Freezing Produce

05 . July .2013admin0 Comments

If you aren’t able to enjoy your harvest fresh from the garden right away, freezing your produce is a good alternative. But if you haven’t done this before, be sure you know the best methods for freezing different kinds of vegetables.

Start by removing stems, washing the veggies, peeling (if needed), and cutting into pieces according to how you plan to use them later.

If you want to freeze vegetables, you will need to know about blanching (not to be confused with another kind of blanching done while plants are still in the garden). This food preparation method is the best way to preserve freshness and taste in frozen veggies. This means boiling a big pot of water, adding salt, and then adding the vegetable pieces and boiling them for 30 seconds to 2 minutes (or more, depending on the size of vegetable). The idea is to break up certain enzymes before freezing, which requires the vegetable to reach a temperature of about 190 degrees F. After this step, you will quickly remove the veggies and soak them in a “shock bath” of cold, icy water to stop the cooking process. Drain the produce well before freezing.

Most produce should be blanched before freezing, but there are some exceptions. Peppers, onions, herbs, and tomatoes can be stored in the freezer without the blanching process.

Once they are ready for the freezer, pack your vegetables in freezer bags or a freezer-safe container. Your harvest should stay fresh for several months.

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