Learn how to freeze peaches like a pro with this easy step-by-step guide! Including the benefits of freezing peaches, different ways to use frozen peaches, freezing with and without the skin, and all without sugar! Everything you need to know to enjoy summer’s best fresh peach flavor all year long!
*This article was originally published Sep 7, 2012. But has been updated over the years with new photos and perfected techniques for your convenience to make the process even easier.
I love peach season! But it always seems to pass too quickly, leaving me craving more of summer’s delightfully juicy fruits. When we lived in Utah, we had our own peach tree. So I always had an abundance of peaches. I would can my peaches, and make peach jam, peach butter, and peach pie. And still, be left with plenty of peaches to freeze and share with neighbors.
Now, I no longer have a peach tree, so whenever I find a farmers market with fresh peaches, I always have to get a bushel to restock my freezer so I can experience that fresh peach taste year-round, even long after peaches have gone out of season!
Sure you can buy frozen peaches from the grocery store, but they just don’t taste the same. They often lack flavor. So I’m going to share the secret to freezing peaches and having them retain their delicious fresh peach flavor! And best of all, it’s all without sugar!
Don’t be intimidated! It’s an easy process and 100% worth it for peaches all year.
You can do this with any type of peach, but really the easiest and in my opinion, the best-tasting peaches are ripe Freestone peaches. The pits are easier to remove and it still leaves a great flavor behind.
🧐 Why Freeze Peaches
There are many reasons why you should freeze peaches. Here are just a few:
- Less waste. Peaches are seasonal fruit, so they can be hard to find outside of their peak season. Freezing peaches is a great way to preserve them so you can enjoy them all year round.
- Extend the shelf life of peaches. Peaches are a perishable fruit, so they don’t last very long in the refrigerator. Freezing peaches is a great way to extend their shelf life for up to 1-3 years.
- Save money. Peaches can be expensive, especially when they are in season. Freezing peaches is a great way to save money by buying them in bulk when they are on sale and freezing them for later use.
- Have peaches on hand for recipes. There are many delicious recipes that call for peaches. Freezing peaches is a great way to have them on hand when you need them for a recipe, no matter the season. I absolutely love having the ability to make a fresh Peach Pie for Thanksgiving, simply by using my frozen peaches.
- Preserve the flavor of peaches. Freezing peaches helps to preserve their flavor and nutrients. This means that you can enjoy the fresh taste of peaches even when they are not in season.
- Freezing peaches is easy. Even kids can do it! It’s a great way to build memories in the kitchen and teach them valuable ways to save money on produce and how to store peaches. Plus, it only takes a few minutes of your time!
🥧 How to Use Frozen Peaches
The great thing about frozen peaches is that you can still use them like fresh peaches once you let them thaw. Or you can keep them frozen for delicious treats. There are so many ways to use frozen peaches! Here are a few ideas:
- Fruit Smoothies
- Oatmeal – In this recipe, I add frozen slices of peaches at the same time as the strawberries. The kids LOVE it.
- Peach Jam
- Peach Fruit Leather
- Peach Crisp
- Peach Pie
- Canned Peach Pie Filling
- Peach Muffins
- Peach Ice Cream
- Make Peach Compote for an ice cream topping
- Peach Slush Punch Drink – trade out the raspberries in this recipe for peaches!
- Raspberry Peach Fluff Fruit Salad
- Mix into yogurt
- Peach Sorbet
👩🏻🍳 Needed Supplies
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- Baker’s half sheets
- Parchment Paper or Silicone Baking Sheets. I prefer using silicone baking sheets.
- Freezer bags. You can use Silicone Freezer bags, heavy-duty freezer bags, or vacuum sealer bags. I prefer vacuum-sealed bags because they will last even longer in the freezer.
- Vacuum sealer (optional)
- Silicon Flexible Turner – this is great for lifting the peaches off the cookie sheet to be portioned without freezing your hands.
- Freezer Labels (optional)
- A Sharpie for labeling bags
🍑 How to Freeze Peaches
There are a few ways to freeze peaches. You can freeze with the skin on or blanched and peeled. It is really up to your personal preference. I prefer to remove the skin for more versatility after freezing, like for use in a recipe that calls for peeled peaches. After the initial prep work, the remaining steps are all the same.
🏻 With The Skin
Wash, dry, and pit your fresh peaches.
