Last weekend our family visited a local farm for u-pick peaches! Since we drove over an hour, there was no way we were only going to just pick a couple buckets, so of course, we majorly overdid ourselves. After a few hours in the heat, we came home with 45 pounds of peaches!
What exactly does 45 pounds of peachy goodness look like? Let’s just say my 6 foot-long dinning room table was completely buried for days with a blanket of orange fuzz. My kids discovered a new use for peaches as throwing balls, so I quickly got busy using our peaches before casualties occurred.
The easiest way to store peaches long-term is by freezing. There are many great ways you can preserve a bumper crop of peaches, but many are just too labor intensive for a mom like me, with 2 small kids. I have a limited amount of time, yet still want to provide my family with the very best nutritionally-dense food.
My main use for peaches is making smoothies. Smoothies are a fantastic way to get nutrients in my kids with ingredients they may normally pass up. Somehow when ingredients like greens, fruit, and other delicacies are placed in a blender they are more than happy to drink up and even ask for seconds.
I also use peaches regularly to make homemade flavored yogurt. Since you aren’t going to find real peaches in your cup of Yoplait (I’m not sure if there is really much of anything real in that little container), I use my freezer stock of peaches to make my own tasty peach yogurt. I combine semi-defrosted peaches with a little raw honey or sucanat, pulse a few times in the food processor, and finally mix in homemade yogurt.
How to Freeze Peaches (the Easy, Busy Mom’s Way)
- 1/2 cup lemon juice preferably from freshly squeezed lemons
- 2 cup water
- 4 peaches peaches need to be slightly soft to touch but not too mushy. Mushy peaches do not freeze well
- Rinse the peaches off under cool water, gently scrub off the dirt.
- If you don't want to keep the skins on the peaches bring a pot of water to a boil and gently place your peaches in the hot bath for about 40 seconds, then remove them with a slotted spoon into a bowl with ice water. The peach skins can then easily be peeled off when in the ice bath. I prefer to keep the skins so I skip this step.
- Cut the peaches. You can either slice the peaches in half, quarter them, or cut them in slices. I prefer smaller chunks of peaches, but this is completely up to you. I toss my peaches in a large bowl while cutting.
- Toss your cut peaches in a lemon/water bath. This will prevent the peaches from developing that yucky brown appearance. Use a 1:4 ratio of lemon juice to water.
- Place your freshly bathed peaches on a cookie sheet. Be sure they each have their own spot on the sheet to prevent peaches from sticking together. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer. I found it generally takes an hour or two for them to fully freeze.
- Once frozen on the cookie sheet, use a spatula to separate the peaches from the sheet. Place the peaches in your freezer-friendly container of choice and enjoy all year long!
Oh my, peaches this year! I used your method last year and it was so easy. I saved it on my home screen on my iPad so I could refresh my memory on how to freeze peaches. Thank you for helping me save time and yet provide for my family.
YAY! So happy it helps you, Bernadette. Thank you for sharing.
I forgot to add lemon juice before freezing my peaches. Will they still taste OK?
Yes, the peaches will still taste fine. They may turn a little brown.
Why do you freeze them? I like to eat it fresh
If you have a ton of extras, then freezing can be a great solution.
You have to defrost them until they half frozen then slice them off the pit as an individual serving of fruit or dessert.
Ah good to know. Are they mushy?
Defrosted peaches will be mushy. You have great them half defrosted. They are like a dish of peach ice cream. Take them out of the freezer whole or cut in half.defrost on low at the shortest time and enjoy. They are not good for pie or cobbler.
I saw a post where someone washed and dried the peaches whole with skin on, soaked them in lemon juice a few minutes, then frozen on a baking sheet and then put them in freezer bags. Other than this method saving some time, are there any other advantages or disadvantages? Like the amount of nutrients lost? The only other thing I could think of it that it would take a little longer to defrost and you still have to cut and remove the pit when ready to use. I wondered if you or anyone else had thoughts on that. I’m getting a 25 lb box today of Georgia peaches so I will definitely need to freeze several!
Hey Amy, I haven’t tried freezing them whole. I would think it would be very mushy and messy to try and cut them after defrosting. Freezing won’t cause any loss of nutrients.
Not labor intensive? I’m getting several dozen peaches (unfortunately clings) a day and have 3 cookie sheets. Who cares about some browning, so long as they taste good. I just slice, pack and freeze. They keep until next summer.
Hey Jen, You could just cut them, put them on a sheet pan and freeze. The reason for this is because if they’re not frozen in a single layer on a sheet pan they’ll stick together.
Hey Kristin, Thank you so very much for all the time that you put in on your recipes. i only have one question. Does your recipe for frozen preaches work the same for nectarines?
Hey Dale, thank you. yes, it should.
Thank you so much for this! We’ve had our first peach crop this year and have really enjoyed the freshness. Now we’re overloaded and just this morning I had a ‘I miss my mom so much moment-followed by a few tears, because she was always my “go-to” when she was alive. I remember how much she loved packing peaches away in the freezer but could not recall how she did it!! Thank you for this recipe. She, too did things efficiently and as natural as possible. Now Im looking forward to beginning a new family tradition with my daughter!
That’s awesome, Lisa! You’re welcome!
I wash and drain peaches. Half and pit them and dip in a mix of 1 teaspoon fruit fresh to 1/2 C. Sugar. I have washed fuzz off and put them in freezer bags whole. To use them, I zap them on defrost in microwave for the shortest length of time because I always eat them soon out of the freezer half frozen. The skin peels right off.
I forgot to add that I put them first in plastic press and seal bags then put them in gallon freezer bags.
Have you tried this with apricots? I would think it would be the same.
Here’s what Joyce said, “Here’s what Yes I have. I wash and pit them and drain them on a towel. Freeze on a cookie sheet and then dump into freezer bags. You don’t need any fruit fresh or sugar and they are just delicious. Mine are a year old and taste like fresh with no flavor loss.”
One additional tip, put parchment paper on cookie sheet before laying peaches to freeze. When frozen they slide right off into the freezer container.
Hi strange question, but can you freeze peaches that are not ripe yet? I am going out of town and I have bags and bags from picking that aren’t ripe yet.
Hey Kate, You probably could, but they will be bitter.
Could I go ahead and cook peaches with other ingredients for peach cobbler and freeze in freezer bags? There is some lemon juice in my recipe. Thanks!
I only eat them when they have been partially defrosted in the microwave. They don’t have a chance to get brown. I freeze them individually on a cookie sheet after dipping cut half in 1 teaspoon fruit fresh to 1/2 cup sugar, then freeze in large freezer bag and take out what I need. I don’t make pies or cobblers. But they’d make great smoothies. If I were to make pies or desserts, I’d make the pie or cobbler then freeze it. You can pop them in the oven frozen. .theyd also work for ice cream.