Food Preservation: Freezing Veggies

How To Freeze Vegetables

One of the greatest joys of having a garden is enjoying the bounty long after the garden is gone and the snow has filled the beds.  Whether we're eating canned, frozen or root cellar-stored foods, the wonderful, fresh flavor reminds us that our garden work has paid off.

Freezing veggies is very easy, although not all vegetables are suitable for freezing.  I've outlined the most common vegetables that do well in the freezer, including any preparation and the amount of time for blanching - either by boiling or steaming.

Freezing Vegetables Guide 
Here's a brief how-to on freezing vegetables:

All vegetables should be fresh and at the peak of ripeness.  Freezing will not improve food quality.  Wash the vegetables and if they will be cut or trimmed, cut them into uniform sizes.  If you are going to put the frozen vegetables into one large bag or container, I like to freeze them first on a freezer paper-lined {parchment paper or waxed paper can work in a pinch, but can be difficult in releasing the frozen vegetables }baking sheet then transfer, once frozen, to the freezer bag/container.  If they will be frozen into single serving size containers, it's not necessary to first freeze on a tray. 

How To Freeze Green Beans

If you want to put squash puree into one large bag or container, put single serving size mounds onto the freezer paper lined baking sheet and freeze.  Once the mounds are frozen solid {a few hours}, transfer them to the container.

How To Freeze Corn

How To Freeze Squash

The process:
  • wash, trim or cut all veggies
  • prepare a large bowl with ice and cold water {for the ice bath}
  • blanche, if necessary, by either boiling or steaming.  Boiling = bring water to a rapid boil in a large pot, add vegetables {don't crowd the pot - you may have to do this in a few batches}, allow water to return to a boil and begin timing for the amount of time specified above.  Steaming = use a steamer pot or colander inserted into a pot.  Bring 4-5 inches of water to a boil under the steamer basket.  Place veggies in the steamer basket and begin timing once you cover the steamer basket with the lid.
  • regardless of which blanching method you use, you must stop the vegetables from cooking by plunging them into an ice-cold bath.
  • pour the cooled vegetables onto a clean towel and gently roll up the towel to remove excess moisture.
  • either freeze on freezer paper-lined baking sheets until completely frozen and then transfer to freezer safe bags or containers, or, transfer to single-serve freezer safe bags or containers.
  • seal, label and freeze.
  • **if using jars, leave headspace for possible expansion**
When unthawing any frozen vegetables, allow to thaw in the refrigerator overnight.  Most vegetables can be cooked straight from the freezer.




Additional Posts on Freezing the Bounty:
Freezing Green Beans
Freezing Peppers
Freezing Pumpkin or Squash Puree

2 comments:

Our Neck of the Woods said...

Great tips! Your freezer is looking nicely stocked. We have been getting in tomatoes like crazy! We love salsa, so that's where most of the tomatoes go around here. We have also made some tomato juice and frozen that.

luckybunny said...

Your freezer does look great! I can almost everything and rarely freeze stuff but since I can't do my normal canning this year I have decided to freeze more. So this was really helpful too!