Month: March 2015

Fruit

Can You Freeze Pomegranate Seeds?

Since pomegranate seeds aren’t available year-round, many people wonder if they can freeze them and if so, what does the freezing procedure look like. If you’re one of those people, read on!

Hard skin, pith, and jewel-like seeds all form together into the deliciously tart pomegranate. It’s not the most inexpensive type of produce on the grocery shelves, but it’s rich in antioxidants. Those unique red seeds also spruce up any dish or salad.

Unfortunately, they’re not available year-round. But if say, you have lots of pomegranate seeds leftovers, how do you store them properly? Can you freeze pomegranate seeds? While it may be difficult to find pomegranates outside of the period from September to January at your grocery store, it’s fortunate that pomegranate fans can freeze this treasure to enjoy during its off-season.

As you’re perusing the produce section, choose fruit that has a tight red skin. Don’t pick ones with bruises or squishy spots.

can you freeze pomegranate seeds

Image used under Creative Commons from Rebecca Siegel

With a short growing season of late fall to early winter, pomegranates aren’t always available on the produce shelf. Freezing this fruit makes sense because if you blink, the fresh fruit could be off the store shelves until next year.

Many recipes don’t call for an immense amount of seeds. In fact, you may just want a handful to add an extra kick to a salad. If you don’t like to waste food, then you’ll be happy to know that pomegranates — whole or seeded — freeze surprisingly well for later enjoyment.

If you’re thrifty or have a long commute to the store, you probably look for sales so you can buy in bulk. When sales do come around, buy up all the pomegranates you need, and freeze them back. Now let’s take a look at the step by step guide on how can you freeze pomegranate seeds:

How to Freeze Pomegranates Seeds?

Pomegranates can be frozen either whole or seeded. The easiest way to freeze them is to simply place whole fruits in a plastic freezer bag. Make sure you get as much air out of the bag as possible to prevent freezer burn.

If you’re not familiar with pomegranates, extracting their seeds seems daunting. Fortunately, collecting their gorgeous red seeds isn’t as complicated as you imagined. (No, it’s not as easy as peeling an orange, but the task isn’t too difficult.)

Prepping the Pomegranate Seeds

Cut off the crown (which is a little protrusion that looks similar to the top of an onion) and discard it. Then, cut the fruit in quarters (with the skin on).

Soak the quarters in a bowl of cold water for up to 30 minutes. Scrape the seeds from the submerged pith out with your fingers over or in the bowl of water.

The piths – the white material enveloping the seeds – will fall off and rise on the water’s surface while the seeds separate to the bowl’s bottom. The pith is edible, but it’s usually so bitter most people throw it away. Finally, strain out the pith and drain the water.

Packing the Pomegranate Seeds for Freezing

Freezing pomegranate seeds is much like freezing blueberries. After collecting the seeds, you put them on a paper towel. Pat them dry. Put them in a single layer on a cookie sheet.

Place that in the freezer for about 20 minutes so the seeds get firm and won’t clump together when you put them into a labeled freezer container or bag. If you’re using a plastic bag, get all of the excess air smoothed out.

How to Defrost Pomegranate Seeds?

Whole pomegranates must thaw in the fridge so they’re soft enough that you can cut them and extract the seeds. The frozen seeds will be slightly less crunchy and juicy than fresh ones.

Pomegranate seeds may be dropped into recipes while they’re frozen, but if you need thawed seeds, it won’t take long. Put them in their plastic bag into the fridge, and use them all up within three days. Don’t freeze them a second time! Frozen pomegranates and seeds taste freshest within 6 months of the date they were frozen.

Now, sprinkle those seeds into your salads or a grenadine for some pep in your step. Eat them in lieu of a processed, sugary snack. The minimal amount of work it takes to freeze them is definitely worth it!

Summary

As you can see, freezing pomegranate seeds is so easy, there is no reason why you should discard your leftovers. Now that you know how can you freeze pomegranate seeds, simply pack the leftovers then stick in the freezer. The seeds will keep in the freezer for weeks!

Dough & Batter

Can You Freeze Bread Dough?

Can you freeze bread dough? Baking bread on your own takes time so making bread dough in batches seems a good idea. Obviously for that to work you need to freeze bread dough. Does it make sense to freeze bread dough and if so, how to do it are the questions this article answers?

While you could freeze the bread after it has been cooked, this will take up more space in the freezer and it will not provide the hot, right-out-of-the-oven taste you desire. Because of that freezing bread dough seems to be a much better idea.

