Apple puree is a nutritious and delicious baby food that can be made easily at home. Pureeing apples creates a smooth, sweet sauce-like consistency that babies can enjoy.
While fresh apple puree is best, it may not always be possible to use it up before it goes bad. Freezing is an excellent way to preserve homemade apple puree so you can have it on hand whenever you need it.
What is Apple Puree?
Apple puree is simply apples that have been cooked and mashed or blended into a smooth, creamy texture. The skins and seeds are removed before pureeing.
Apple puree can be made with any variety of apples, but sweeter types like Fuji, Gala, and Red Delicious work best. Tart apples like Granny Smith may need a touch of cinnamon or sweetener added.
The consistency of apple puree can range from thin and smooth to thick and chunky, depending on personal preference. Thinner purees work well for younger babies just starting solids, while thicker versions are great for infants over 6 months.
Apple puree provides babies with valuable nutrition, including:
- Vitamin C: for immunity and iron absorption
- Fiber is for healthy digestion.
- Potassium: for muscle function
- Antioxidants: for cell health
It also introduces babies to the sweet flavor of apples, helping them develop taste preferences for healthy foods. Apple puree can be served alone or combined with cinnamon, yogurt, oats, or other fruits like bananas.
Does Apple Puree Freeze Well?
Freezing is an excellent preservation method for homemade apple puree. The smooth, pureed texture freezes solidly with few texture changes once thawed.
Apples themselves have a high water content, which would normally cause ice crystals to form when frozen. However, pureeing breaks down the cell structure of the apples, releasing the water to create an evenly distributed, smooth puree.
This means frozen apple puree experiences minimal iciness or freezing damage. The texture remains smooth, creamy, and quite similar to fresh pureed apple sauce once thawed.
The natural sugars and acids in apples also help the puree maintain its flavor and color when frozen for several months. While freezing long-term may dull the bright color and flavor slightly, apple puree holds up better than most other fruits.
As long as it is prepared and frozen properly, apple puree can be stored in the freezer for up to 8 months without compromising quality or nutrition.
How to Freeze Apple Puree
Follow these simple steps for freezing apple puree:
- Choose apples.
Select apples that are ripe, sweet, and fresh. Softer varieties like Gala, Fuji, and Golden Delicious puree are best. Avoid mealy or bruised apples.
- Wash and prep
Rinse apples, remove stems, then core and chop into pieces. There is no need to peel unless desired.
- Cook apples.
Place chopped apples in a steamer basket or saucepan with just enough water to prevent burning. Cook over medium heat until very soft, about 10 minutes.
Transfer the cooked apples to a food processor or blender. Puree until completely smooth, adding a splash of cooking water as needed.
- Cool puree
Allow the puree to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled. Cold puree freezes better than warm.
- Portion puree
Scoop apple puree into freezer-safe containers, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Smooth the tops and remove excess air bubbles.
- Seal and label.
Secure lids tightly, then label containers with their contents and date.
Place sealed apple puree containers in the freezer. Freeze for up to 8 months.
Tips for Freezing Apple Puree
Follow these tips for best results with frozen apple puree:
- Choose firm, ripe apples for pureeing. Avoid mushy or bruised fruit.
- Cook apples until completely soft before pureeing. This prevents ice crystals.
- Puree to a very smooth, thin consistency. Thick purees are more likely to freeze solidly.
- Chill the puree fully before freezing. Cold puree freezes faster with fewer ice crystals.
- Use freezer-safe, rigid containers. Allow headspace for expansion. Secure the lids tightly.
- Label containers clearly with the contents and date. Use the oldest puree first when feeding the baby.
- Freeze for up to 8 months for best quality and nutrition retention.
- Thaw frozen puree overnight in the fridge, or warm gently on the stove or in the microwave.
Storing and Thawing Frozen Apple Puree
Proper storage and thawing are key to maintaining the quality and safety of frozen apple puree. Follow these guidelines:
- Keep frozen apple puree at 0°F or below. A freezer maintaining -10° to 0°F is ideal.
