Can You Freeze Grapes?

Forget tossing the grapes that are spoiling in your refrigerator. Freeze grapes for a delectable treat the whole family will crave.
Grapes Ready for Harvest

Grapes Ready for Harvest

Photo by: DK - The Complete Gardener's Guide © 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - The Complete Gardener's Guide , 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Can you freeze grapes? You bet you can—and once you do, you'll never look back. Really. Frozen grapes are a treat beyond compare. They're every dieters friend, and kids—even the ones who dislike all fruits—can be coaxed into eating frozen grapes. Best of all (it gets better!), freezing them couldn't be easier. Why not try your hand at freezing grapes?

Like many fruits, grapes have high water content, hovering around 80 percent depending on the type of grape. They're also packed with nutrition and are high in Vitamins C and B-1, flavonoids, disease-fighting antioxidants, potassium, and manganese. They're low-fat and low-calorie, which makes them a perfect snack food. Frozen grapes offer a healthy choice over other frozen treats.

For easiest eating, it's best to freeze seedless grapes. Stock up on grapes at your local supermarket when they're on sale, or purchase a bulk amount at your favorite warehouse club. Watch for grapes at local farmers' markets. Depending on where you live, you may be able to source fresh grapes locally.

Grapes need to be washed well before freezing. If you're using non-organic grapes, it's important to cleanse the skins well. Grapes maintain a steady position on "The Dirty Dozen," the list of fruits and vegetables most likely to contain the highest levels of pesticide residue. Remove grapes from stems before washing.

Drain grapes in a colander and/or salad spinner. You want grapes to be dry before you freeze them, so even after draining or spinning, lay them out on an old bath towel, and blot them gently with another towel. You'll get a better quality freeze, without any additional icicles attached to grapes, if they're dry when you put them in the freezer.

Place the grapes on a baking tray. It's a good idea to line the tray with parchment, plastic wrap, or wax paper first. This makes removing the frozen grapes easier, although if you have really managed to dry them well, you can place grapes directly on the tray.

Place the tray into the freezer to quick freeze the grapes. After they're frozen solid, pack grapes into freezer bags or containers. To remove air from bags, use a vacuum sealer or the straw method. Stick a straw into an edge of the bag opening, seal the bag right up to the straw, and suck the remaining air out of the bag. Seal the bag as you quickly withdraw the straw.

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Snack on frozen grapes for a healthy snack, or thaw slightly and mix with your juice of choice to create a slushy dessert. You can also freeze grapes with cubed cantaloupe or honeydew and pineapple to make a tasty fruit compote. Frozen grapes make a nice addition to smoothies and are a great snack for kids' lunches. 

Make frozen grapesicles kids will love by skewering grapes with colored toothpicks before freezing. Another kid-friendly idea is to thread red, green, and purple grapes before freezing to make a frozen treat on a string. You can also use frozen grapes to replace fresh grapes in recipes, including jam. 

You can puree grapes before freezing, and freeze the puree in ice cube trays. Pack the grape cubes in freezer bags. These cubes make a great addition for chilling drinks like juices, teas, or lemonade without watering them down. For best quality, eat frozen grapes—chunks or puree—within nine to 12 months.

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