How to Freeze Vegetables
One great way to make vegetables last longer to freeze them. I always buy veggies in bulk (it’s so much cheaper). Since we are a small household this technique avoids any vegetables getting spoiled and going to waste.
Here we can show you how to freeze so many raw vegetables and fruits. Foods can last between 3 to 12 months in the freezer. However, I would try to use them 10 months as they will slowly lose flavour over time and may show signs of freezer burn.
The best vegetables to freeze are carrots, onions, green beans and peas. Trim and cut your vegetables as you would for regular meal preparation. For example for carrots, trim the roots and dice. For onions, peel and slice, For potatoes peel and cut into portions, fries or keep whole if wanted.
Many vegetables need to be blanched before freezing; carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, squash, kale and potatoes. Others can be prepared without blanching and put directly into the freezer; spinach, onions, peppers, berries, citrus fruits. Either using the baking sheet method first (see tip below) or just directly in air tight freezer bag or containers. Bananas are a great one for freezing to use for smoothies, peel them first and wrap them in clingfilm or chop and place in a freezer bag and put directly in the freezer.
Herbs can be directly added to the freezer in airtight bag or container, or use an ice cube tray to keep them divided into portions.
Blanching helps to retain the colour and flavour of the product. Firstly, bring a large pot of water to the boil. Once boiling, submerge the vegetables in the hot water for 5 minutes on boiling. They don’t need cooking fully, the vegetables should be quite firm after blanching.
For greens such as kale, spinach and broccoli, they need around 3 minutes blanching to let them wilt slightly but maintain the colour.
After blanching, transfer the vegetables into a ice bath or run under cold tap to keep water cold. This shocks the veggies and stops the cooking process.
Strain the vegetables and pat away any excess water, divide the vegetables into portion sizes in freezer bags or containers, remove as much air as possible before sealing.
TOP TIP: To have individually frozen pieces, instead of one solid block. Lay out the vegetables on a baking sheet without letting them touch each other. Place this in the freezer until they are frozen solid. Then you can transfer them into a bag or container and put back in the freezer.
Thawing from Freezer
Most vegetables can be added directly from the freezer into your dish and heat up without thawing. However some may require thawing slightly, especially if you didn’t use the baking sheet method first.
For example, fruits such as berries can turn mushy when completely thawed so are best used straight away. I use this a lot for smoothie bowls.
Carrots are a go-to for me when freezing as it saves so much time as they are already precooked, chopped and portioned.
Vegetables you can not freeze
I have come across a few vegetables which really don’t maintain texture or flavour when frozen. It is really the vegetables which contain a high water content such as cabbage, celery, cress, cucumbers, lettuce, and radishes.
Don’t throw away your peels and scraps, use them to make a vegetable broth!
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