How To Freeze Your Vegetables Properly
Have you ever been so enamored by fresh vegetables that you wound up buying more than you could consume? You're not alone. It's really hard to say "no" to buying fresh, beautiful veggies when they're in season, but most especially when they're affordable! No matter how affordable or beautiful though, we can really only eat so much veggies in a day or week. Often, this leads to heartbreak over discovering that your once joyous purchases have gone bad. We know your pain. You don't have to go through that again.
You just have to freeze your veggies!
Freeze vegetables so you can enjoy them for weeks, but to properly freeze them, you have to prep them first. Here's how:
1 Clean your veggies.
Wash the vegetables thoroughly, trim off stems, and cut into smaller pieces as needed.
2 Blanch your veggies.
You'll also need to blanch them first as this slows down the action of enzymes that can make vegetables lose flavor, color, and texture.
To start, boil water in a pot. Depending on your vegetable, take a look at the list below to determine how long to cook each in the boiling water and how you cut them which will differ:
Tomatoes need to be dipped in boiling water for 30 seconds, peeled, cored, and cut into quarters.
Carrots must be diced or cut into strips and blanched for 2 minutes.
For green beans, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, okra, mustasa, and spinach, blanch them for 3 minutes.
Corn kernels take 4 minutes to blanch. If you're keeping them on the cob, take 9 to 10 minutes.
Sitsaro and fresh green peas need about 1 ½ minutes.
Pumpkins and potatoes should be cooked until tender.
3 Cool them down.
After the right amount of minutes of blanching, halt the cooking process. Do this by plunging the vegetables in an ice bath right after blanching.
4 Freeze them.
Remove from water, drain and dry thoroughly, then freeze in single layers on a baking sheet. Make sure your freezer isn't too crowded so the vegetables will freeze quickly.
5 Store them.
Once frozen solid, you can transfer them to freezer-safe containers and bags.
6 Use them!
When your dish calls for a certain vegetable, just add it straight to the pan.
Here are more tips to freezing your veggies:
Freeze them at their freshest.
After you get your groceries down, ask yourself: can you actually use up all these veggies in time? Did you overshop again? If the answer is "yes", freeze your veggies. You want to freeze your veggies while they're at their prime. Freezing a fruit or veggie, unless it's a banana for baking, that's about to spoil won't do you any good.
Crank up your freezer.
It needs to be really cold in your fridge. The colder the better! This will lessen the amount of time it takes for your veggies to fully freeze. The longer it takes to freeze, the more likely you'll get mushy veggies once you thaw them for use.