Freezing fresh summer vegetables is a great way to store them for winter consumption. You can enjoy the taste and nutrition of your favorite veggies even when they are out of season. Here are some steps to follow to freeze your fresh summer vegetables:
- Wash your vegetables thoroughly and remove any dirt, stems, or damaged parts.
- Cut your vegetables into bite-sized pieces or slices, depending on how you plan to use them later. For example, you can cut zucchini into rounds, carrots into sticks, or corn off the cob.
- Blanch your vegetables adding them to rapidly water for anywhere from 30 seconds to a few minutes, then plunging them into ice water to stop the cooking process. This will help preserve the color, flavor, texture, and nutrients of your vegetables. The blanching time varies depending on the type and size of the vegetable. Check out this website for a handy guide.
- Drain your vegetables well and pat them dry with paper towels. Excess moisture can cause freezer burn and affect the quality of your frozen vegetables.
- Spread your vegetables in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Freeze them until they are firm, about an hour or two.
- Transfer your frozen vegetables to freezer bags or containers. Label them with the name and date of the vegetable. Squeeze out as much air as possible from the bags or containers to prevent freezer burn.
- Store your frozen vegetables in the freezer for up to 12 months. Use them in soups, stews, casseroles, stir-fries, or any other dishes that call for cooked vegetables.