Freezing Vegetables: What You Need to Know
Freezing your vegetables is an excellent way to preserve them for future use, but if you're not careful, improper storage may lead to soggy veggies, unsuitable for serving.
Follow these steps the next time you are batch sealing fresh market buys and fresh garden picks.
Be Sure to Blanch
Before you vacuum seal vegetables for long-term storage in the freezer, it's imperative to blanch them first. The National Center for Home Food Preservation reported that blanching, or the boiling of vegetables in water or steam, is crucial to ensure that the foods remain fresh when frozen, as the action inhibits enzymes that may cause discoloration or loss of flavor. In addition, the process both cleans and softens the vegetables, making them easier to store.
Blanching techniques and times vary by the type of vegetable in question. The NCHFP recommends water blanching for the majority of vegetables. Using one gallon of water per pound of vegetables, bring a pot to boil then add the trimmed vegetables. When the water begins to boil again, follow the recommended blanching times. It's imperative to research blanching times before boiling vegetables, as improperly prepared foods will not freeze correctly.
Store in Portions
Rather than freezing vegetables whole, prepare them for use before vacuum sealing. After blanching, cut your vegetables into appropriate portions, whether by measurements or pounds, so that they’re ready for cooking when you need them. Be sure to keep a permanent marker handy to mark how much you've placed in each bag.
If you're freezing corn on the cob, blanch the cob in its entirety first. After it's cooled, use a large knife to separate kernels from the ear to make the preservation process more effective. Other large vegetables - such as peppers, eggplant or squash - should be cut into small pieces for proper storage.
FoodSaverⓇ Fresh Containers For Fridge
To protect your vegetables from oxygen exposure and other harmful compounds found in the air, it's essential to store them in an airtight container. Using your FoodSaverⓇ Food Preservation System together with FoodSaverⓇ Fresh Containers is the best way to keep veggies fresh longer when stored in the fridge. This short-term preservation process keeps the contents fresh and tasty so you can enjoy them without the threat of food waste.