But is freezing the best idea when preserving bread dough? As with most things bread dough can be definitely frozen, but you may be wondering if the yeast will be effected in the freezer. It is true that cold temperatures can affect yeast, but when frozen this effect is so minimum that is will not change the overall taste of the bread.

Bread dough actually freezes quite well and is simple to do. Best of all, it allows you to have homemade bread whenever you want it, without starting from scratch each time. Below is a simple guide on how can you freeze bread dough:

Baked bread

Image used under Creative Commons from pacificbro

How to Freeze Bread Dough?

Making the Dough

The first step is to make your bread according to your recipe, but only let it rise one time. It is very important that you do not allow your bread dough to rise for a second time before freezing.

Some people like to add extra yeast to their recipe to compensate for any yeast break down that occurs when freezing. It is also recommended to use slow-active yeast, versus fast-active yeast, to also slow down this yeast break down.

After the first rise, knead the dough down and then shape into bread loafs of biscuit shapes, depending on your preference. You can use a loaf pan, but be sure to line the pan with parchment paper or plastic wrap.

Packing the Dough for Freezing

Immediately after shaping the dough, place it in the freezer for at least 10 hours. Once completely frozen, you can transfer your dough shapes to freezer bags and return to freezer. Be sure to label and date the bag.

You can also choose to shape the dough after the bread has thawed, but this will take more time when you are ready to bake. This is a good option if you are not sure how you want to use your bread dough, and it will allow you to make either bread loaves or biscuits. The bread will still need to be kneaded down and divided into desired portions before freezing.

How to Defrost Frozen Bread Dough?

Keep in mind that it will take several hours for your bread dough to thaw before you can place it in the oven. It is recommended that you take your bread dough out of the freezer the night before you want to use it and let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Once the bread dough is thawed, move it to a loaf pan or place the biscuits on a baking tray. Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a damp, clean cloth and allow the dough rise the second time. The dough should nearly double in size during this process.

Once the bread has risen, you can bake it in the oven according to your original recipe. Some baking experts state that bread dough will last up to three months in the freezer, but the longer you leave it frozen the greater effect it will have on the yeast. This could eventually cause a difference in the texture and taste of your bread.

Summary

Do note that bread dough used within four weeks of freezing should have no significant changes to the taste or texture of the bread after it is baked. This will allows you to have fresh, homemade bread whenever you want it, by doing all the hard work just one day a month.

Making bread dough from scratch is a lengthy process so it’s great to know that you can freeze the dough for later. Now that you know can you freeze bread dough, you have the option to make it ahead of time while reducing waste at the same time.

Vegetables

Can You Freeze Green Onions?

Green onions are available all year round but they are especially bountiful during the cooler seasons. That’s why green onions or scallions make the perfect add-in to soups and stews!

When grown in the garden, green onions grow so fast, you’ll have lots of it within just a few weeks. Now if say, you have too many green onions, is there a way to keep the rest for future cooking? Can you freeze green onions?

Image used under Creative Commons from ih

Spring onions have a short shelf life. When kept in the fridge, green onions should be good for a week or so. At this point, you will likely find that your onions are no longer crisp in your “vegetable crisper.” Instead, you will likely be greeted by soggy, slimy, and limp onions; just wilting away in your refrigerator.

Forget about giving excess green onions away, you can freeze green onions to extend their shelf life. When kept in the freezer, green onions will keep for 10 months to a year!

The fact is, any part of the onion can be frozen, including the green stem. That being said, the green stem can be a little delicate. This means while green onions can be frozen, texture changes are inevitable. The scallions could become a little softer and less pungent after thawing. But despite the texture changes, scallions remain safe to use in cooking.

But why do people freeze green onions anyway?  Gardeners have a wealth of these tasty little onions and will need to find something to do with them before they go bad.

Another reason for freezing green onions is that when you buy them, you have way too many to use. Anyone who has bought a bunch of scallions can confirm, they come in a bushel far too large to go through in a timely manner. Most people, growers, and buyers of the vegetable will end up giving away or tossing out half of their supply of green onions.

Other reasons why people freeze onions include stocking up on the vegetable while it is still in season, preserving the green onions for future uses, or buying in bulk for special occasions. If you want to a steady supply of green onions all year round, freezing them is your best bet.

No matter your individual reason, anyone would hate to waste their food, and in essence their money. Freezing is actually a perfectly viable option for preserving your onions so that you can make the most of them.

Some people may be wary of freezing green onions for fear that it will ruin the product. In truth, the only thing that will happen to the onion is that it will lose some of its crispness. Because of this, you should only use your frozen onions in dishes that do not require fresh crisp onions.

Below is a step by step guide on how can you freeze green onions:

How to Freeze Green Onions?