You can cut them into halves or slices, but I recommend slices because they are more versatile and freeze faster and more evenly. They are also easier to use after freezing if they are in slices.
🔪 Blanched + Peeled
Cut the peaches in half, remove the pit, and then slice them into your desired size chunks. I place them into a bowl as I go.
After all the peaches are cut and ready, I do a quick rinse. The next step is the soak. Whether you are freezing peaches with the skin or without, the rest of the steps are the same.
🍋 Lemon Juice Soak
This is the essential trick to keeping the peaches fresh and from turning brown when you freeze peaches.
Place the peaches in a water mixture of 1 Tablespoon lemon juice for every 2 cups of water. You don’t need to let the peaches soak in it long. Really I just put the peaches in, stir a bit to ensure that each peach is coated, and then drain.
🧊 Flash Freezing Peaches
Spread the peaches out on a lined baker’s half sheet, making sure they have room so they don’t freeze together in a clump.
Now the hard part; finding room in your freezer for the cookie sheets to sit while you freeze peaches! That’s usually my biggest trial; clearing out space in my freezer.
You need to make sure the cookie sheet is level so the peaches don’t slide into a clump and freeze together. You also need to make sure nothing will squish the peaches while they freeze.
Flash-freeze your peaches for 4 hours (up to 24 hours), or until the peaches are solid.
Using a spatula turner, gently separate the frozen peaches from the baker’s sheet.
🧊 How to Store Frozen Peaches
Portion the frozen peaches into freezer-safe bags.
Remove as much air as possible from the bag and seal. Be sure you can get a good seal when you close the bag.
You don’t need to worry about the peaches freezing together since they were flash frozen, they will remain in individual chunks unless you allow them to thaw slightly and get a “wet” coating which will refreeze them into one large chunk.
Label each bag with the contents and date.
Place back into the freezer.
For storing the peaches you can use any kind of freezer-safe container.
Resealable Freezer Bags: These are affordable and you can get them at every grocery store. While they work, they will only keep your food safe for about 8-12 months and are easy to puncture when you go shuffling around in the freezer.
I used to use thick freezer Ziploc bags. It was great because it was quick and the bags were easy to get.
The drawback is that they were easy to puncture and get holes while kids are rummaging around in the freezer. They don’t prevent freezer burn. They don’t last as long as a vacuum-sealed bag.
Vacuum Sealing Bags: These save the most space out of all the storage options. They also will allow your frozen rhubarb to last up to 2-3 years! That’s double the time as a regular freezer bag. They protect from freezer burn and they are more durable in the freezer and resist being punctured. The only downside is that they are a little more expensive and you need a vacuum sealer. But in the long run, it is worth the investment. This is my favorite method for freezing peaches.
🕰️ How Long Do Frozen Peaches Last?
You can store frozen peaches in the freezer for 6-12 months in an airtight freezer bag.
It will last for up to 2 to 3 years if vacuum-sealed. You can understand why I prefer to use my Foodsaver when I freeze peaches right?
💧 How to Thaw Frozen Peaches
There are a few different ways to defrost peaches. The best method for you will depend on how much time you have and how you plan to use the peaches.
❄️ Refrigerator defrosting
This is the most common method for defrosting peaches. Simply place the frozen peaches in the refrigerator overnight or for several hours, until they are thawed. This method will take longer than other methods, but it is the safest and will help to preserve the flavor of the peaches. It will typically take anywhere from 6 to 8 hours for the peaches to thaw completely.
🔥 Microwave defrosting
This method is faster than refrigerator defrosting, but it can also be more dangerous. To defrost peaches in the microwave, place the frozen peaches on a microwave-safe plate and cook on high for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until the peaches are thawed. Be careful not to overcook the peaches, as this can make them mushy.
💦 Cold water defrosting
This method is similar to refrigerator defrosting, but it is faster. To defrost peaches in cold water, place the frozen peaches (while still sealed in the freezer bag) in a bowl of cold water and let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour, until they are thawed. This method is a good option if you are short on time.
Once the peaches are thawed, you can use them in any recipe that calls for fresh peaches.
Do not use warm water. Warm water will start to cook the peaches, which will make them mushy.
