Pineapple is a delicious tropical fruit with many nutritional benefits, but what do you do if you can’t eat it all before it goes off?
We’re here to tell you that you can freeze it to preserve the fruit for longer.
If you live alone, or just found some cheap pineapples at the store, these tips will help you to preserve the fruit and prevent food waste. Not to mention the money you will save!
For best results, use frozen pineapple within 6 months. This being said, it can keep for up to a year if stored correctly. If your pineapple chunks turn white or develop freezer burn, it has been kept for too long and should be disposed of.
How to freeze pineapple
Peel your pineapple and remove the core. Cut into bite-sized chunks as you would for snacking. Place the frozen chunks in a sieve over a bowl to allow some of the juice to drain off. This will result in less frost forming on the surface of the chunks and means your frozen pineapple will keep better.
We recommend freezing the core separately in small chunks to add fiber to smoothies!
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the pineapple chunks flat in one layer. This will prevent them from sticking to the tray and make transferring them to a different container much easier. Ensure there is space between each chunk to prevent them from fusing into one large chunk.
Place the tray flat in the freezer and leave for a couple of hours until the pineapple chunks have frozen solid.
Once this has happened, transfer the frozen chunks to an airtight container or ziplock freezer bag. Ensure you have labeled and dated the containers to avoid confusion.
You should get around 4-5 cups of pineapple chunks for every medium-sized pineapple.
You can also freeze canned pineapple. You should never freeze foods in metal tins, and so it is important to transfer the pineapple to an airtight, freezer-safe container.
If using pineapple in juice, transfer both components to a suitable container. Make sure there is at least half an inch of space at the top to allow for the natural expansion in the freezer.
Seal the container tightly and label with the contents and the date frozen. You can keep this in the freezer for up to 2 months.
If you are going to drain it and just store the fruit, rinse under cold water to remove the fruit sugars from the surface of the chunks. Follow the instructions for fresh pineapple to freeze correctly.
You can also freeze crushed canned pineapple. Separate into individual serving sizes, depending on its intended use. Pour into ziplock freezer bags and squash out as much of the air as possible. Lay flat on a baking sheet and freeze for 2 hours. Label with the date frozen and the contents, before removing the baking sheet and storing in the freezer.
If you have kids, we recommend pouring crushed pineapple and the juice into popsicle molds and freezing for a healthy and nutritious summer snack.
We recommend storing pineapple in the main compartment of the freezer, away from the door.
How to defrost pineapple
Some people love to snack on frozen pineapple straight from the freezer, especially in the summer. Here, there is no need to thaw it. This works with a lot of frozen fruit.
If you want to use frozen pineapple in a smoothie, there is no need to thaw either. The fruit acts as ice to cool and thicken your drink while adding pineapple’s characteristic sweetness.
You can also use the frozen pineapple chunks as ice cubes in a glass of water, to infuse it with a fruity flavor. Plus, you get a snack when you have finished your drink!
If you are hankering for fresh pineapple, remove your chunks from the freezer and place them in the refrigerator overnight. We recommend squeezing a little lemon juice on the top before you eat.
If you want a faster way to thaw pineapple, we recommend placing the desired quantity of pineapple in a ziplock freezer bag inside a bowl of cold water. This will help your pineapple defrost in the space of a couple of hours, depending on the volume and size of the chunks.
To make a pineapple dole whip, place 4½ cups of frozen pineapple chunks in a food processor and allow to thaw for around 15 minutes. Add lime juice to taste and blend until a smooth mixture forms.
Factors to consider before freezing pineapple
For extra waste reduction, do not bin your pineapple skin. Wash the pineapple well and remove the top and tail. Cut the skin off and chop into 1-inch pieces. Place in a large bowl with 2 pints of cold water and cover with a clean dishtowel.
Leave at room temperature for 3 days until fermented and bubbling. Strain and sweeten, before serving over ice garnished with mint leaves.
We recommend considering what you will be using the pineapple for prior to freezing. Thawed pineapple tends to be softer and mushier than fresh pineapple, but it is by no means inedible.
Freezing is a great option for leftover pineapple as it holds up to the freezing and thawing process well. Freezing also preserves most of the nutrients and vitamins in the pineapple, making it an excellent storage option.
Frozen pineapple can be eaten straight from the freezer in the form of chunks or popsicles. You can blend into smoothies and use the chunks as ice cubes. Alternatively, you can allow the pineapple chunks to thaw and use as you would fresh.
To reduce your food waste, we have given you lots of handy tips on how to make the most of your fruit. This article teaches you how to use all but the leaves and hard stem at the base.
We hope that you now feel confident in freezing your pineapples to keep them for longer.