Fresh produce has its season throughout the year. But, many like to enjoy their favorite fruits and vegetables when they are out of season as well. Fresh fruits and vegetables have more nutrition than canned. But, many don’t buy them because they spoil before you have time to use them.
The only way to do that and get great taste is to freeze them. Here are some tips for freezing fruits and vegetables to enjoy later.
Tips for Freezing Fruits and Vegetables
Choose fresh produce. Wait until you are about to prepare it before buying. You don’t want the fruits to go bad or else your food will not taste good. Wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly. If you have fruits with stems, remove these before using.
Choose your containers. You can use freezer bags if you want to. Avoid having air in your bags. Divide food into single portion sizes so you don’t have to unfreeze all of it just to use a small amount.
Don’t forget to date your packages. Most frozen fruits and vegetables can be stored for several months in the freezer without affecting the taste.
There is really no trick to freezing fruits. You simply wash them and divide them up into portions. Here are a couple of things to remember.
If you are going to use the fruit uncooked after freezing, sprinkle with sugar. This creates sweet syrup for using as a topping on desserts or eaten alone.
When the fruit is to be cooked in a recipe, create your own syrup before freezing. Mix sugar with water and pour it over the fruit. A plastic container may be better for storage than a freezer bag in this case.
The process for freezing vegetables is a little more involved but still quite easy to manage. Here are some steps to follow after washing your vegetables.
- Blanch them. Blanching is the process of cooking that allows you to preserve the flavor and color in your veggies. It involves adding vegetables to boiling water and salt. Avoid adding too much to the water and disrupting the boil.
- Prepare your cold water. While the veggies are boiling, place several ice cubes in a bowl with enough cold water to cover them.
- Remove veggies from the boil when they are beginning to cook. Place them in the cold water bath right away to shock them and stop the cooking process. Once they cool off, place them in your storage container.
When you are ready to use them, avoid cooking too long since they are already pretty much cooked. Try grilling or sautéing.