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Monday, January 18, 2010

Freezing Vegetables for Storage

Freezing vegetables usually requires blanching in boiling water, cooking, or steam blanching prior to freezing. After blanching, cool in ice water for 1 1/2 times the blanching time.
Start counting your blanching time as soon as the vegetable is placed in hot water or a steamer. Use the best quality freezer bags or containers to prevent freezer burn. I use my Food Saver. Squeeze as much air as possible from your bags before freezing. You can stack bags in a box before putting into the freezer. Make sure you label your bags with the vegetable name and the date. Use the vegetables within 8-12 months.

These are the blanching times for vegetables that I have previously frozen.:

Asparagus – Blanch medium stalks 3 minutes; large stalks 4 minutes

Bean Pods – Blanch 3 minutes

Broccoli/Cauliflower – Remove tough leaves; Remove ends; Slice stalks lengthwise; blanch 3 minutes or steam 5 minutes

Brussels sprouts – Soak in salt brine* for ½ hour; Blanch small for 2 minutes; medium for 4 minutes; large for 5 minutes

Cabbage – Blanch wedges for 3 minutes; shredded for 1 ½ minutes

Carrots – Trim, wash and scrape the carrots; dice or slice them; blanch for 2 minutes

Corn on the Cob – Blanch small ears 7 minutes; medium 9 minutes; large 11 minutes

Herbs – Wash and drain, but don’t blanch; wrap sprigs or leaves in foil, or seal in a plastic bag; put inside a carton or glass jar in your freezer

Peas – Green 1 ½ minutes; Sugar Pods, Blanch for 1 ½ to 3 minutes depending on size; Remove the strings from pods before blanching.

Green and Red Peppers – Cut in two and remove seeds; Blanch halved peppers 3 ½ minutes – these work great for stir fry or fajitas.

Squash – Wash, cut into pieces, remove seeds, and bake until tender; After cooling, scoop out the pulp from the rind and freeze

Potatoes – Don’t freeze well unless prepared as food first, such as French fries, hash browns; for new potatoes, wash and scrape skins off, then blanch 4 minutes for very small up to 10 minutes for very large – eat frozen new potatoes within one month for best flavor and texture

Zucchini/Yellow Squash– Cut into pieces, then blanch for 3 minutes

Tomatoes – Wash and core your tomatoes; cut them up; Don’t blanch, cook until soft

When I have an abundance of avocado I make guacamole and then just freeze it. Make sure you add lemon or lime juice to help minimize darkening.

Here is the link to my post on freezing fruit for storage.


ladyinred said...

Thanks for all the great info! Could you elaborate on making hashbrowns ahead? Is it as simple as just running a potato over a grater then freezing? Thanks.

Sherri said...

For hashed browned potatoes, prepare as you would to serve, only brown them only to the point where they first really start to brown. Cool and package for freezing. When you want to use them, finish cooking and browning as you would normally.

The Carlsens said...

I am unfamiliar with what blanching means. I just bought a big bag of broccolli at costco and am regretting it. I know I should freeze it otherwise all that money will go to waste. Could you help me? THanks


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