Are you overwhelmed by the amount of zucchini that is growing in your garden? How on earth are you going to eat all of it? Freezing fruits and vegetables is a great way to save time, money and waste!
If you don’t have your own garden, you may notice at certain times of the year, prices on specific fruit and veggies go down or there is an abundance of it at the Farmer's Market. That’s because it’s in season- and it's the perfect time to stock up! Freezing produce for your family can save you money, help with food prep in the future and gives your family great “fresh” produce all year round.
Here are some Tips for Freezing Vegetables and Fruits
First be sure to wash all pieces and dry them thoroughly.
Have freezer containers on hand. You can choose to use freezer specific storage baggies, plastic containers that seal tight or vacuum sealer bags.
You will also need freezer space.
Techniques for Freezing Produce
Flash Freezing: This technique is generally best for fruit. It will help you avoid the one big lump of frozen produce mess. To flash freeze, lay the items out on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer. When they have just frozen, take out and place in your tight sealing container. This way your berries, bananas or strips of green peppers will be in individual pieces not a big frozen clump.
Raw vs. Cooked: Generally speaking, fruit is best frozen raw as are most veggies. However there are some vegetable that are better “blanched” first. To blanch a vegetable, place it in a pot of water. Just when the water begins to boil, take out the vegetables and place them under cold water. This will help retain the sugars and nutrients in the vegetable.Corn, for instance, it best blanched and then cut off the cob.
Meal Prep Packets: Another way to freeze your produce is in easy meal prep packets. For instance, we love chili in the winter. So chop up the recipe amount of onions, red and green peppers and freeze them all together in one bag. Then they are ready to throw in the crock pot!
Favorite Fruits and Vegetables to Freeze
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Fresh picked raspberries for a mid-morning office snack