how to freeze fruits and vegetablesThe peak time for harvesting fresh fruits and vegetables is coming to a close. It is so great to buy those fruits and vegetables when they are at their ripest and freeze them so that you can use them for a long time. You can also freeze them to preserve their nutritional content. It is challenging to freeze fruits and vegetables without them sticking together though. The staff at Eating Well have suggestions on how to freeze several fruits and vegetables.

It is pretty simple to store fresh fruits and vegetables in your freezer. It is also more economical than buying frozen produce. Go shopping for the fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season; buy organic if possible. Set aside some time to wash and cut the produce as needed. Make sure that you have enough quart- or gallon-size freezer bags on hand.

General Steps:

Step 1
Prepare produce.

Step 2
Most vegetables should be blanched before freezing. Fruit does not need to be blanched.

To blanch: Bring 1 gallon of water per pound of prepped vegetables (about 2 cups) to a boil in a large pot. Add the vegetables, cover, return to a boil and cook.

Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl of ice water. Drain well; pat dry.

Step 3
Spread fruit or vegetables in a single layer on a large baking sheet and freeze until solid.

Step 4
Pack the frozen vegetables or fruit in quart- or gallon-size freezer bags.

Step 5
Or pack fruits and vegetables in bags that are made to use with a vacuum sealer and seal them airtight before storing in the freezer.

Step 6
To reheat frozen vegetables for a quick side dish:
Microwave: Place in a microwave-safe dish, add 2 tablespoons water and cover.
Steam: Place in a steamer basket in a large saucepan over 1 inch of boiling water.

Details About Specific Vegetables and Fruits

  1. Bell Peppers
    Prep: Remove seeds; cut into 1/2-inch pieces.
    Blanching Time: 2-3 minutesTo Reheat Frozen Vegetables (Microwave): 1-2 minutes
    To Reheat Frozen Vegetables (Steaming): 2-3 minutes
  2. Broccoli & Cauliflower
    Prep: Cut into 1- to 1 1/2-inch florets.
    Blanching Time: 3 minutesTo Reheat Frozen Vegetables (Microwave): 2-4 minutes
    To Reheat Frozen Vegetables (Steaming): 2-4 minutes
  3. Carrots
    Prep: Peel and cut into 1/4-inch slices or cubes.
    Blanching Time: 2 minutesTo Reheat Frozen Vegetables (Microwave): 1-2 minutes
    To Reheat Frozen Vegetables (Steaming): 2-3 minutes
  4. Dark Leafy Greens: Chard, Kale & Spinach
    Prep: Remove any woody stems and/or ribs; chop if desired.
    Blanching Time: 2-3 minutesTo Reheat Frozen Vegetables (Microwave): 1-2 minutes
    To Reheat Frozen Vegetables (Steaming): 2-3 minutes
  5. Blackberries, Blueberries & Raspberries
    Prep: Wash and pat dry.
    Blanching Time: N/ATo Reheat Frozen Fruit: N/A
  6. Nectarines, Peaches & Plums
    Prep: Remove pit; cut into sixths.
    Blanching Time: N/ATo Reheat Frozen Fruit: N/A
  7. Rhubarb
    Prep: Trim woody ends; cut into 1-inch pieces.
    Blanching Time: N/ATo Reheat Frozen Fruit: N/A

To see additional specific fruits and vegetables, visit the original article at Eating Well.

Source: Eating Well

Image Source: North Charleston

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How To Freeze 7 Different Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
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