💡 Pro Tips
Lining The Baker’s Sheet: I prefer to line my baker’s sheet with a silicone baking sheet. This prevents the peaches from sticking to the baker’s sheet. They remove incredibly easily. You can also line it with parchment paper, but I have had issues with the parchment paper sticking to the frozen peaches. Then I had to manually peel off ripped pieces of parchment paper off of individually frozen peaches. Not so much fun. It’s a lot easier with silicone baking sheets.
Spacing Peaches for Flash Freezing: You will want to make sure your peaches are spaced well enough that they have room to fully freeze in individual pieces. You don’t want them to freeze to each other. It will ensure all the peaches freeze evenly, but it is also very helpful if you will be using the peaches for single-serving items like fruit smoothies, or as toppings to ice cream or yogurt. You are then able to just pull a few of the chunks out of the freezer and not have to defrost the entire bag to get your few peaches.
Using a lemon juice soak before freezing peaches helps prevent browning. Peaches can turn brown when exposed to the air, a process called enzymatic browning. The citric acid in the lemon juice inhibits this reaction by creating a protective barrier on the peach surface.
Freezing peaches without sugar is a healthier option that also saves you a step. Freezing peaches with sugar can result in a flavor that is more sugar and less peach. This is because the sugar will draw out the juices from the peaches, making them sweeter. However, this can also make the peaches less flavorful, as the sugar can mask the natural peach flavor. Additionally, if you are using the peaches in a recipe that calls for a specific amount of sugar, the added sugar from the frozen peaches could throw off the balance of the recipe.
This is up to personal preference. You can freeze peaches with or without the skin. Some people prefer to remove the skin for more versatility after freezing, such as if they are planning on using the peaches in a recipe that calls for peeled peaches.
No, you do not need to cover the peaches on the sheet pans while they are flash-freezing in the freezer.
YES! There are other pitted fruit that is very similar to peaches. You can freeze them the exact same way. Think Nectarines and Apricots. They both freeze well using this method.
You definitely want to wait until your peaches are fully ripe. If you freeze them before they ripen, they won’t have that rich peach flavor you love.
You do not want to skip flash-freezing the peaches on the baker’s sheet individually. Trust me. I did it the very first time I froze peaches back in 2009. I was left with a big solid block of peach mess. I couldn’t get it out of the bag! After I cut the bag apart I couldn’t do anything with the frozen peach block until it completely thawed. And then everything was a mushy mess. So definitely freeze each slice individually first in the flash freezing section.
To defrost frozen peaches, you can place them in the refrigerator. It will typically take anywhere from 6 to 8 hours for the peaches to thaw completely. To ensure that the peaches thaw evenly, you should turn the bag over every so often. Alternatively, you can also thaw peaches in a cold water soak. This is a faster way to thaw frozen peaches than thawing them in the refrigerator. Keep the peaches in the sealed bag, and submerge the bag of frozen peaches into a bowl of cold water. Let the peaches soak in the cold water for 30 minutes to 1 hour, or until they are thawed. Occasionally flip the bag to ensure even thawing. Drain the water and use the peaches as desired.
👩🏻🍳 Cooking with Kids
If you’re familiar with Busy Creating Memories, you know that we’re passionate about creating memories with our kids. And one of the best ways to do that is to get them involved in the kitchen. Cooking and baking together is a great way to bond, learn new skills, and create lasting memories. That’s why we always include ideas on how to involve kids in our recipes.
Here are several ways that kids can be involved in freezing peaches!
- Gather the kitchen utensils.
- Help gather the peaches.
- Help wash peaches.
- Spread sliced peaches on a lined baking sheet.
- Help put frozen and sealed peaches in the freezer.
Ages 6+ Any of the above tasks, PLUS…
- Slicing peaches into small slices. We start our kids off with a knife designed for kids like the Joie Crinkle Cutter. And a lot of supervision until they show competence using the tool.
- Read out & identify the instructions.
- Remove and discard the peach pits and skins.
- Measuring out the frozen peaches into individual recipe portions.
- Labeling frozen peach bags for the freezer.
- Putting frozen peaches into the freezer.
- Be involved in cleaning up: putting ingredients away, wiping the counter, sweeping the floor, loading the dishwasher, or washing dishes by hand.
Ages 10+ Any of the above tasks, PLUS…
- Preparing vacuum-sealed bags for the peaches (measuring, cutting, and sealing one end).
- Labeling vacuum-sealed bags for the peaches.
- Filling the vacuum-sealed bags with peach portions.
- Sealing the vacuum-sealed bag with the vacuum sealer.
