I use frozen pineapple chunks in my green smoothie recipes quite a bit. I know they’re higher in sugar than other fruit, but so are brownies. Some days you have to pick your food battles.
Anyway, I used to stock a 4lb bag in my freezer which I bought from Costco. At just under seven dollars, I figured it was a fair price to pay for convenience. Then I walked into a newly opened ALDI grocery store in my area and saw that pineapples were selling for .99 apiece.
On the spot, I decided to make and freeze my own.
Here’s what I wish someone had told me: you can’t just cut up fresh pineapple, throw the pieces in a plastic bag, and toss the whole thing in the freezer. Because when you take it out, you will discover that the entire thing has frozen together into one giant fruited iceberg, making it impossible to pick off individual pieces without the use of a machete or ice pick. No bueno.
To get nicely separated frozen chunks, you must first lay them out on a single layer on parchment paper in a foil tin or other flat baking dish, cover that and freeze, and THEN take the single frozen pieces out and dump them in plastic bags for longer term freezer storage.
My containers of choice are these handy, shallow half-size aluminum steam pans, which I bought wholesale and in bulk from a restaurant supply store. They are reusable, come with their own lid and have an incredibly small footprint; shallow enough to squeeze into that often unused dead space in your freezer shelf atop other items, but just under the shelf above. (You’ll only be storing it there overnight, so there’s no reason to haul everything out of your freezer in order to stack this at the very bottom.) They are also just the right size for the narrower freezer shelves of side-by-side refrigerators.
Use whatever you have that’ll get the job done, just make sure you line the bottom, assemble everything in a single layer and cover it tightly to avoid freezer burn.
Remember all this, because you’re going to need it later for the quiz. In a future post, I’m going to show you how I use these homemade frozen pineapple chunks in a luscious antioxidant smoothie that will blow your hair back.
Hint: purple is the new green.