Pineapple is the epitome of summer in our opinion - a juicy fruit that works perfectly in any dish, salad, or drink. But it always seems to go bad within hours of being cut from the core. Luckily, there is a solution to this problem - you can freeze pineapple that you have leftover.
Instead of having to race against the clock to eat your pineapple before it goes bad in the refrigerator, you can store it in the freezer for much longer periods of time. You can then defrost the fruit and use it as easily as the day you first bought it!
However, there are a few considerations that you’ll want to take before freezing your pineapple. Potential changes in texture might put you off eating your frozen fruit, causing it to go to waste later down the line.
How To Freeze Pineapple
To freeze pineapple, you should first make sure that your pineapple is ripe and ready to eat. Pineapple won’t ripen once it’s frozen so it needs to be ready to eat right before it goes through the freezing process.
Remove the peel from the pineapple so there are no prickles left on the fruit. These will be much more difficult to get off of the fruit once you’ve frozen it, and in the future, you will thank past you for doing the prep work beforehand.
Remove the pineapple core and cut the fruit either into cubes or wedges. However you’re planning to use your pineapple in the future, this is how you should cut it before freezing. Again, it will be much more difficult to cut frozen pineapple than cutting it now.
Take a sheet of parchment paper and layout the pineapple pieces onto it. Make sure that they’re not touching each other at this step. Now, you’ll need to flash freeze your pineapple chunks.
Simply place the parchment paper into the freezer and freeze your pineapple chunks until they feel firm to touch. This should take around 2 or 3 hours. Once they’re firm to touch you can remove them from the parchment paper and place them in a freezer bag.
Now you can store the freezer bag full of pineapple in the freezer for up to six months. The flash freezing process prevents the pineapple from sticking together so that you can grab as many pieces as and when you need them.
How To Defrost Pineapple
There are a few ways that you can defrost your pineapple when you need to use it. For starters, you can defrost it in the refrigerator. This is perhaps the most common method of defrosting your pineapple as it is the easiest and leads to the best results.
Simply take as many pieces of pineapple that you want to defrost, put them in a bowl, and store them in the refrigerator. Leave them in the refrigerator overnight so that they have enough time to defrost properly. You can use them anytime the next day.
If this is going to take too long, you might prefer to defrost your pineapple in cold water. Take another freezer bag and put your pieces of pineapple into it. Secure the closure so that no water touches the pineapple. Place the bag in a large bowl of cold water. Your pineapple will be defrosted within a few hours depending on the size of the chunks.
Finally, you could decide not to defrost your pineapple at all and simply use it frozen. This is a great idea if you want to use the fruit in smoothies, alcoholic drinks, or fruit salads. Frozen pineapple even makes a great snack on its own, and you won’t have to deal with the change of texture. But more on that in the next section.
Factors to Consider Before Freezing Pineapple
Before you race to the freezer to get your frozen pineapple going, there are a few factors that you should consider beforehand. The first consideration is that the texture of your fruit might change once it’s been frozen and defrosted.
This is down to the fact that around 88% of pineapple is water. As the water content freezes in the freezing process, the pineapple seems to look the same. However, when you defrost the pineapple some of the water in the flesh will also defrost and be removed from the fruit.
What this means is that you might be left with mushy cubes of pineapple rather than the relatively tough texture that you’d expect from a pineapple piece. So, whether you want to eat mushy pineapple is up to you.
This won’t affect the taste of your drinks that you use pineapple in but it might put you off your fruit salad, so keep this in mind. For this reason, we suggest eating your pineapple while it’s still frozen rather than defrosting it.
As we mentioned before, you should consider how you’re going to prepare your pineapple before freezing it. Removing the skin and cutting it into suitably sized chunks will save you time in the long run as it is easier to handle ripe pineapple before it’s frozen rather than once it’s been defrosted.
So, the answer to the question is yes you can freeze pineapple and it is excellent for frozen smoothies and drinks. You can also eat frozen pineapple as a snack, but you can also defrost it. While defrosted pineapple tends to be mushier and a different consistency to ripe pineapple, it’s by no means inedible.
To freeze your pineapple, you’ll want to flash freeze the chunks before transferring them to a freezer bag and storing them in the freezer for up to six months. This ensures that they won’t stick together as they’re freezing. You’ll be able to take only as many pieces as you require at that time.
There are a few different ways to defrost your pineapple, including leaving them in the refrigerator overnight. Alternatively, you can defrost them quicker in a bowl of water. However, we think you can skip this step altogether and enjoy your pineapple better while it’s still frozen.