As I’ve mentioned before, I really think it’s important to store the foods your family will actually eat and rotate. One year my mother, my husband and I spent several days bottling a mass of beautiful peaches. We were so fulfilled to see rows of this glowing fruit on our pantry shelves…but, after eating a few jars, the rest of the quarts just sat…and sat. We found that the way our family rotates peaches best is by freezing them.
We love to make all-fruit smoothies, so we quarter the peaches (with skins still on), remove the pits, dip them in a Fruit Fresh solution (to preserve the color), and flash freeze them on cookie sheets. When sufficiently frozen, we bag the peaches in zippered freezer bags. The flash freezing keeps the peaches from sticking to each other and forming a mushy clump that won’t fit in your blender. 🙂
Of course, canned fruits will last longer than frozen ones, and will be preserved even if the power were to go out for a sustained period. But, freezing the fruits your family loves allows you to savor their flavors past their season and without the added sugar.
Sometimes we don’t mind the sugar, and we love to use peaches for make-ahead frozen cobblers. I will post recipes for our family’s favorite fruit smoothies and the freezer peach cobbler under the Gems in a Jar section of the site. I’d welcome your ideas and recipes for preserving and using fruits in season. Please post!