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  • Elizabeth Carroll

Freezing & Storing Fresh Vegetables

Right now, most American's are stocking up. Some more than others, but we're all doing it. If you're like me, you buy fresh produce every few days and always keep an over-abundance of fresh vegetables.


The other day, I posted a recipe for a super simple, but rich, vegetable stock -- that's one great way to use up any hearty vegetables that might be at the end of their useful life


If you have vegetables that are still at the peak of ripeness, but you don't know how to use them all right now, freezing is another great way to use and not waste (and depending on what you chop up to freeze, you might have enough for a stock as well)


Tips for freezing vegetables:


Some vegetables need to be blanched (boiled 2-3 minutes in hot water, the shocked in an ice bath) before freezing, some of these vegetables are:

-Broccoli

-Cauliflower

-Corn (on or off cob, I think taking it off the cob is easiest though!)

-Green Beans / Peas

-Zucchini

-Spinach

-Kale

-Asparagus

-Carrots

-Mushrooms

-Brussels Sprouts


Other vegetables can be frozen raw:

-Onions

-Bell Peppers


Before freezing and / or blanching, make sure to chop your vegetables first


The quickest way to freeze vegetables is to line a baking sheet with parchment paper, lay the vegetables in a single layer, and freeze for a few hours. When they're fully frozen, transfer to a freezer safe container

(If blanching, blanch vegetables and pat dry before laying them on a baking sheet)


If you're wondering "why must I blanch my vegetables?", here is a great resource from the National Center for Home Food Preservation - this provides some more ways to blanch if boiling isn't for you


Always make sure to label and date your vegetables


Frozen vegetables typically last 9-12 months (except citrus fruits, which only will last about 3 months, safely)


I only store my frozen vegetables in Stasher bags, they're compact, silicone bags that can go directly from freezer to oven. You can microwave, sous-vide, and boil in them too! They come in a variety of sizes (up to half gallon), shapes (flat bags and stand up), and colors (my favorites are sky and rose quartz). Stasher bags have a useful life of 10+ years and are a much more environmentally friendly option than plastic bags




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