Saturday, August 4, 2012

Freezing Vegetables

Most the the "gluten free" foods I consume are foods that are naturally gluten free, like fruits and vegetables.  I especially like fresh, homegrown or locally grown vegetables.

When our vegetable garden is producing more than we can eat fresh, I like to store the excess in the freezer.  This allows us to enjoy our fresh homegrown vegetables throughout the year. 

Since we don't grow all of the vegetables we like, I also purchase commercially frozen vegetables throughout the year.  I appreciate this convenience, but there is no comparrison between the taste of commercially frozen vegetables and homegrown vegetables, even after they've been frozen.

Processing the vegetables for the freezer requires submerging them in boiling water for a short time (blanching) before freezing.  This kills any bacteria that may still be on the vegetables after washing and deactivates the enzymes can cause the quality to degrade while the vegetables are in the freezer. 

Freezing doesn't stop the bacterial and enzymatic activity that reduces the quality of the vegetables during frozen storage, it just slows the process.  So blanching the vegetables is an important step.

We recently ate the last of last year's green bean harvest that had been in the freezer for ten months, and the beens were still fresh-tasting and delicious.

To process your fresh vegetables, first wash them thoroughly and trim into the desired size.


Place the vegetables into boiling water.  For green beans, leave in the boiling water for two minutes. 

Next, remove the vegetables from the hot water and drop into ice water.  This will stop the cooking process so that they don't overcook.  They should still be crunchy when packaged for the freezer.

When the vegetables are cool, remove them from the ice water and allow any excess water to drain off.

Package, and label, including the date.

Enjoy!

Cindy

For more delicious ideas, visit the Hearth and Soul Hop at Premeditated Leftovers and Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways.

3 comments:

  1. Great post! Your instructions are really clear and helpful, and I hope it will encourage folks to preserve some of their home harvest in the freezer. Frozen home grown veggies are a real treat in the winter months.

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  2. Great tips. I like to freeze as many of the vegetables from my garden as I can. It allows me to enjoy frugal veggies year round.

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