Do You Know How To Freeze Produce Properly?
When you come across a great deal on fresh fruits and vegetables, take advantage of it by stocking up and freezing them. By purchasing when in season and on sale then freezing, you will be able to pass on not so great sales when they are no longer in season. This practice is great for those who garden as well, no more having to hand out or try to give your fresh vegetables and fruit away, freeze it and save money throughout the year.
Nothing beats eating fresh vegetables and fruit, but sticking them in the freezer allows you to maximize on the sales or stock of your garden. It is an easy way to preserve the nutritional values of your vegetables and fruit, without going through the canning process. You can use your vegetables in casseroles, sauté and make a side dish, toss in stews and soups, and more. Use your frozen fruits in your crisps and cobbler recipes, toss in cakes, top your yogurt, or whatever your heart desires!
How To Freeze Produce Properly
The general process to freeze produce is blanching or flash-boiling. This is a simple process that will stop the enzyme action, which can cause loss of flavor, color, and texture. It will keep your vegetables nice and bright, and limit the loss of nutrients. After you blanch, you need to cool them quickly to stop the cooking process.
- Wash produce well
- Blanch in boiling hot water, for a short time
- Shock produce by placing in an ice bath to stop the cooking process
- Pat dry your vegetables and fruit to get them as dry as possible
- Place in a freezer bag or using a vacuum sealer and then freeze
Vegetables and Fruit That Freeze Well
Some fruits and vegetables require no blanching. In that case, they just need to be washed, dried, and then they can be frozen. Below is a list of how each produce freezes the best.
Trim woody ends, blanch for 2-3 minutes.
Broccoli and Cauliflower
Peel and trim stalk, cut into smaller pieces, blanch 3 minutes.
Remove seeds and cut into desired pieces. Blanch 2-3 minutes.
Wash well and trim, blanch for 3-5 minutes.
Peel and cut into the size you want, and blanch for 3 minutes. If whole size carrots blanch for 5 minutes.
Husk corn and remove kernels and blanch for 2 minutes.
Blanch your peas for 1 1/2 minutes. Be sure to not overcrowd the pot or some will be overcooked and others undercooked.
Chard, Kale, And Spinach
Remove any woody stems, rib, and chop if you want. Blanch 2-3 minutes.
Trim stems and blanch, 3 minutes.
slice and cube, blanch for 4 minutes.
Blanch whole for 2-3 minutes.
Remove the core, no blanching needed.
Zucchini and Squash
Cut into 1/2 in slices, and blanch 2-3 minutes.
Shell and blanch for 2-3 minutes.
Trim stems and blanch 4-5 minutes.
Trim any woody ends, cut into 1-inch pieces. Then just freeze, no blanching.
Blackberries, Blueberries, Strawberries, and Raspberries
Wash, and pat dry, no blanching. Lay out in one layer and freeze on a cookie sheet. Once they are frozen, place in a bag in the freezer.
Remove from stem, wash and then pat dry, no blanching. Lay out in one layer and freeze on a cookie sheet. Once they are frozen, place in a bag in the freezer.
Nectarines, Peaches & Plums
Remove the pits and then freeze. If you want the peels gone from the fruit, blanch for 1 minute.
Remove stems and pit and freeze.
Peel first and then slice into the size you want, store in freezer bag.
Peel first and then cut it up and freeze, no blanching.
Peel and cut into the size you want, then freeze.
Core and cut up into the size you want and freeze.
Do you freeze produce, what are your favourite fruits and vegetables to freeze? Let me know in the comment section below!