Grapes are a delicious, healthy snack that many people enjoy. They are convenient, easy to eat, and full of nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin K, antioxidants, and fiber.
Unfortunately, grapes don’t have a very long shelf life and tend to spoil within a few weeks. This leads many people to wonder: Can you freeze grapes to extend their lifespan? The good news is, yes, you can absolutely freeze grapes! Read on to learn everything you need to know about properly freezing and storing grapes.
Should you freeze grapes?
Freezing grapes is an excellent way to preserve them for several months. Grapes typically only last around 2 weeks when refrigerated. By freezing grapes, you can keep them fresh for up to 9 months.
This prevents food waste and allows you to enjoy delicious grapes year-round, even when they are out of season.
There are a few key benefits to freezing grapes:
- Extends shelf life significantly
- It allows you to buy grapes in bulk when in season and save money.
- Provides access to grapes anytime, even when out of season.
- Maintains many nutrients, like antioxidants and vitamin C.
- Preserves texture and flavor relatively well.
- Easy to thaw and use frozen grapes as needed.
Overall, freezing is a simple and efficient method for preserving fresh grapes. The process takes minimal effort, requiring just a few steps of preparation before packing and storing the frozen grapes.
The only downside is that the texture changes slightly when thawed. But the nutrients, sweet flavor, and convenience make up for the minor change in texture for most people.
What types of grapes work best for freezing?
Most common table grape varieties freeze well, but some are better choices than others. The best grapes to freeze include:
- Red seedless grapes: Their thinner skins freeze solid without getting mushy. Popular options are flame, crimson, and red globe.
- Black seedless grapes: varieties like Black Beauty, Concord, and Thompson freeze nicely. Their sweet flavor intensifies when frozen.
- Green seedless grapes: Sweet green grapes like Sugraone and Cotton Candy hold up great when frozen and thawed.
Some seeded varieties, like Red Globe or black Concord grapes, also freeze well. Avoid thin-skinned grapes like Champagne grapes; their skins can turn mushy during freezing.
How to Select and Prepare Grapes for Freezing
Picking high-quality grapes is key to delicious frozen grapes. Look for fresh, ripe grapes that are:
- Firm with no mushy spots
- Still attached to pliant green stems
- Free of bruises and damage
- A deep, vibrant color
Wash them gently in cool water before patting them thoroughly dry. Spread grapes in a single layer on towels so they freeze individually rather than clumped together.
Consider cutting grapes into halves or quarters and removing the seeds prior to freezing, if desired. This is more time-consuming, but some people prefer seedless frozen grapes.
How to Freeze Grapes the Right Way
Freezing grapes is easy, but there are some tips and tricks to do it properly for the best results:
1. Select high-quality grapes
Pick grapes that are ripe, fresh, and free of bruises or damage. Overripe or damaged grapes will become mushy when frozen and thawed.
2. Wash the grapes
Rinse the grapes thoroughly under cool water. This removes any dirt, residues, or bacteria that could negatively impact the quality and shelf life. Pat the grapes dry with a clean towel.
3. Remove grapes from stems
For easier, long-term storage, remove the grapes from the stems. The stems can turn brown or break down over an extended period of time.
4. Dry the grapes
Spread the washed grapes out in a single layer on a towel or baking sheet. Gently pat any water droplets dry. Excess moisture can cause grapes to freeze together in a clump.
5. Prepare storage containers.
Use freezer-safe zip-top bags, plastic containers, or glass jars. Make sure they are completely clean and dry. Glass jars are best for the longest freezing time.
6. Pack and seal the grapes
Place grapes in a single layer in bags or containers without overcrowding. Squeeze out excess air and seal tightly. This prevents freezer burn.
7. Label and date the containers.
Clearly label the type of grape and date. This makes it easy to track and use within the recommended time.
8. Freeze promptly
Place containers of grapes in the freezer right away. Grapes should freeze fully within 24 hours. Stack containers to conserve space as needed.
9. Use within the recommended time.
For best quality and texture, use frozen grapes within 8–12 months. The skin can eventually break down and become discolored or mushy.
Follow these tips properly, and your frozen grapes will be delicious and nutritious anytime!
Storing frozen grapes
For best quality, be sure to store frozen grapes properly.
- Maintain a temperature of 0°F (-18°C) or below.
- Keep grapes in airtight freezer containers or bags.
- Place containers near the bottom or back of the freezer, where the temperature is most stable.
- Avoid over-packing containers, which can crush grapes.
- Label grapes with type and date before freezing.
Avoid temperature fluctuations and frost buildup, which can degrade texture over time. Eat within 10–12 months for optimal freshness and taste.
Serving Ideas for Frozen Grapes
Frozen grapes make healthy, convenient snacks straight from the freezer. They can also be used in many fun recipes.
- Add it to smoothies for a thick, icy texture.
- Mix into fruit salads for a cool crunch.
- Blend into cold, non-alcoholic cocktails and mocktails.
- Make into sorbet or homemade popsicles.
- Bake into breads, muffins, or scones.
- Top yogurt parfaits or chia seed pudding
- Mix into oatmeal, granola bars, or trail mixes.
The options are endless for enjoying the sweet taste of frozen grapes!
Frequently Asked Questions About Freezing Grapes
Freezing grapes is simple, but some common questions come up. Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions:
How long do frozen grapes last?
Frozen grapes will maintain quality and texture for about 8–12 months if stored properly at 0°F (-18°C) or below. The sugars and acids help prevent deterioration. Much longer than a year, and texture and flavor can decline.
Can you refreeze grapes after thawing?
It’s best not to refreeze grapes more than once. Thawing and refreezing grapes further breaks down cell walls. This leads to a mushier texture and a faster quality decline. Use thawed grapes within a few days.
Do you have to blanch grapes before freezing?
No, blanching grapes is unnecessary. Blanching is typically used for vegetables, not fruits. The thin skins of grapes freeze just fine without blanching. Simply wash, dry, and pack grapes without blanching first.
Should grapes be frozen with or without the stems?
Remove the grapes from the stems before freezing. Stems can discolor and degrade over several months in the freezer. Stemless grapes also stack and bag more efficiently.
Can frozen grapes be juiced or made into jam?
Yes! Frozen grapes work great for juicing, jams, smoothies, baked goods, or any other recipes. Thaw first for easier juicing and blending. The skins will be softer than fresh grapes.
Is the skin or texture different when grapes are thawed?
The skins will be slightly softer after freezing and thawing. The textures get a bit more waterlogged than fresh grapes. But the flavor remains similar, and they are still delicious frozen treats.
Do you have to thaw grapes before eating?
Grapes can be eaten frozen straight from the freezer as a cold, icy snack. But allowing them to thaw for 10–20 minutes makes them easier to chew. Microwaving briefly also speeds thawing if desired.
Can you freeze grapes with the seeds inside or out?
Grapes can be frozen whole, with seeds inside. This is easier than seeding. Some people prefer to cut grapes in halves or quarters and remove the seeds first. It’s up to personal preference.
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.