Do note that green onions are extremely pungent. It’s likely that the odors will emanate from improperly packed green onions. As such, seal the green onions well prior to freezing. Let’s take a look at the different ways to freeze green onions:

Image used under Creative Commons from Emilian Robert Vicol

Flash-Freezing Green Onions

Although green onions do not require blanching, flash freezing will extend the freshness of the vegetable. You can also freeze the bulb and stems together but it’s best to do this separately.

Flash freezing is an extra step but it will improve the texture of the green onions after defrosting. Start by prepping the vegetables, washing the green onions to remove dirt and debris. Then, pat the vegetables dry, they should be completely dry prior to freezing. Chop the green onions into desired pieces and you’re ready for flash freezing.

Place the chopped green onions onto a parchment lined baking tray. Pop the baking tray into the freezer and freeze for an hour or until solid. Once the green onions are frozen, take the baking tray out of the freezer and divide the vegetable into single serving portions. Spoon the vegetables into snack sized resealable plastic bag then stick in the freezer.

Freezing Fresh Green Onions

If you don’t want to flash freeze the green onions, that’s fine. Just wash the green onions and onion bulb well, removing bits and dirt that might’ve been stuck in the crevices. Then, pat the green onions dry with paper towel. You want the green onions to be as dry as possible to maintain the integrity of the vegetable during freezing. Leftover moisture will turn to ice crystals during freezing and this will ruin the texture and flavor of the green onions.

Once the vegetables are dry, get your knife and cutting board and start chopping the green onions into desired pieces. Get a rigid plastic container with an airtight lid or snack-size resealable plastic bags and spoon the green onions into the container. Do not overfill the container so the vegetables won’t bruise. Close the lid or seal the plastic bag, write the storage date with a marker then stick in the freezer.

Image used under Creative Commons from Mark Bonica

No matter how you decide to freeze your onions, it’ll be a good choice. Just make sure that you use a big enough container to where you aren’t packing the onions in too tight. Remember, onions are incredibly pungent vegetables. They will stain your freezer and everything around them with their scent. To prevent this, ensure that you packing the scallions properly. You may even use double or triple bagging. Store the scallions as far away from other foods as possible.

How to Defrost Frozen Green Onions?

Unless you did not divide the green onions into single serving portions, there is no need to thaw the vegetable. Green onions will thaw as they cook. But if you need to thaw green onions, just transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the green onions to thaw overnight and they’re ready to use.

Summary

Green onions add a punch of flavor and crunch to stir-frys, sautéed dishes, soups, and stews. Now that you know how can you freeze green onions, you can extend the shelf life of this vegetable for future uses!

Dairy

Can You Freeze Feta Cheese?

Can you freeze feta cheese for later? You can freeze feta cheese to help preserve it a bit longer than in the fridge if you know how to do it properly. This article will teach you how to do it.

Freezing should only be considered when you have a large quality of feta cheese that you cannot use up before the expiration date. Otherwise, it should remain the refrigerator where it will hold its true feta flavor along with its pleasant crumbly texture that makes it so delicious tasting.

Feta cheese stored in its brine can last in the refrigerator for up to 3-months, which should give you plenty of time to use it up before the expiration date.

However, feta cheese drained from its brine will only last a few weeks before it spoils and becomes mushy and sour tasting. If feta cheese becomes mushy and sour tasting, it should be tossed out to prevent food poisoning.

How to Freeze Feta Cheese?

The proper way to freeze feta cheese is to strain the brined water from it so you end up with just a block of feta cheese.

Next, you pat the cheese dry with a paper towel, place the block into a freezer bag, and store it away in the freezer. You should always use frozen feta cheese up within 3-months because the texture and flavor will change to a sourer flavor.

can you freeze feta cheese

Image used under Creative Commons from Rebecca Siegel

How to Defrost Frozen Feta Cheese?

When it comes to thawing frozen feta cheese, do it slowly so the cheese won’t turn soggy or mushy. When you are ready to use your feta cheese, remove it from the freezer and allow it to defrost in the refrigerator for at least 12-hours.

Feta cheese previously frozen tastes best when you use it in burgers, sauces, casserole dishes and mixed in with warm pasta. This is because the feta will be slightly damper in texture than usual, which makes it difficult to crumble in large chunks over fresh Greek leafy green salads or other cool vegetable dishes.

In addition, it will not have the same rich cheesy flavor as fresh or refrigerator stored feta cheese.

Summary

Now that you know how can you freeze feta cheese properly, you can go ahead and do it if you have a large amount that will not be used up by the expiration date.

