It's that time again when people are clearing out the rest of their gardens and getting their food frozen and/or canned for the winter. Whether you are freezing tomatoes, corn, pears, peaches, strawberries, green beans, or any other vegetables or fruits, following a few certain guidelines will help make those frozen fruits and frozen vegetables be super fresh when it's time to pull them out for a big holiday dinner! Take a look at our How To Freeze Fruits and Vegetables tips below.
A Guide for Freezing Fruits and Vegetables
If you follow a few quick tips, you can make sure that you have fresh tasting vegetables and fruits out of the freezer when you need them for Thanksgiving dinner or your Christmas parties. Below are some quick tips on how to get the most out of your garden using your freezer!
Freeze When They Are at Their Most Fresh
First off, make sure that you don't let the vegetables or fruits sit on the counter for a few days before you decide to freeze them. We know how it happens: You are deciding whether or not you will be able to eat them before nature takes its course. If you wait too long, you will lose the ability to eat them at that moment or even get to freeze them. And, as they say, waste not, want not! You don’t want to freeze fruits and vegetables that are starting to decline in freshness, so get a move on!
Be Sure to Blanch Your Vegetables
What is Blanching, you ask? Blanching is when you scald vegetables in boiling water, quickly remove them, and plunge them in iced water to halt the cooking process. You will drop the vegetables in salted boiling water for 1-2 minutes and you must have a large bowl of iced water at the ready! Ice the vegetables for 1-2 minutes and get them out to dry. Once that it complete, you are free to start freezing your veggies!
The Container is Key
There are multiple containers that you can use to freeze your vegetables or fruits, but we suggest using our BPA Free Food Grade Freezer Container. Although some fruits and vegetables will do great in freezer bags, we find that for storing and arranging in your freezer or deep freeze, containers are the best bet for stacking and arranging.
Don’t Forget the DATE!
One thing that you cannot forget: Be sure to date your containers with a marker! The last thing that you want is to have put the time into growing it and freezing it and eventually throwing it away because you don’t know how old it is. We suggest putting the date and month on the top of the container to let you know when it was frozen.
Pack them tight!
When placing the fruits or vegetables in the containers, be sure to pack them tight. You want the smallest amount of air left in the package as possible. This will help keep them fresh for when it is time to thaw!
Should I Cook Any of the Vegetables?
Some vegetables do great just being blanched and then frozen, but some do great being cooked and then frozen...if you have the right recipe. One great example is corn that is cut off of the cob. After you cut the corn off of the cob, heat up a large skillet and melt a half cup of butter in the pan. Once the butter is completely melted, add the corn to the skillet and stir well. Add salt and pepper to taste and cook for 10-12 minutes on medium heat. Once it is cooked, let it cool completely and freeze for those large family get togethers!*
*To add a little bit more flavor to spice up the recipe, try adding in some chopped tomatoes and/or some green pepper or jalapeno. This is a great way to give it some Southwest flare!
Do you have any tips or tricks for freezing fruits or vegetables? Let us know in the comments below!