Every summer season, we plant a large garden in our backyard. As we became more proficient with our gardening skills, the larger our garden grew.
A few years ago, we decided to invest in a large upright freezer so that we could preserve our fresh vegetables for later use. Freezing is the most time efficient way to preserve foods at home. It is important to note that freezing does not improve the quality of foods, but when properly done it can preserve most of the quality of the fresh product.
Here are the steps that you need to take so you can freeze your own vegetables.
1. Choose vegetables that are at their peak of flavor and texture. Avoid any over-mature vegetables or ones that have any type of damage.
2. Wash your vegetables under cold running water. If desired, you can purchase and use a fresh produce rinse to remove dirt, bacteria and pesticide residue that might be on your vegetables. Pat dry.
3. Peel, remove seeds and slice vegetables to the desired size.
4. Blanche vegetables in a large covered stockpot of boiling water. Different vegetables require a different length of blanching time.
Water Blanching Times
Cabbage 3 minutes
Green Peas 2 minutes
Asparagus 2-3 minutes
Beans 2 minutes
Broccoli 2 minutes
Carrots 2-4 minutes
Cauliflower 2 minutes
Celery 2 minutes
Summer Squash 2 minutes
Sweet Peppers 2 minutes
Corn 4 minutes
Eggplant 4 minutes
5. As soon as blanching is complete, cool the vegetables quickly to stop the cooking process. To cool, drain the vegetables in a strainer, and then plunge into a container of ice water. Cool them for the same amount of time as they were blanched. Drain thoroughly, pat dry and freeze up to 9 months in re-useable plastic containers that are made for freezer use.
Shelly Hill and her husband enjoy planting a garden in their backyard every summer. You can find some easy recipes by visiting Shelly’s recipe blog or contact her through her website.