if used within 5-6 months. 

Helpful Hint: label the container, indicating whether you used lemon or lime juice, so you can plan your recipe accordingly.


Peel bananas and freeze them in freezer bags or airtight containers. The riper the banana, the better it will be for baked goods and smoothies. When the banana thaws, it will be very mushy and liquidy - perfect for recipes that call for mashed banana! Use in muffins, loaves, and even for ice cream!

Best if used within 8 months. 

Helpful Hint: freeze bananas in groups, depending on what your favourite and most used recipes call for. I save my bananas in groups of two or three. Don't forget to label as such!


When your favourite berries are in season, stock up! Freeze blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries on baking sheets, then transfer to freezer bags or airtight containers. Use in smoothies, pies, and muffins.

Best if used within 6 months. 

Helpful Hint: buying berries when they are very ripe and are on clearance at the grocery store is very economical.


This is my mother-in-law's trick: plunge corn on the cob into boiling water for 3-5 minutes, then place immediately in cold water until cool enough to handle. Slice off the kernels with a sharp knife, and freeze on baking sheets before transferring to a freezer bag or airtight container.

Use corn in soups, chili, stew, or just by itself. Best if used within 8 months. 

Helpful Hint: for a smoky hit of flavour, grill corn on the cob, allow to cool, and then slice off the kernels before freezing. 

Leafy Greens

Blanch leafy greens such as kale, spinach, or Swiss chard before use. Plunge into boiling water for one minute, then immediately place leafy greens into ice cold water. Squeeze out all the liquid prior to freezing. Use these greens for soups, stews, or smoothies.

Best if used within 8 months. 

Helpful Hint: place blanched leafy greens in the centre of a tea towel, wrap it up and squeeze. Repeat this several times with dry tea towels in order to get all the liquid out for best freezing results. 


Core, seed, and remove the membranes from bell peppers. Slice into bite-sized pieces and freeze on a baking sheet before transferring to a freezer bag or airtight container. Use for soups, stews, and stir-fries. 

Best if used within 6 months. 

Helpful Hint: frozen red peppers can be oven-roasted to make your own roasted red pepper, for recipes like this and this!


Using a sharp knife, cut off the top and bottom of the pineapple. Standing the pineapple upright, cut away the skin. Quarter the pineapple and then slice off the woody inner core, then chop the pineapple into one-inch cubes. Freeze on a cookie sheet before transferring to a freezer bag or airtight container. Use for smoothies or homemade Dole Whip.

Best if used within 6-8 months. 

Helpful Hint: when cutting pineapple, wear gloves to protect your hands from the pineapple's acidity.


Grate zucchini and place in small freezer bags or airtight containers. Use grated zucchini in loaves, cakes, or for dips and sauces.

Best if used within 8 months. 

Helpful Hint: freeze zucchini in amounts appropriate for your favourite or most-used recipes. 

Don't forget to label your containers with the date that you have frozen them, and also the contents if you are using opaque airtight containers. Happy freezing!