Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Quality control - Canned vs. frozen peaches

With local summer fruits now a thing of the past, I've had the opportunity to enjoy some of those delicious fruits I preserved over past months. Most of the fruit, I froze in ziplock bags - things like dewberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries. I've defrosted some of the berries and they've defrosted perfectly, tasting just as wonderful as the day I picked them. 

The peaches, though, are a different story. Thankfully, I had the foresight to both freeze and can peaches so that I could do a comparison. And now having taste tested both, I'm ready to report my findings. 

As you can see from this photo, there is a definite difference in color. The canned peaches (on the right) kept their color perfectly. The frozen peaches (on the left) are slightly browned (both were preserved with vitamin C and sugar). What is not visible from the photo is that after a day in the refrigerator, the frozen peaches continued to brown, while the canned peaches remained beautiful. 

So what about taste and texture? Again, the canned peaches win on both fronts. The canned peaches were perfect, tasting as peachy perfect as the day I sliced them. The frozen peaches didn't taste nearly as fresh and the texture was mushy. The peaches just fell apart when you tried to eat them. Not that they were bad - they'd be fine in a cobbler - but I think next year, I'll stick to canning them. Now that I have enough canning under my belt that I'm not intimidated by the process. It's just too easy to keep that just off the tree taste of fresh peaches. Canning it is!

15 comments:

ttammylynn said...

Texas ain't done with fruit...oranges, grapefruit and lemons are coming up in November or so. I order apples from Washington next month, they are amazing. I didn't see organic apples in Texas that they would ship, the conventional ones were gone for the year by the time I checked. Persimmons are currently ripening if you had a notion to go to Matt's Family Orchard in Tomball. Plantersville still has figs, too. There is a lot of fruit in Texas, Heather, even if the peaches are done...
Vicki said she was putting in blueberries this fall or perhaps spring. It is time to plant strawberries here, June-bearing are best for our early strawberry season and, it is a great time to look for bargain fruit trees with winter closing in...
My garden is looking promising overall. My hubby watered yesterday because I was working and I think he realized that it is becoming beautiful. He didn't fuss at me about the plants like he does sometimes(money for things that just die, you know?), he just lingered and looked on, enjoying the experience. He even seemed a bit disappointed that I hadn't planted the big beds in front. I told him I needed to work on them and he didn't say anything, which means that he agrees. Of course, my tillers are down, so I guess it will be shovel and rake work... lol.

ib mommy said...

I did the same thing! I read somewhere that canned peaches taste just like, well, canned peaches. So I froze some as well. I haven't tasted the canned version yet but I've been using the frozen ones in smoothies. They taste fabulous that way. I also did the same with my green beans. The kids love the frozen ones and guess what the canned ones taste like?

eco 'burban mom said...

Interesting. I did the same, both canned and froze peaches, but haven't dug into them yet. I was thinking the frozen might really only be for pies and such, so I'm glad you've already taste-tested them for me! My boys aren't into mushy peaches. However, if you can beleive it, peach season ISN'T over yet here. My mom, just yesterday, brought me half a freakin' bushel. I can't bear the thought of blanching, peeling and freezing again... My legs ache just thinking about it!

Heather @ SGF said...

ttammylynn - You know, you're right. It's not over. When do the first grapefruits and oranges come out? I think it has finally been long enough I can think about them again (when I first went all local fruit last spring, all I ate were grapefruit and oranges for more than a month until I couldn't stand the sight of them). And we can start picking strawberries in Feb, right?

ib mommy - Ooh. I bet the frozen one are great in smoothies! Mmmm! So far, we keep eating all the green beans we're buying. What did you do to yours? Just blanch and freeze in ziplocks?

eco 'burban mom - oh, but they taste so good later :) I was exhausted after Daddy brought that first bushel over, but by the time the second one came, I was ready. And eating them now, I'm SOOOO glad he did!

Green Bean said...

Interesting. I didn't do either. I'll confess - I don't like peaches. Please, no throwing rotten fruit!! In any event, I did freeze, dry and can some of my fruit this year. I'll have to compare. The strawberries I froze last winter turned out pretty yuk.

fearlesschef said...

I agree... canning is the way to go. My mother used to freeze them after a bath in lemon juice... they retained their color, but not their texture. At that point, all that is left to do is make them into smoothies or ice cream if you have a juiceman juicer.

ib mommy said...

Hi Heather! Yes, for the green beans I just blanched and froze them in plastic bags. I really wanted to use glass jars but I was running out of freezer space and we went to a pick your own farm and picked four 5 gallon buckets full!

Heather @ SGF said...

green bean - really? The berries didn't come out right? I just pulled some strawberries out and they were fine. They had made quite a bit of juice, but they held their flavor and texture. So no peaches, huh? What's your favorite fruit?

fearlesschef - Mmm. Over ice cream sounds great!

ib mommy - 5 gallons! That's great! I wonder if we have any pick your owns here for green beans. I'll bet it was fun!

Abbie said...

The frozen ones will be good for baking... so at least it's not a waste.

ttammylynn said...

Citrus comes in November, throughout the winter...I get it shipped periodically all winter long.
Hands down I think blueberries are the best fruit to freeze...of course I usually cook them when I use them. I'm thinking I might actually like making jelly better if I made it low sugar with juice or something.

Heather @ SGF said...

abbie - they were good mixed into my homemade yogurt too

ttammylynn - have you tried Pomona's pectin? It's a brand you can get at Brazos Natural Foods. You still use sugar for jams and jellies, but only maybe half as much. I bought a box, but I haven't used it yet.

Simply Authentic said...

Good to know! Thanks for doing the grunt work for us!

eco 'burban mom said...

A dehyrator is another item I am debating on adding to my christmas list. The one I ordered from my local Ace Hardware, never arrived. Now, I feel like it's too late in the season to spring for one. However, if I found one for $5 at a garage sale I could be persuaded! Keep us posted on how different fruits turn out, if you think kids will like them, I could see investing. Dried fruit is so much easier to pack in school lunches!

Stephanie said...

Good to know! Thanks!

Heather @ SGF said...

simply authentic - I can't complain. It was tasty work :)

eco 'burban mom - keep a lookout. From what I understand, they turn up all the time at garage sales (at least here they do)

stephanie - any time!