How to freeze fruits and veggies | Living the Country Life
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How to freeze fruits and veggies

Freezing is a great way to preserve the bounty of your garden or great buys from the farmer's market.
  • Choose your container

    There are many types of freezer containers available. Whatever you choose must be moisture- and vapor-proof, able to withstand temperatures below 0 degrees F., and have a tight seal. Rigid plastic freezer containers, freezer bags, and jars made specifically for freezing all fit the bill. Regular jars won't likely be tempered to withstand freezing temperatures. 

    Date Published: August 9, 2013
    Date Updated: July 10, 2015
  • Freezing green beans

    Fresh green beans are so delicious, but it's impossible to eat them all while they're fresh. Freezing is a good option, especially if you don't have canning equipment.

    • Clean and slice your green beans.
    • Blanch by boiling for 2-4 minutes, then immersing beans in ice water. Once the beans have cooled, drain them.
    • Pack drained beans into freezer containers or bags. Shake to compact the beans, adding as many as possible to each container and removing as much air as you can. Seal the container.
    • Label bag or container with the contents, amount, and date. Lay flat in freezer. Leave space between bags or containers so air can circulate around them. Once frozen solid, they can be stacked. Use within 8 to 10 months.

     

    Date Published: August 9, 2013
    Date Updated: July 10, 2015
  • Freezing tomatoes

    Allow 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 pounds unblemished tomatoes per quart. Wash tomatoes. To peel, dip tomatoes in boiling water for 30 seconds or until skins start to split. Dip in cold water; core and skin. Continue as directed below.

    1. For crushed, cut into quarters, crush with wooden spoon, and heat until boiling. Add remaining pieces and repeat. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice per pint. set pan of tomatoes in ice water to cool. Fill containers, leaving a 1-inch headspace. Freeze.
    2. For whole or halved with no liquid added, fill freezer containers, pressing to fill spaces with juice. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice per pint. Leave a 1-inch headspace. (Use only for cooking due to texture changes from freezing.)
    3. For water-packed whole or halved, heat tomatoes in saucepan, covered with water, and simmer for 5 minutes. Set pan in cold water to cool. Fill containers with tomatoes and liquid. Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice per pint. Leave 1-inch headspace and freeze.

     

    Date Published: August 9, 2013
    Date Updated: July 10, 2015
  • Preparing peaches to freeze

    • Using a sharp knife, make a shallow "X" on the bottom of each peach.
    • Blanch the peaches by lowering 3 or 4 at a time into a pot of boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds. Remove them to a bowl of ice water.
    • When the peaches are cool enough to handle, peel them with your fingers or a knife.
    • Cut each peeled peach in half around the pit, and remove the pit. Slice peaches, if desired.
    Date Published: August 9, 2013
    Date Updated: July 10, 2015
  • Freezing peaches

    Water pack: Pack peaches into freezer bag, leaving 1/2-inch headspace for pints and 1-inch for quarts. Pour water over peaches, maintaining headspace. Seal and freeze.
    Sugar pack: Pack a layer of peaches into a freezer container and sprinkle with sugar. Repeat, leaving headspace as directed above. Cover and let stand for 15 minutes until juicy before freezing.
    Syrup pack: Prepare syrup: heat sugar and water in saucepan, stir until sugar dissolves. Use anywhere from 1 cup sugar to 4 cups sugar for very light syrup, to 4 cups sugar and 4 cups water for heavy syrup. Pack peaches into container or bag, leaving headspace. Pour syrup over peaches, maintaining headspace. Seal and freeze. Use frozen peaches within 8 to 10 months.

    Date Published: August 9, 2013
    Date Updated: July 10, 2015
  • Freezing fresh berries

    Berries freeze well and can be used frozen in smoothies or thawed for baking or sauces. Wash and pat dry. Arrange whole berries on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. This will keep the berries from sticking together while freezing. Hull strawberries before freezing, and slice if desired. Use a measuring cup to transfer berries to a freezer bag or container. Leave a little space at the top, and label with the type of berry, date, and amount, and put back in the freezer. To freeze with a sugar pack, layer berries and a sprinkling of sugar in the bag or container. Let stand until juicy, seal, and freeze.

