So, you’ve overbought grapes but don’t want them to go bad. Frankly, that’s one of the best problems you can have! Don’t worry, there’s a simple solution— and it doesn’t include throwing out your expensive and delicious grapes. So, how can you keep grapes long-term? Is freezing an option?
Yes – you can freeze grapes, though there are a few steps you need to take first. You should un-stem your grapes, wash them thoroughly in a colander, drain and dry them, and place them on a wax-lined baking sheet to freeze. If done right, frozen grapes can last up to a year.
Freezing grapes isn’t just practical, but also opens the door to a plethora of fun recipes. Read on to find out the proper way to freeze them and explore their many uses.
Step-by-Step Guide for Freezing Grapes
Frozen grapes can last anywhere between a month to a year. That’s a pretty extensive range, and it’s because it all depends on how good of a job you do at freezing them.
Here’s a 6-step guide for freezing grapes the right way:
- Start by removing the stems. Before freezing your grapes you’ll need to remove all of them from the stems.
- Wash the grapes well. Wash them thoroughly to eliminate all chemicals —such as pesticides— and germs. To be sure about having zero pesticides on your grapes, you can get organic ones from your local grocery store.
- Rinse, drain, and dry the grapes well. All you need is a faucet, a colander, and a minute or two of rinsing. After you’re done rinsing, let the grapes sit in your colander for a while to make sure all excess water drains out. Wrap this step up by giving your squeaky clean grapes a quick pat dry with a paper towel.
- Prepare the grapes to put them into the freezer. Use parchment or wax paper to line a baking sheet and spread your grapes over it. Once you’ve placed them all in a single layer evenly, cover the tray with some plastic and store it in the freezer.
- Wait 3-4 hours until the grapes are frozen solid. The exact time will depend on your freezer’s thermostat settings. The type of grape you’re working with can also affect the wait time, so leave the tray in for about 5 hours to be on the safe side. Afterward, transfer the frozen grapes from the baking tray to a plastic freezer bag.
- Squeeze out the excess air and seal the plastic freezer bag tightly. You can label it with the current date to know how old your frozen grapes are. Finally, place the bag in the freezer.
Congrats, you’re done! Your grapes can easily last up to a year frozen this way. You can use them in many fun ways throughout all seasons, and we’ll get into just that in a bit.
How Do You Thaw Frozen Grapes?
Now that you’ve successfully frozen your grapes the right way, you might want to use some of them in a recipe or as a snack. Here’s how to thaw them!
To thaw frozen grapes, transfer the grapes from the freezer to the fridge. This allows the grapes to defrost slowly without requiring any effort from you. This way, you’ll also preserve the natural textures and flavors in your frozen grapes.
Tip: It’s is a good idea to store your grapes in smaller portions rather than one big bag as it will make it easy to grab a smaller bag of grapes and put it in the fridge to thaw.
Note that thawed grapes are perfectly safe to consume, but they’ll be slightly less tasty or juicy than freshly bought ones. Freezing fruits can save them from going bad, but there’s always a certain level of unavoidable texture alteration from freezing and thawing.
Believe it or not, frozen grapes are best used in recipes in which they remain frozen. With that said, you can skip the thawing process altogether by using frozen grapes as they are! Many recipes don’t require you to thaw them.
You can even skip the recipe altogether and consume frozen grapes as a cold, fruity, candy-replacement snack.
5 Fun Ideas To Use Frozen Grapes
Speaking of recipes, let’s look at a few fun ways to use frozen grapes. The possibilities are endless—anything from using them as a cold snack in the summer, to blending them into your smoothies, to using them as a fruity ice cube alternative in cocktails.
1. Making Jam From Frozen Grapes
What’s better than some homemade organic jam to light up your mornings? You can mix some other fruits with your frozen grapes to customize the flavor as you like—and that’s not a luxury you have with store-bought jam options.
Moreover, frozen grapes are just as easy to use as regular grapes for making delicious jams. Check out the video below to find out how.
2. Frozen Grape Snacks
Frozen grapes make the best snack ever! They taste just like candy and are super healthy and refreshing. The best time to appreciate them is during the summer, and with a lifespan of up to a year, they’ll certainly be around in your freezer through those scorching summer months.
You can also use them as a topping on most of your desserts to effortlessly add a fruity punch to the flavors.
3. Frozen Grape Ice Cubes
Ice cubes are notorious for changing the flavor of the drink they’re in. However, that won’t be the case if the ice cubes pack a fruity flavor of their own. Say hello to Frozen Grape Ice Cubes! These are best used in fruity mocktails and summer drinks of all sorts.
4. Grape Sorbet
You can also use your frozen grapes to make Grape Sorbet. Simply puree them with a blender or food processor but remember to take the seeds out first—unless you’re using seedless grapes. The result will be something very similar to ice cream, with the advantage of taking much less time and effort to make!
5. Frozen Grape Popsicles
Just like the Sorbet, the first step is in making frozen grape popsicles is to puree your frozen grapes. Feel free to add a little grape juice to make up for the slightly reduced flavor in frozen grapes. From there, simply pour it into popsicle molds and freeze for a few hours—and voila, ready to serve!
Bonus: Raspberry-Grape Smoothie Recipe
Here’s one of the best smoothies you can make using your frozen grapes. This particular recipe gem is from the book Cooking Light Chill (available on Amazon.com) — and it’s worth a shot!
- Half a cup of frozen grapes (blended into a slush)
- 1 cup frozen raspberries
- 1 tsp of lemon juice
- 1 strawberry yogurt carton (six ounces or 177 ml)
- 2 tbsp of honey
Simply throw all of the above ingredients into a blender and pulse it out until the mixture is smooth enough for drinking. Serve chilled and enjoy. You can also add frozen grapes to the final product as frozen grape ice cubes!
Grapes can go bad pretty quickly in as little as a few weeks. But the good news is that you can freeze them! That way, they’re preserved for 10 to 12 months (if done right), and you can use them in many different recipes all year long.
Many uses don’t even require frozen grapes to be thawed. In this article, I’ve shared all you need to know about this topic, so go ahead and try it out for yourself.