Cooking Tips and Questions - Freezing fresh veggies
07-14-2009, 07:44 PM
I always have a bag of stoplight (red,green,yellow mix) fresh peppers in my freezer, as well as a bag of sliced onions, and strawberries when I catch a really good sale. They come in handy for so many things.
I've been looking into more veggies that hold up well in the freezer, because I'm getting dissappointed buying pre-frozen ones in opaque bags that I open up and find freezer burnt beyond anything resembling appealing.
I just did my first batch of mushrooms, and I got some zucchini and green beans on sale, so I'll probably experiment with those as well. And I'd like to try bananas for my smoothies too.
Has anyone else had any luck with freezing fresh veggies and fruit. What are your favorites?
I'm loving how bright and colorful my freezer looks lately with all the fresh veggies all ziplocked in there. It's such a tiny thing, but it seems to make cooking seem even more fun.
07-14-2009, 09:23 PM
You can freeze lots of stuff. I freeze green beans (blanch them first), various fruits. I sometimes cook/peel tomatoes like I were to can them, and just throw them in containers and freeze instead. I put chopped-up herbs in ice cube trays and pour a bit of water in them and freeze. The cubes go into soups/stews/stir-fries easily. You can also freeze various types of beans (pinto, garbanzo, etc). If you freeze things spread out in a single layer on a tray and combine them into a container later, the things don't freeze to each other and it's easier to take out the right portion.
Salad greens don't freeze well, and I don't think radishes or cucumbers do either.
07-14-2009, 10:30 PM
I've not had good luck with mushrooms before, they thaw too slimy and mushy for me. Greens and cukes haven't fared well in the freezer either.
Other than that, I will pretty much freeze anything I can get my hands on. I freeze most things in a single layer on a metal baking sheet covered in parchment, then bag them with my vacuum sealer. I still much prefer fresh veggies and fruit, but I live in the Midwest and our good veggie season is very short - my chest freezer is my hero in the winter!
07-15-2009, 01:00 AM
Thanks for the replies.
I love the idea of the herbs in ice trays. I never buy the fresh herbs anymore because I dont go through them fast enough, and end up wasting them. (I miss my herb garden *sigh*, maybe I'll make a container garden for our tiny little "deck" area.
I blanched the mushrooms with a little salt and lemon juice and they look gorgeous. Time will tell how they hold up. The website said they're find in the freezer up to 6 months, and I'll go through them WAY faster than that.
Color me jealous. I wish I could afford a vaccuum sealer right now. I've got everything in ziplocks for now. :(
07-15-2009, 08:37 AM
I've had my FoodSaver for years, I use it at least a few times a week. It's well worth the investment imo. When it's time for you to buy one, I'd suggest Overstock or Ebay, they're typically MUCH cheaper.
07-15-2009, 09:25 AM
This is my go-to resource for how to freeze just about anything: http://www.recipezaar.com/bb/viewtopic.zsp?t=106869
If it's not specifically mentioned in that thread, I typically google "how to freeze <whatever>" and read the first 3 or so results... if they agree, I go with it, if they all recommend something different, I keep reading more (or ask a friend who I think has done it).
07-18-2009, 12:09 PM
zucchini is tough it gets rubbery. It can be frozen shredded for used in zucchini bread but to me turning a veggie into a dessert is pretty useless.
I am going to try drying zucchini and also I have heard roasted zucchini freezes better than fresh.
07-18-2009, 02:12 PM
Thank you all for the great advice. I'm trying to become better informed about which veggies can be stocked up on, as I'm on a pretty tight buget and would like to catch the sales at the market as I can. So all your great tips are being put to good use.
Thanks again :D
07-23-2009, 01:02 PM
What a great post! I have been considering freezing fresh veggies but have not gotten around to researching it yet. There are so many great sales right now, it would be foolish to pass them up.
Lissus, I just got sealer at the grocery store yesterday - it is from Ziploc and you buy these special bags. Got it on sale with the bags for less than $10. S far, so good.