Veggies are crucial in almost any healthy, hearty dish I cook for my family. My grandmother visits every couple of weeks, bringing a lot of veggies with her from the province. Of course those fresh and organically grown vegetable are precious goods I cannot let go to waste. It would be amazing if I can freeze those instead of letting it spoil in the crisper
Mixed vegetables are available in frozen packs on the supermarket, so, of course, vegetables are allowed to be frozen. However, that’s only for corn, peas, and chopped carrots? How about those leafy greens that are that make any soup or salad healthy, fun, and refreshing? Of course there are ways to store them and preserve them for longer times than just letting them sit in the crisper. Luckily, freezing is also applicable to leafy greens.
Can You Freeze Vegetables?
Freezing vegetables is possible. It isn’t as easy as one-two step, though. There is a process called blanching, a necessary step for most vegetables, that has to be done before vegetables are frozen.
Vegetables should be frozen at the peak of their freshness. However, fresh vegetables obviously have active enzymes that keep the bright and fresh and healthy.
Blanching slows down the rate that these enzymes deteriorate the quality of your vegetables. This allows leafy greens and others to keep their fresh color for a longer time than in the crisper.
Blanching is letting your vegetables sit in boiling water or hot steam for a fixed amount of time and then soaking it in cold water after.
Each vegetable has a specific blanching time. Too long makes it loose its nutrients, flavor, and color, while blanching it for not enough time can catalyze the process of the enzymes. Underblanching is worse than not blanching your vegetables at all.
How to Freeze Vegetables
Have a reference for blanching times with you at all times when blanching vegetables to make sure it is blanched just right.
Here’s how to blanche and then freeze vegetables:
- Blanche vegetables in hot water for the recommended time.
- Use 1 gallon of water per pound of vegetables
- After the water boils and the time is up, let the vegetables cool down in ice-cold water
- Dry the vegetables and take them into portions
- After blanching vegetables, prepare a tray, a freezer bag or a freezer-safe container
- For tray packing, place veggies in flat trays or pans, not stacked, and let freeze
- Once firm, remove vegetables and transfer to freezer bags and freeze in the freezer
- For simple dry freezing, transfer portions of chilled vegetables into freezer bags or containers
- Place in freezer and leave until frozen
Remember to thaw frozen vegetables, raw or cooked, inside the fridge.
Also, label vegetables on when you froze them to avoid forgetting when they’ll spoil, and food wastage.
Frozen vegetables are very enjoyable as garnish, or ingredients for any dish.
Stir fry vegetables with your favorite chicken and sauce and you’re good to go. Add egg noodles and you have that fix of Asian cuisine in your own kitchen, without waiting for delivery.
Place your veggies in a pan and season with salt and pepper, and olive oil. Stick it in the oven, and you have a healthy plate of yummy, roasted vegetables in a matter of a few minutes.
Eggplants are packed with health benefits and are easy to cook with almost anything. These purple vegetables taste great with a miso glaze, and here’s the recipe for that.
Yes, you can freeze vegetables. Frozen vegetables will last for 6-9 months in the freezer if stored properly. To freeze your vegetables: rinse them under running water and pat dry with a paper towel, place them in a single layer on baking sheets (this helps prevent sticking), freeze until solid (it should take about an hour), transfer to freezer bags or containers, label what’s in the container and date it.
The best time to use frozen veggies is when they are still frozen because it keeps their crisp texture and taste intact. If you want to heat up your veggies, here are two options: use a stovetop or microwave oven. Please share your experience with freezing your own veggies by leaving a comment below!