Please note: Every child is different, so it is important to use your own judgment when deciding which tasks are appropriate for your child. These are just suggestions, and you may need to adjust them based on your child’s individual abilities and needs. It is also important to remember that younger children will require more direct supervision than older children.
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- 1 lb fresh freestone peaches
- 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
- 4 Cups water
- Wash, Dry, and Pit fresh freestone Peaches
- Cut peaches into halves or slices. I recommend slices because they are more versatile and freeze faster and more evenly.
If you prefer to keep the skin on for freezing, move onto the Lemon Soak Step.
Blanched and Peeled
- Blanch and peel your fresh peaches. If you already know how to do this, you can keep going. If you need help, click over to see the detailed tutorial on how to blanch peaches.
- Cut peaches in half, remove the pit, and then slice them into your desired size slices.
- Give the peaches a quick rinse to ensure all the skin has been removed.
Lemon Soak to Prevent Browning
- Place the peaches in a water mixture of 1 Tablespoon lemon juice for every 2 cups of water.
- Put the peaches in, stir a bit to ensure that each peach is coated, and then drain.
- Spread the peaches out on a lined baker’s half sheet, making sure they have room so they don’t freeze together in a clump.
- Place in the freezer. Make sure the baker's sheet is level so the peaches don’t slide into a clump and freeze together.
- Flash-freeze your peaches for 4 hours (up to 24 hours), or until the peaches are solid.
- Using a soft spatula turner, gently separate the frozen peaches from the baker’s sheet.
Storing Frozen Peaches.
- Once the peaches are frozen, portion them into 2 or 4-cup measurements and put them into freezer bags or containers. For the best results use a Foodsaver. I found this protects peaches from frostbite and makes it last the longest.
- Remove as much air as possible from the bag and seal. Be sure you can get a good seal when you close the bag.
- Label the bags or containers with the date, contents, and amount.
- Store the rhubarb in the freezer for 8 to 12 months in an airtight container or freezer bag or up to 2-3 years if vacuum sealed.
You can freeze any amount of peaches using this method, but you may need to work in batches to keep the peaches in a single layer during the initial freeze.
Use Silicone Baking Mats. I like to use Silicone baking mats to line my cookie sheets before doing the first initial freezing. This works best to keep the peaches from freezing in the pan and makes them incredibly easy to remove.
Storing: Store frozen peaches in the freezer for 8 to 12 months in an airtight container or freezer bag. It will last for up to 2 to 3 years if vacuum-sealed.
How to USE: Frozen peaches can be cooked or used in smoothies without thawing. But if you are going to bake with it, you will need to defrost your peaches first! This is because peaches shrink slightly as it thaws and also release more juice, so you will need to adjust the amount of peaches you use to account for this.
Thaw Peaches: place the frozen peaches in the refrigerator overnight or for several hours, until it is thawed.
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Aroma House Paring Knife, 4" Kitchen Fruit Knife Utility Knife Peeling Knife, German High Carbon Stainless Steel with Ergonomic Handle, Kitchen Gift.
Amazon Basics Silicone, Non-Stick, Food Safe Baking Mat, Pack of 2, New Beige/Gray, Rectangular, 16.5" x 11.6"
Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker's Half Sheet, 2-Pack, Silver
OXO Good Grips Large Silicone Flexible Turner, Stainless Steel
Dishwasher Safe Reusable Storage Bags, 10Pack Leakproof Reusable Freezer Bags, BPA Free PEVE Reusable Sandwich Bags, Silicone Food Storage Bags(10Pack-3 Gallon + 4 Sandwich + 3 Snack)
FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer Machine and Express Vacuum Seal Bag Maker with Sealer Bags and Roll and Hendheld Vacuum Sealer for Airtight Food Storage and Sous Vide, Silver
FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer Bags, Rolls for Custom Fit Airtight Food Storage and Sous Vide, 11" x 16' (Pack of 3)
SHARPIE Permanent Markers | Fine Point | Assorted Standard Colours | 4 Count
Removable Food Freezer Labels, 375pcs 1 x 3 inch Self-Adhesive Food Storage Stickers, Easy Clean Refrigerator Freezer Paper Label,4 Colors Food Labels 3 Rolls
Serving Size:1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 46Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 11mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 2gSugar: 10gProtein: 1g
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although Busy Creating Memories attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.