Freeze Vegetables and Taste Summer All Year Long.
You can freeze vegetables while they are in season and at the peak of freshness to preserve nature's bounty. Bulk freezing of veggies, particularly home grown or local veggies can keep your grocery costs reasonable all year while your family enjoys out of season produce.
They are great for side dishes, soups, casseroles and other recipes where the veggies are cooked but can not be used in place of fresh vegetables in dishes like salads.
How to Freeze Vegetables
In Season Vegetables
Prepare veggies for blanching by removing any over or under ripe pieces.
Blanching can be done by steam or in water. Microwave blanching gives inconsistent results. Count the time for water blanching when the water returns to a boil. Count the time for steam blanching from the moment the lid goes on. Use a timer, don’t guess.
University of Missouri Extension is a great resource and has recommend times for blanching vegetables before freezing, approximate yields of frozen veggies from fresh and cooking times for frozen vegetables.
Shock or Cool Vegetables
As a general rule cool vegetables for the same amount of time as you blanched them. To test cut a veggie in half and feel the center to see if it is cool.
Having enough ice on hand can make this faster. You can freeze small bowls or pans of water ahead. Glass pans like loaf pans are great for this. I also recommend a very large bowl or bucket for cooling, since the sink might be needed for other things.
Dry and Freeze Vegetables
Pack in Useable Sizes
Then place flash frozen veggies in a large freezer bag and you can pour out as many as you need at any time.
Or vegetables can be frozen in plastic bags or containers in sizes your family can use in one meal. Put veggies in the bag and place directly in the freezer.
For best results you want to freeze vegetables fast. Faster freezing means smaller ice crystals which means less damage to the cells of the vegetables.
Do not stack your vegetable packs until after they are frozen. The ones in the middle will take much longer to freeze. Also freezing the bag flat on it’s side makes it easier to stack later and thus takes less freezer space.
How Long to Store Frozen Vegetables
Do not thaw frozen vegetables, cook from their frozen state.
Techniques for Freezing Specific VeggiesOnions