Of course, it is best too just keep your extra bit of feta cheese in the refrigerator so it remains in its true tasty form that tastes delightful crumbled over fresh leafy green salads, black olives dishes, Greek pizzas and all kinds of pasta dishes.

Heck, you can even enjoy this cheese, as is when it is fresh and not previously frozen. You might even find it delightful when it is at room temperature for spreading on crackers, toast, or biscuits. Still, if you left with no choice, it is better to freeze feta cheese than leaving it to spoil.

Vegetables

Can You Freeze Rhubarb?

Can you freeze rhubarb? While rhubarb is usually used right away for making delicious treats, you can harvest the stalks and freeze them so you can use them whenever you desire to.

Rhubarb is an herbaceous perennial that grows up in short thick rhizomes, which are useful for making pies, jams, jellies, and sauces. The rosy red stalks of rhubarb are harvested in late spring and early summer.

Do note that if rhubarb is frozen past a year, it can change in flavor and texture. The flavor will be a bit more watery and the texture slightly mushy. However, using it up within the year should not change the flavor or texture. In fact, it will still have its tart-sweet flavor and a bit of crispness, which is perfect for strawberry rhubarb pies.

How to Freeze Rhubarb?

Did you know that there are different ways to prepare rhubarb for long storage? Below are some of the most common ways on how can you freeze rhubarb:

Flash-Freezing Rhubarb For Freezing

The best way to freeze rhubarb is by first washing the stalks well with cool water to remove any dirt from them. After, you can cut any bad spots off the stalks, chop them up into pieces and blanch them in a large pot of boiling water for around a minute.

Next, you strain the water from the stalks and place the stalks into an ice-cold bath of water with ice cubes to help stop the cooking process. Then, you strain the water from the stalks again and dry them off with paper towels.

Then, place the stalks into freezer bags and containers and store them away in the freezer for up to a year. When you want to use the rhubarb, simply take it out of the freezer and begin cooking with it. You do not need to wait until it defrosts.

can you freeze rhubarb

Image used under Creative Commons from Whitney

Preserving the Rhubarb in Sugar For Freezing

Another way you can freeze rhubarb is by following the same steps for blanching, cooling, and drying as mentioned above.

However, instead of packing the stocks up after into sealable bags you can place the rhubarb pieces into freezer containers with a tablespoon of sugar to help add a bit of sweetness to the stalks and to help preserve them a bit easier.

After, you can freeze the sweetened pieces of rhubarb in the freezer for up to a year. However, frozen sweeten rhubarb is best for making jams, jellies, and pies and not good in any kind of diabetic desserts.

Blanching Rhubarb Prior to Freezing

You can also keep rhubarb stalks whole and blanch them in a large pot of boiling water for 2-minutes, cool them in an ice bath afterward, towel dry them off and place the large stalks in a gallon size freezer bag and store them in the freezer this way if you prefer. However, they will be a bit more difficult to cut up when frozen, which will make them difficult to use.

How to Defrost Frozen Rhubarb?

Whenever you are defrosting rhubarb, avoid doing it by leaving it in the refrigerator or countertop because the stalks will become mushy and watery.

Always take them from the freezer and use them right away for making rhubarb dishes in order to retain their sweet and tart rhubarb flavor and texture. Remember, frozen rhubarb is always best if it is used up within the year it has been frozen in.

Summary

Rhubarb is quite a hardy vegetable so it will keep well in the freezer. Now that you know how can you freeze rhubarb, you can finally extend the shelf life of your supply for future uses!

Fruit

Can You Freeze Pears?

Can you freeze pears? Crisp fresh pears during harvest time can be picked and preserved through freezing methods that will allow you to enjoy the fruit throughout the year. All you have to know is how to freeze the pears properly, which if you do not already know how the information below will help you.

If you are like most people, you will think it is best to pick pears, peel them and freeze them right after the harvesting.

However, right after harvesting, pears actually need time to ripen up a bit. If the fruit does not ripen properly and you go to freeze it, you will have some distasteful pears that are bland in flavor and firm in texture.

Do note that freezing will not change the sweet flavor of the pears or the color of them, but the texture is affected greatly. In fact, instead of having crisp pears, you will have super sweet soft flesh pears that will taste like pure candy.

This is why many people snack on defrosted frozen pears for dessert or snack when they have a sweet tooth to cure. However, if you leave pears in the freezer frozen for more than two-years, pears can become discolored and develop a watery sweet flavor.

How to Freeze Pears?

