Tired of watching your veggies lose their crispness and wilt away before you can savor their flavors? Buying in bulk can be a great way to save on cost, but the value only holds if your veggies don’t spoil before you can enjoy them. Fortunately, there’s a simple trick that can solve your produce preservation woes, and it all begins with your freezer!
Your freezer is a powerful produce-saving tool, but success hinges on using the right technique. Welcome to your crash course! We’ll explore everything you need to know about extending the shelf life of your produce using your freezer. Mastering the art of freezing produce not only helps you reduce food waste but also ensures a continuous supply of nutritious, freezer-fresh meals and sides, ready when you need them. Here’s how to freeze your produce properly to make it last longer.
Watch the video above to learn how to make produce last longer.
Spoiled fruit: How to keep fruit fresh longer
How to make produce last longer
- Freeze when fresh: When your vegetables are at their freshest, it’s the perfect time to preserve them.
- Prep your produce: Before freezing, wash, peel and chop your produce. Exceptions: Onions and peppers can be peeled and chopped without blanching, and for corn, just shuck before blanching (microwaving for 30 seconds can make shucking easier).
- Blanching benefits: Blanching is a quick cooking method that preserves nutrients and color. To blanch, simply bring water to a light simmer in a pot. Do not boil.
- Blanch the produce: Submerge your vegetables in the simmering water for a short time, usually just a couple of minutes. For a smaller dice, 30 seconds to a minute is sufficient.
- Ice bath: After blanching, immediately transfer the vegetables to a bowl of ice water. This stops the cooking process, locks in color, and preserves flavor.
- Drain and dry: Once completely cooled, drain excess water and place the vegetables in a freezer-safe bag. Lay the bags flat in the freezer to save space.
- Zero waste: Collect vegetable scraps in a bag for making vegetable stock later.
- Ready for use: When needed, toss the frozen vegetables into your favorite recipes or defrost them quickly for immediate use.
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