How to Freeze and Store Nectarines

Summer is fleeting and so are its luscious stone fruits. But freezing nectarines will provide sun-drenched flavor when winter's dreary days arrive. It's easy to do with our handy tips.

It doesn’t take much effort to start freezing nectarines now and store them for later. For just a little work, your reward will be a blast of summer flavor in a fruit smoothie or one of our sweet nectarine desserts.

The ripe nectarines stashed in your freezer will be like gold come winter!

How to Freeze Nectarines

Step 1: Prep

Choose nectarines that are ripe (slightly soft) and free from blemishes or bruises. A ripe nectarine separates easily from the pit, making prep easy.

Editor’s Tip: You may not need to remove the skin. It all depends on how you plan to use the fruit. Once frozen, nectarine skin becomes tough. For smoothies, this isn’t a big deal. For other uses, you’ll be glad you removed the skin.

Step 2: Slice the fruit

Can you freeze nectarines whole? Nope! When frozen, the pit becomes bitter and taints the flavor. Cut the nectarine in half and remove the pit.

Leave the fruit in halves, or cut it into slices. As you cut the nectarine, dip the pieces into a wash of lemon juice and water. (I mix 3 tablespoons of lemon juice into 1 quart of water.) This prevents the fresh-cut fruit from browning.

Step 3: Freeze

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper. Place cut fruit on the sheet with space between each piece to prevent it from sticking together. Freeze until solid.

Step 4: Pack it up

Place the frozen fruit in zip-top bags, like these reusable freezer storage bags. Label each bag with the fruit name and date. Lay bags flat in the freezer. For extra tips, check out our handy guide for freezing food.

Editor’s Tip: Use your frozen fruit within three months for optimum flavor.

How to Use Frozen Nectarines

Frozen nectarines are perfect for smoothies, directly from the freezer, and work great in baked or cooked recipes. However, a frozen nectarine’s texture is different from fresh, once thawed. For this reason, they won’t do as well in fresh applications, such as a salad. But in January, a cobbler filled with summer’s finest fruit is nothing short of stellar!

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Ellen Riley
As a free-lance writer and former Southern Living Associate Garden Editor, Ellen Riley has a knack for teaching readers to find joy in the garden (indoors and out) every day. Her approach is based on simplicity, ease, and success. When not in the garden, find her in the kitchen preparing the day's harvest or arranging a few flowers to share. Her latest adventure offers 4 hands-on gardening workshops in the Nashville area.