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Freeze Vegetables – The Fresher In The Chest, The Better

All vegetables are healthy and therefore welcome on the menu. However, if it waits a long time to be used in cooking, the useful vitamins dwindle more and more. This loss can be stopped in the freezer. Don’t wait too long to freeze.

Frozen – the best alternative to fresh

If vegetables cannot be used freshly picked or soon after purchase, the chest freezer is ideal for long-term storage. In the cold, the breakdown of vitamins is stopped, especially if beforehand all the necessary steps of preparation were carried out correctly.

Good, clean quality!

Most vegetables can be kept longer by freezing. What matters is good starting quality:

  • When buying, pay attention to good organic quality
  • the process as soon as possible
  • only freeze vegetables that are in good condition

Thorough cleaning is an important step, some types of vegetables also have to be freed from the skin.

Cutting and coring

If possible, prepare the vegetables for the freezer in a way that is practical for later use. This may include pitting, such as with peppers.

Almost every vegetable is too large for the freezer as a whole and must first be cut into smaller slices, sticks, or pieces. Some vegetables, such as zucchini, can also be frozen grated.

Blanching – indispensable for many types of vegetables

Blanching involves cooking the vegetables in boiling water for a few minutes before freezing them.

  • Germs are killed
  • Vegetables keep longer
  • Color and taste are preserved
  • some vegetables retain more bite

After blanching, the vegetables are quenched in ice water to stop the cooking process immediately.

Pre-freezing prevents clumping

To prevent pieces of vegetables from sticking together in a single lump when freezing, they should be frozen separately beforehand.

  • Spread the veggies out on a tray
  • single layer and with some distance
  • Put the tray in the freezer
  • store together in the freezer container after freezing

Suitable freezer containers

All commercially available freezer boxes and freezer bags can protect the vegetables from freezer burn.

  • Containers should close tightly
  • and enclose as little air as possible
  • Always label with content and date

However, blanched vegetables must first cool down properly before they can be collected in the containers.

Freeze-cooked vegetable dishes

Occasionally, ready-made vegetables can also be frozen. It only has to be thawed and, if necessary, heated before consumption. Pure vegetable puree and stews can be frozen particularly well. However, spiced foods should be consumed within three months.

Durability

Most vegetables have a shelf life of at least six months, and many even a year.

Thawing

Depending on the type of vegetable and use, there are several options for defrosting:

  • Thaw slowly and gently in the fridge
  • Use frozen when cooking
  • Defrost in a saucepan over low heat
  • sometimes defrosting in the microwave is possible

A final tip

Vegetables not only differ in taste, but their storage in the freezer also has different requirements. That’s why you should obtain information for each type of vegetable separately so that you do everything right when freezing.

Conclusion for fast readers:

  • Quality: Freeze freshly picked vegetables; without defective spots
  • Preparation: cleaning; peel and core if necessary; cut into suitable pieces
  • Blanching: A must for most varieties; cook a few minutes; quench in ice water
  • Advantages: germs are destroyed; Colour, bite, and vitamins are retained
  • Pre-freeze: Spread out on a tray; prevents clumping
  • Suitable containers: Tightly sealed plastic boxes and freezer bags
  • Shelf life: 6 to 12 months
  • Thawing: Slowly in the fridge; into cooking food; microwave
  • Tip: Each type of vegetable is frozen slightly differently, so find out more about them.
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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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