notes from maggie's farm
When the gardens start churning out fresh produce, you might just find yourself with more food on your hands than time to can it. An easy, quick solution is to freeze some of that bounty for later enjoyment. Below, find 5 Steps to Freezer Success-- Tips from The Kitchn.
Seize the Season
5 Steps to Freezer Success:
1. Pick Prime Produce - Choose vegetables at the peak of their season and when possible, freeze soon after harvesting.
2. Quickly Blanch - Cook the vegetables for a short amount of time in boiling water to stunt their ripening enzymes. Check out this master guide from Colorado State University for precise blanching times for a variety of vegetables.
3. Chill Throughly - Remove the vegetables from the boiling water and immerse in ice water until the temperature has fully come down. This may take as long as the veggies were immersed in boiling water -- don't rush it!
4. Pack Tightly - The way you package your vegetables for freezing can make or break the finished product. We recommend the tray method of spreading veggies on a sheet tray until frozen solid, and then transferring to a heavy plastic bag or other container.
5. Thaw Within a Year - Frozen veggies don't last indefinitely and while they won't become toxic if you forget the zucchini in the back of your fridge for 2 years, the thawed result won't taste as good as if you used it sooner.
Also, see Storing Fresh Tomatoes.
What are your favorite ways to extend the life of fresh produce?