- Avoid temperature fluctuations, which can cause an icy texture from freezing and thawing.
- Store in airtight containers to prevent freezer burn over long freezing times.
- Thaw overnight in the refrigerator for 8–12 hours. This slowly thaws the puree while maintaining a cold temperature.
- You can also thaw the sealed bag under cool running water for 10–15 minutes. Puree should still feel chilled.
- Microwave puree in short 10-second bursts, stirring between, until thawed and warm.
- Warm over low heat on the stove, stirring frequently, until heated through. Do not boil.
- Once thawed, use within 1-2 days. Do not refreeze thawed apple puree.
Uses for Frozen Apple Puree
Frozen apple puree is ideal for babies starting solid foods, but it can also be used in many dishes and desserts, including:
- Mix into oatmeal, yogurt, cottage cheese, or cereals.
- Blend into smoothies for added nutrition and natural sweetness.
- Make homemade applesauce using frozen puree.
- Flavor pancakes, quick breads, and muffins by mixing a few tablespoons into the batter.
- Add it to baked goods like cakes, cookies, and pies in place of oil, butter, or liquid.
- Mix with spices and chill to create frozen apple popsicles.
- Puree with roasted squash or sweet potatoes for baby food combinations.
- Top waffles or crepes with warmed apple puree as a filling or sauce.
- Fill crepes with frozen apple puree that thaws while cooking for quick apple crepes.
With a stash of apple puree cubes in the freezer, you’ll always have access to this healthy, versatile ingredient for simple homemade baby foods and snacks.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does homemade apple puree last in the fridge?
Fresh, homemade apple puree will keep in the refrigerator for 3–5 days. Store it in an airtight container to help retain moisture and prevent it from browning.
Can you freeze apple puree without containers?
It’s best to freeze apple puree in airtight containers rather than in a solid block. Freezer bags or rigid plastic containers allow you to portion it out in usable amounts and prevent freezer burn.
What’s the best consistency for freezing apple puree?
A smooth, thin puree freezes best. Puree the apples to a thin applesauce or sauce-like consistency before freezing. Thick or chunky purees are more likely to become icy or freeze too solidly.
Can I substitute apple puree for oil in baking recipes?
Yes, apple puree can replace some or all of the oil, butter, or other fats in baked goods recipes. Use 1/4 cup apple puree to replace 1/4 cup oil or butter. It adds moisture and natural sweetness.
How long does it take to thaw frozen apple puree?
Apple puree takes about 8–12 hours to thaw in the refrigerator, 10–20 minutes under running cool water, or a few minutes microwaved in short bursts until warmed through. Stir gently to evenly distribute the temperature while thawing.
Is frozen apple puree safe for babies?
Homemade apple puree frozen properly at 0°F or below is safe for babies for up to 8 months. Thaw carefully and test the temperature before serving. Do not refreeze thawed puree. Only keep thawed portions in the fridge for 1-2 days.
Can you freeze apple puree in glass jars?
It’s best to avoid freezing apple puree in glass jars. The liquid expansion during freezing can cause glass jars to crack or break. Use plastic freezer-safe containers or bags that flex as the puree expands.
What apples work best for puree?
Good apple varieties for puree include Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp, and Braeburn. They have a nice balance of sweetness and low acidity. Tart apples like Granny Smith may need extra sweetening. Avoid mealy or mushy apples.
Is it okay to freeze apple puree with cinnamon or other mix-ins?
Yes, you can safely freeze apple puree combined.
Hi, I’m Julie, the passionate foodie and founder of Juliesfamilykitchen.com. I created this blog out of a drive to prove someone wrong, and then I realized how much I truly enjoy cooking and trying new recipes. In my free time, when I’m not running around after my kids or spending quality time with my partner, you can usually find me in the kitchen experimenting with new dishes.