Freezing Vegetables

It is suggested that all vegetables must be blanched before freezing to keep their nutritional value, fresh colour and flavour. Blanching is a quick, partial cooking that stops the enzyme action that causes ripening and maturing of the vegetables. It also stabilizes the vitamin content.
For home freezing, the best way to heat almost all vegetables is in boiling water. Dump the vegetables in the boiling water, cover and start counting immediately. Keep boiling over high heat for the time given.
Immediately plunge vegetables into a large quantity of very cold water or iced water. It will take about twice as long to cool the food as it does to heat it. Remove from the water, drain and cool to room temperature. Freeze on a cookie sheet to keep vegetables from sticking together.
Pack the cold frozen vegetables in air tight plastic bags or other sturdy containers. Leave 1/2-inch head space and seal. Freeze at immediately.

My Fresh Frozen Peas

Timetable for Blanching Vegetables

Asparagus 3 minutes
Beans, green 3 minutes
Beets, medium 45 to 50 minutes
Broccoli florets 3 minutes
Carrots 5 minutes
Peas 3 minutes
Peppers in slices 3 minutes

Some veggies that I really don’t mind if they are not a vibrant colour, I will just freeze on a cookie sheet and put away in a large heavy-duty plastic freezer bag, and  then dip out of it when I need a few of them for stews or soups, especially if I am going to be using them within a few months. I never blanche broccoli, because I usually blend it up into a soup anyway.

Zucchini can be shredded and put in bags for cakes and muffins during the off-season. Simply put away the quantity the recipe calls for in a heavy-duty plastic bag. Pull it out and thaw completely when ready to prepare your cake or muffins. You can use the juice that comes off from the freezing process in the recipe instead of some of the liquid called for, or you can just throw it away.

Here is a wonderful bit of information I found on the web: #mce_temp_url#
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