    Date Published: August 9, 2013
    Date Updated: July 10, 2015
  • Freezing herbs

    Freezing is a great way to preserve herbs, and often the flavor is better in frozen than dried herbs. Wash, pat dry, and spread herbs in a single layer on a cookie sheet. (Chop chives and lemongrass first.) Place in freezer. It won't take long for them to freeze. Put herbs in labeled, sealed containers and remove as much air as possible before sealing and putting back in the freezer. Another option is to mix 1/3 cup of oil with 2 cups of herbs in a blender until smooth. Freeze in ice cube trays, then place frozen cubes in a freezer bag and put back in the freezer. Thaw a cube or two at a time to use in sauces and casseroles.

    Date Published: August 9, 2013
    Date Updated: July 10, 2015
  • Freezing corn

    Freeze your own sweet corn for amazing flavor that tastes like summer! Prepare corn for freezing the day it is picked if possible, or as soon as you can. Shuck the corn, and blanch ears by placing a few ears at a time in a pot of boiling water, then plunging into a bowl of ice water until cool. Cut corn from the cob (1 ear usually equals about 1/2 cup of corn). Measure and add to freezer bags or containers, remove air, and seal. Label and freeze for up to 8 to 10 months.

    Date Published: August 9, 2013
    Date Updated: July 10, 2015
  • Freezing peppers

    Cut in half lengthwise and remove stems, seeds, and membranes. (Use rubber gloves if working with hot peppers.) Quarter large pieces or slice into strips. Fill freezer bags or containers, packing tightly and leaving a 1/2-inch headspace. If you freeze slices first on a cookie sheet and then pack into bags, no headspace is needed.

    Date Published: August 9, 2013
    Date Updated: July 10, 2015
  • Freezing peas

    For peas in the pod like snow or sugar snap, wash and remove stems, blossom ends and strings. Blanch from 1 1/2 minutes for small to 3 minutes for large pods with developing peas. Cool, drain, and fill containers, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace. For English or green peas or developed peas from show or sugar snap pods, wash, shell, rinse, and drain. Blanch 1 1/2 minutes and quickly chill. Fill containers, shaking them down and leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Freeze.

    Date Published: August 9, 2013
    Date Updated: July 10, 2015
  • Freezing carrots

    Use carrots that are no larger than 1 to 1 1/4 inches in diameter. Wash, trim, peel, and rinse. Leave tiny carrots whole; slice or dice the rest. Blanch tiny whole carrots for 5 minutes, and cut-up carrots for 2 minutes. Cool quickly and pack tightly into containers, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Freeze.

    Date Published: August 9, 2013
    Date Updated: July 10, 2015
  • Freezing apples

    Use crisp, not mealy apples. Peel and core, then halve, quarter, or slice. Dip into ascorbic-acid color-keeper solution and drain. To freeze dry, pack into freezer bags or containers and leave a small amount of headspace. To pack in syrup, heat 1 to 4 cups of sugar with 4 cups of water until sugar dissolves. Use 1/2 to 2/3 cup syrup for every 2 cups of apples. Combine with sliced apples, cool, package and freeze.

    Date Published: August 9, 2013
    Date Updated: July 10, 2015
  • Freezing plums

    Halve and pit plums. Treat with ascorbic-acid color-keeper and drain well. Heat 1 to 4 cups of sugar with 4 cups of water until sugar dissolves. Use 1/2 to 2/3 cup syrup for every 2 cups of plums. Combine with plums, cool, package and freeze.

    Date Published: August 9, 2013
    Date Updated: July 10, 2015
  • Freezing rhubarb

    Rhubarb freezes like a dream. Discard leaves and woody ends, and cut into 1/2- to 1-inch pieces. Blanch for 1 minute, cool quickly, and drain. Pack into a freezer bag or container and freeze. If desired, you can add 1/2 cup sugar for every 3 cups of rhubarb.

    Date Published: August 9, 2013
    Date Updated: July 10, 2015

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