Gardening can be a lot of fun, but if you do it successfully, there will come a time when you have so many vegetables that you might not know what to do with them! You could give them away, but you don’t want to give them all away. You also don’t want to let them go bad in your fridge. Have you thought about freezing them instead? Almost anything can be frozen, including your vegetables and fruits.
Here are four simple tips for freezing your vegetables.
1. Select and wash vegetable, precook, following the directions in your regular recipes. Cooking helps to impede the enzyme action, helping to retain the color, texture, and flavor of the food.
2. To blanch, boil your vegetables in a large kettle with a lid. Use a minimum of 1 gallon of water for each pound of vegetables. Boil the water, and then place the vegetables in a blanching basket and lower into the water. Cover the lid and heat for one more minute. You will want to maintain high temperature during blanching, so keep the water boiling.
If you want to steam the vegetable, as I do with broccoli, use a pot with a lid, and a steamer basket or trivet placed three inches above the bottom. Add an inch or two of water in the pot to boil. Again, keep the temperature up during steaming.
3. Remove the vegetable immediately from the water or pot. Then plunge the basket of vegetables into a large quantity of ice water. Allow as much time for cooling as for blanching, and then drain the vegetables. The cold water stops the vegetables from continuing to cook.
4. Pack the vegetables lightly into freezer containers, leaving the appropriate space. Seal, label, and freeze when you have completed all the steps. You don’t want to forget what’s in there, so the label is really important!
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