I hope everyone is staying healthy and enjoying fresh vegetables. I know many of you are buying bulk and starting to feel the pressure to use everything. Never fear if you can't use all your produce there are many different ways to preserve fresh vegetables and fruits for a long time. Over the next weeks I am going to start sharing ways to preserve your produce. First off my favorite and go to for quick food processing FREEZING.
Shell, wash and blanch 1 minute. Chill in iced water 1 minute. Drain and place on tray in a single layer. Freeze for 30 minutes. Transfer to freezer bags, remove air, label and seal.
Clean well and remove all silk. Cut off top of cob. Wash, blanch a few cobs at a time for 5-7 minutes, depending on size. Chill in iced water 5-7 minutes. Drain and wrap each cob in plastic wrap. Pack in freezer bags, remove air, label and seal.
SPINACH AND COOKING GREENS
Wash well and trim leaves from stalks. Blanch in small quantities of boiling water for 1 minute. Chill in iced water for 1 minute. Drain and place on tray in a single layer. Freeze for 30 minutes. Transfer to freezer bags, remove air, label and seal.
Peel and trim young, tender turnips. Cut to required size and blanch 3 minutes. Chill in iced water for 3 minutes. Drain and place on tray in a single layer. Freeze for 30 minutes. Transfer to freezer bags, remove air, label and seal.
Wash, remove seeds and cut into slices or leave whole. Place on a tray in a single layer. Freeze for 30 minutes. Pack in freezer bags, remove air, label and seal.
BROCCOLI or CAULIFLOWER
Choose tender young heads with no flowers and tender stalks. Wash well and divide into sprigs. Blanch 3 minutes in boiling water. Cool in iced water for 3 minutes. Drain. Spread on tray in single layer. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent the smell from permeating the freezer. Freeze 30 minutes. Pack in freezer bags, remove air, seal and label.
Wash well and divide into sprigs. Drain. Pack in freezer bags, remove air, seal and label. Keeps up to 6 months. Great for stir-fry!
Scrub new potatoes. Cook in boiling water until almost done. Drain, cool, pack in freezer bags. Seal, label and freeze.
Slice and deep fry 4 minutes. They should be tender but not browned. Drain and cool on paper towels. Place on a tray in a single layer and freeze 30 minutes. Pack in freezer bags, remove air, label and seal. (Freeze up to 3 months.)
Prepare mashed potatoes. (Freeze up to 3 months.)
Peel and chop in food processor. Pack into plastic containers with tight fitting lids. Label and freeze. Great for a fresh garden salsa.
Wash thoroughly. Freeze whole and unpeeled on a tray. Transfer to freezer bags once fully frozen.
Wash and remove the ends of the tomatoes. Blanch (drop in boiling water until skins wrinkle). Remove the skins. Freeze whole or chopped in bags.
NOTE: Frozen tomatoes should be used in cooked recipes only. Freezing changes the texture and makes them too soft for eating raw.
Cut into slices, sprinkle with salt and allow to stand 30 minutes. Drain off excess liquid and fry gently in butter or margarine until just tender. Cool and pack into plastic containers. Seal and label. (Keeps up to 3 months.)
Shell and wash. Blanch in boiling water for 1½ minutes. Cool in iced water for 1-2 minutes. Place on tray in a single layer and freeze for 30 minutes. Pack into freezer bags, remove air, seal and label.
ZUCCHINI AND OTHER SQUASH
Wash and chop to desired size. Then, blanch for three minutes; allow to cool; and freeze in an air-tight container.
Only freeze young tender beets, not more than 2-3 inches across. Cook until tender and slice. Cool and transfer to plastic containers. Label.
Wash and trim off stems. Blanch in boiling water 3-4 minutes. Cool in iced water 3-4 minutes. Drain and pack in freezer bags. Remove air from bags, seal and label.
5 STEPS TO FREEZING ONION
STEP 1: GET OUT ALL OF YOUR EQUIPMENT AND ONIONSHere’s what you’ll need to bulk prep onions for the freezer:
STEP 2: START DICING OR SLICINGNow you can start doing your thing.
STEP 3: LABEL YOUR FREEZER BAGS with 3 pieces of information:
STEP 4: BAG THE ONIONSSTEP 5: PUT THE ONIONS IN THE FREEZERWhen your onions are in the bags, you can remove as much air as possible and close them tight. I like to push the onions down flat so I can stack the bags in the freezer. This also makes it so much easier to break off small amounts of onion as needed.
FAQ ABOUT FREEZING ONIONSYou probably have some more questions about freezing onions, so I have addressed some that I had when I first started doing this.
DO YOU NEED TO BLANCH THEM?From my research, I’ve found you don’t need to blanch onions before freezing them.
WHAT ABOUT THE SMELL?This can be a huge concern for some people, and others, like myself, don’t really mind the smell.
If you don’t really care, you can use one freezer bag to store the onions and then keep all the bags of onions in one spot in your freezer, away from things that could potentially be affected by the smell of the onions, like fruit. You will just have to realize that the onions may cause your freezer to stink for about a week after you store them in there. In my experience, the fridge doesn’t smell if it’s attached to the freezer where you’re storing the onions.
If you are concerned about the smell, there are a couple of things you can try. If something doesn’t work, try something else!
HOW LONG CAN YOU FREEZE ONIONS?The standard for freezing most vegetables is about 3 months. If you cook at home most of the time, you’ll probably be able to use all the onions within a month or two. Be aware that the taste of the onions may be altered somewhat after spending too much time in the freezer.
CAN YOU USE FROZEN ONIONS IN FRESH DISHES LIKE SALSA OR SALAD?No, you should only use frozen onions in dishes where you will be cooking them. The texture of the frozen onions will be different than fresh, so you won’t want to use them in anything where they will be eaten raw.
Credits to: https://www.meetpenny.com/2011/01/what-freezes-fresh-vegetables/
Recipes for life's kitchen.
Cooked by ME! Ashley Lynn Crossman author of multiple popular cook books. This is a selection of food and recipe posts from my Instagram feed @FreshFitLocal