How to Freeze all Your Fresh Fruits and Veggies to Save Time and Money!
I recently came across an article where this woman was talking about freezing her chopped up fresh onions to save time and money. I thought it was so interesting because I never really think about freezing much that is fresh besides berries. I did know that one :) She talked about how she uses onions almost everyday in her recipes and really hates the time it takes to chop up an onion every single day. I can relate to the first thing, but can’t relate to her second. A lot of people do not like chopping up veggies and prepping food, but I am totally the opposite! For some reason I really love all the chopping and prepping. Am I alone here? Anyone with me on this one?
But the one thing I am guilty of is letting my produce go bad before I use it up. I really really despise throwing away produce that hasn’t been touched since the day I bought it. Sometimes things just get buried and I don’t see them, or life gets busy and we don’t end up eating healthy meals at home like I had planned. Or more accurately we end up eating neither healthy OR at home haha! ;)
Another thought came to mind as I was grieving all that poor poor produce that has gone to the trash far too often and dreaming of a new future where they can be happily saved is this--let’s be honest, sometimes I cook questionable veggies that are probably past their prime just to not waste them so I’m sure freezing them in their prime would indeed taste better than wrinkly, rubbery old veggies that have never been frozen.
So let’s get down to the nitty gritty of how and what can be frozen, which saves you money (not having to throw out perfectly good produce like me) and saves you prep time as well.
Stop letting those last corn cobs or tomatoes on the vine go to waste! You can freeze most vegetables! Prior to freezing, wash properly, separate if applicable, and dry. Blanching most vegetables will keep them at their peak. (Blanching means dropping the vegetables into boiling hot water, then immediately into ice water, then drying.) Dry and divide into easy portions. This way you can just take out of the freezer what you need for a recipe without worrying about the entire bag. Here’s a helpful chart that shows vegetable blanching times.
If properly stored, vegetables can last up to a year in your freezer. Leafy greens such as spinach, chard and kale can also be frozen. Just chop and blanch and store. You can even put them in ice cube trays for easy portions for stews and soups.
Here is a handy chart for blanching times for blanching before you freeze those veggies.’
One of my favorite things growing up was my neighbor grew a ton of corn and would give us probably 200 ears of corn every summer. I have very fond memories of shucking all that corn while my parents blanched, cut off the corn kernels, and bagged them for the freezer so we could enjoy fresh, delicious corn all throughout the year. It is so delicious and well worth the work.
Two for one sales on your favorite berries have you sad because you don’t know if you’ll go through them all? How about some great deals on seasonal fruits like mangoes that you want to enjoy all year without the price tag? All fruit can be frozen! Prior to freezing, wash properly, dry and divide into easy portions. This way you can just take out of the freezer what you need for a recipe without worrying about the entire bag.
If properly stored, fruit can last up to a year in your freezer. If you are going to use it in a smoothie, it can be frozen. It’s going to get blended smooth anyway so texture is not an issue. Berries of all kinds, bananas, apples, oranges, pineapple, kiwi, mango, peaches and nectarines, cherries, you name it, you can freeze it! Flash freezing is also helpful so you don’t get big chunks of fruit stuck together.
To flash freeze them you simply wash the blueberries (or whatever fruit you are doing), remove any errant stems, dry them a bit and then place them on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Then the cookie sheet with the blueberries goes into the freezer for 10-15 minutes or until the berries are partially frozen and somewhat firm. They can then be placed immediately in a freezer bag for storage.
I think it’s safe to say flash freezing all of the fruits is the way to go. That way your precious mango doesn’t end up being one big frozen glob.
Do you freeze your produce? Do you have any tips and tricks for the rest of us on the matter? Please feel free to share below!
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