With the kids back in school, it means those free-wheeling summer days are almost at their end. While autumn has crimson and gold to replace summer's bright greens, winter can be dark. Take a preemptive strike against the coming gray by preserving a little bit of summer's brightest fruits for the future. By freezing the season's still-flourishing crop of berries and stone fruits soon, you can save a slice of sunshine through the winter for a particularly dreary day.

It's practical, economical, and easy too! Here's how:

Prepping the fruits Whatever type of produce you pick - be it apples, melons, or berries - pick ones that are in good condition. They should be free of bruises and decay, and you should also remove their stems, leaves, or pits when applicable.

  • For Berries: Give your berries a good rinse, scanning through to remove debris, leaves, or any berries that seem bruised or mushy. Once they've been cleaned, pour them out onto a dry cloth or paper towel.
  • For Stone Fruits: Peaches, nectarines, apricots, and cherries need to be pitted and halved prior to being frozen, for the best results.  Run your paring knife around the fruit, all the way to the pit, until it's halved. Gently twist the fruit in opposite directions around the cut. Separate the halves and slice them into quarters. Discard the seeds. Coat your slices in a little sugar and lemon juice. This helps keep your stone fruits from drying out and browning as they freeze.
  • For Melons: Halve your melon, scooping out the seeds. Peel and cut the fruit into little cubes, or use a melon baller to scoop out little circles.

Directions

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour your fruit of choice onto the sheet into a single layer and pop it into the freezer overnight (or at least until they've frosted over). Freezing it this way keeps the fruits from freezing together in a big clump (and keeps you from having to bang them on the kitchen counter before using them!)
  2. Once the individual fruits have frozen over, toss them into a Ziploc bag, mark them, and store them as you want!

  Related Searches on Yummly:

Photo Credits: Gypsy ForestAce Fitness, Putting By

How to Peel Ginger (Hint: Don'T) Recipe
14 Must-Make Cauliflower Recipes Recipe
Broccoli and Cauliflower Recipes Even Kids Will Love Recipe
Hearty, Chunky Soups for a Cold Day Recipe
Healthy, Easy New Ways to Enjoy Salmon Recipe
10 Tasty Ways to Make Canned Tuna Gourmet Recipe
What'S in Season: Fall Vegetables You Can'T Miss Recipe
Crispy, Creamy, and Perfectly Cheesy Gourmet Gratins Recipe
10 Creative New Ways to Cook Salmon Recipe
Cozy Into Fall with Savory Seasonal Soups Recipe
Creamy, Comforting Macaroni and Cheese Recipes Recipe
12 Terrific New Takes on JalapeñO Poppers Recipe
Quick and Easy 5 Ingredient Pastas Recipe
Edible Flowers From the Garden of Eat'N Recipe
Snack Healthy with Homemade Hummus Recipe
Every Dish Is Made Better with Beer Recipe
10 Exceptional Coffee Drinks to Make at Home Recipe
10 Handy Meals Made in a Muffin Tin Recipe
Vegan Appetizers Anyone Will Love Recipe
Simple, Hearty Mexican Dishes for a Crowd Recipe
10 Succulent Salmon Dishes for Healthier Eating Recipe
Appetizer Ideas for the Big Game Recipe
Italian Dishes Minus the Indulgence Recipe
Cozy Chili Recipes and Creative Ways to Enjoy Them Recipe
Fantastic, Flavorful 5-Ingredient Chicken Dinners Recipe
10 Savory Curries You Can Make in a Hurry Recipe
Top 10 Christmas Cookies of the Season Recipe
5 Creative Cinco De Mayo Recipes to Get the Fiesta Started! Recipe
Fun Football Shaped Bites for the Super Bowl Recipe
The Ultimate Super Bowl Appetizer: 5-Layer Football Field Dip Recipe
Complete Your Meal with a Perfect Wine Pairing Recipe
Pass the Chickpeas! 10 Healthy Garbanzo Bean Recipes Recipe
Food Pairings with Sean McKenzie and Dave Matthews Recipe
Top 10 Tips for Winning Dinners! Recipe
From Apples to Kale to Salmon, How to Keep What You Love Fresh Recipe
Cooking with Silk® Recipe