07/07/2016 8:31 PM AEST | Updated 16/07/2016 2:30 AM AEST

This Is Why Frozen Fruits Should Be Your New Best Friend

Get the most out of your produce.

As part of HuffPost's “Reclaim” project, HuffPost Taste will focus the entire month of July on simple ways you can reduce food waste in your own home.

Summer is the best time to become well acquainted with your freezer. And no, we don't mean for sticking your head in to cool off.

With the abundance of fresh produce in season, you can take advantage of better prices and stock up. And if you're not able to finish the weekly produce you buy, freezing what's left over means you'll waste less food -- and save money, while you're at it. It also opens up the possibility of all kinds of new delicious recipes. 

Oh, Sweet Basil!
Frozen berries are perfect for smoothies and breakfast bowls. 

But first, you have to know how to freeze properly. You can't just stick a banana in the freezer and expect good things to come from it. (It's impossible to peel when frozen, btw.) 

To properly freeze your produce you'll want to skin, wash, dry and freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet. Once frozen you can store in a freezer-safe bag for up to six months. Food blogger Oh, Sweet Basil has a great tutorial on how to do this.

Once you have your freezer stocked with peak strawberries, melon and bananas, you can turn that bounty into smoothies, slushies, cocktails and more. Check out some recipe ideas below.

Sign this petition urging Walmart to sell “ugly” fruit and vegetables to reduce food waste.

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