Whether you have your own garden, or you buy fresh from the store or farmer’s market, you just can’t get every vegetable all year long. Sometimes you have a recipe that you want to make year round but can’t get a hold of the fresh veggies needed to make it. Well in case you didn’t know, most vegetables can be frozen. Here are some tips on how to freeze vegetables that may help with the process.
You want to freeze vegetables as soon after picking or purchasing as possible. This ensures they are at the peak of freshness.
This is the general rule of thumb: Most vegetables that you will cook before serving can be frozen.
Preparing Your Vegetables to be Frozen:
When prepping vegetables to be frozen, make sure they are washed thoroughly. You also want to discard any that you wouldn’t eat at this time.
Blanch is a term in cooking that means to scald quickly in boiling water and then drain. You should blanch all vegetables before freezing. This helps to preserve as much of the vitamins as possible, and can keep the vegetables from getting too hard. Scalding time varies by vegetable. You can refer to a schedule put together by the HFP for specific Blanching Times by Vegetable.
You will want to cool the vegetables immediately after blanching. Do this by putting in cold water or running under cold water. You should cool for about as long as you scalded the vegetables.
Once cool drain as much of the water off the vegetables as possible before freezing and dry thoroughly.
Freezing Your Vegetables:
Package the vegetables in freezer bags or containers in the size you will want to use.
You will want to use heavy weight and air tight containers or bags.
Remove as much as the air as possible before sticking them in the freezer.
And freeze as soon as possible after packing.
Most vegetables can go from freezer to boiling water, though it seems that corn does better when allowed to thaw first.
So before you stop yourself from buying too many ears of corn because it’s on a great sale, think about freezing some and using it at a later date.