My neighbor gave me some fresh eggplants from her garden. It’s quite a lot to use for one cooking. I am also very busy and I do not have time to cook every day. How do I store it to keep its freshness? Would it be okay if I freeze it?
Eggplants or any vegetable are better eaten when fresh from the garden, but not many people have the time. Freezing a vegetable is actually the recommended method to preserve it long-term.
Eggplant can be frozen, but it is not ideal to freeze it as a whole. You can freeze an eggplant by peeling, cutting them into slices, and then blanching them. Pack them in air tight bags and throw them into the freezer. Some leftover eggplant meals can also be kept in the freezer.
Can You Freeze Eggplant?
Freezing an eggplant is the best way to make it last longer. Another way of preserving eggplant is by dehydrating it.
In case you do not use the eggplant after harvesting and did not freeze it, be sure to put it in the refrigerator or put ice on it.
Thawing an eggplant would depend on the recipe you are trying to make and the thickness of the slices you cut them. Thin frozen slices could be cooked directly.
Eggplants could last for 3 to 5 days in the fridge, and could last for 6 to 8 months when frozen.
Frozen eggplant would not retain its shape once it is thawed. Some would become watery when defrosted. It would be best to make the dish first before freezing it.
It is ideal to cook an eggplant immediately after thawing it, and it would be better to store your desired amount in separate bags so you only defrost the number of slices you need.
How to Freeze Eggplant
Freezing an eggplant is simple and requires minimal steps. Here’s how you do it:
- Rinse a fresh eggplant in cold running water and pat dry.
- Peel the eggplant’s skin (optional). Some people like the skin’s flavor while others don’t. It all depends on your preference. If you do want the skin removed, peel before slicing and freezing.
- Cut the eggplant into slices.
- Fill 2/3 of a pot with water and boil.
- Pour ½ cup of lemon juice (½ cup lemon juice for every 4 liters of water) to avoid discoloration.
- Blanch the eggplants for 4 minutes.
- After the allotted time, transfer the eggplant in a bowl of ice water and let it stay for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Remove them from the bowl and drain them on paper towels.
- Place the eggplant in freezer bags, seal well, and put it in the freezer.
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