Saturday, September 19, 2015

Blanching and Freezing Veggies

I'm not great at canning vegetables, I'm learning! Because of this, I often opt to freeze most things. At least until I improve and gain more canning experience. I still have a lot of things in the garden to preserve for the winter months. But before I can freeze my vegetables, I need to blanch them. 

The blanching process, helps kill certain bacteria and enzymes which can continue to multiply even while frozen. Some of them are in charge of the plant growing and even decomposing and can affect the taste of your product long after it has been picked. The blanching process can help preserve the flavor so that is closer to the taste at the time it was picked. You must be careful not to over or under blanch. That can also affect the taste. 

Typically, you bring water to boiling point and submerge your fruit/veggies in the water for 2.5 - 3 minutes. Immediately, pour into a strainer on ice (or run cold water) this stops the blanching process so your fruit/veggies don't cook.

Afterwards, I lay out the fruit/veggies on a tray in the freezer and allow them to undergo a preliminary freeze for about 30 minutes to an hour. This way, when I store them in the freezer baggies, they do not stick together and I can access smaller quantities easily.

I then store them in freezer bags, labeled and dated. It was a busy night. I froze beets, beet greens and carrots from the garden. This is also a great way to preserve season fruits and veggies from the supermarket. Shop local! What will you freeze?

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