The best way to ripen pears is to simply place freshly harvested ones near the window for a couple of days. If you cannot tell if your pears are ripened enough, simply bite into one and taste test. If the flesh is tender and full of juicy flavor it is time to freeze the pears. Below is a simple guide on how can you freeze pears:

Preserving Pears in Syrup

Like apples, the flesh of pears turns brown when exposed to air so you will have to make a simple syrup mixture by combing sugar and water together in a medium saucepan and bringing it to a rapid boil.

As soon as the mixture boils, you remove it from the stovetop and allow it to cool before using it to preserve your pears. The simple syrup should be made before you peel, pit and remove seeds and stems from the pears.

can you freeze pears

Image used under Creative Commons from free photos

Freezing Preserved Pears 

Once you have your simple syrup made, you can peel, pit and remove the stems and seeds from the pears. After, you want to slice the leftover pear flesh into inch size slices and toss them into freezer jars or containers.

Next, you will pour your cooled down simple syrup mixture over the pears until they are coated well. After, you will place the lids onto the freezer jars or containers and place a label with the date onto them. Finally, place the jars in the freezer to help preserve your delicious ripen pears until you are ready to enjoy them as a tasty treat.

How to Defrost Frozen Pears?

The best way to defrost your pears coated in simple syrup is by taking a jar or container from the freezer and placing it into the refrigerator.

Then, allow the jar or container of pears to defrost for about 12-hours. After, you can remove the jar of pears from the refrigerator, serve them up and eat them straight away.

If you cannot eat the entire defrosted jar of frozen pears you can simply place the leftover pears in the refrigerator and they should stay fresh as long as their in the jar of simple syrup for up to a week.

Summary

Now that you know how can you freeze pears properly, here is another tip to consider for freezing pears: when you go to make your simple syrup, add rum or brandy with some vanilla extract to create a preserving syrup that will add a bit of extra delightful flavor to your pears.

Just remember not to serve these pears up to children when you do defrost a batch and eat them up. You can also add spices to your simple syrup such as cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice if you want to preserve your pears with a warm spicy-sweet flavor that makes an excellent treat during the winter months. Be creative when creating your simple syrup to preserve your pears with.

Vegetables

Can You Freeze Green Beans?

Fresh green beans are delightful to have, but what do you do when you have too many on hand? Can you freeze green beans?

You can freeze the extra beans whether straight from the vine or left over from a large opened can of string beans. This will help you receive more shelf life out of the beans so you can reheat and eat at a later date as a side dish to other meals you make, or use them to make a casserole dish.

How to Freeze Green Beans?

How you freeze green beans will depend on the state of the vegetable. Below is a step by step guide on how can you freeze green beans:

Freezing Fresh Green Beans

You freeze fresh green beans straight from the vine by first rinsing them down with cool water and removing any stems and ends. Then, you blanch the beans in a pot of water for a minute.

After, you place the blanched beans onto a sheet of paper towel and soak up the extra water from them. Then, you can place them into freezer bags or containers and store them in the freezer until you are ready to use them.

Green beans eaten within a year from the freezing date will retain their vibrant green color and fresh taste and crunch.

Freezing Canned Green Beans

If you have a large can of string beans and you are just going to open the can and use half the beans, you can pour the other half into a freezer container with the liquid they are in and freeze them for up to 6-months. This will help preserve their shelf life and allow you to use the rest of the canned beans later.

However, the beans might be musher in texture, which makes them great for casserole dishes, soups and stews.

Green beans

Image used under Creative Commons from Mike Mozart

How to Defrost Frozen Green Beans?

When it comes to defrosting fresh green beans, you take them right from the freezer, place them into a steamer, and steam them until vibrant green and fork tender.

Never take the beans from the freezer and allow them to defrost on the countertop completely because this will make them slimy, soggy and taste like the storage bag and container they have been stored inside. It can even make the beans watery in texture.

Always take the beans straight from the freezer into the cooking process and eat them shortly after that. You should not refreeze the beans after this process either since bacteria can have a chance to form on them. It is best if you just eat them up.

As for defrosting canned green beans, thaw by removing them from the freezer container and into a small saucepan. Then, you place the lid onto the pan and place the pan on the stove.

Next, you turn the burner on low heat, slowly defrost the beans, and steam them for about 5 to 7-minutes. After, you simply serve them up. Most of the time-canned beans that are frozen will still have the same great flavor and texture, but if frozen for longer than 6-months the beans might become mushy and lose a little bit of the flavor.

Beans

Image used under Creative Commons from Mohammed Mahdi

Summary

Knowing these methods for freezing green beans whether fresh or left over from an open can should help you keep extra beans preserved longer so none of them go to waste.

Food is expensive and knowing how to freeze leftover or extra vegetables and fruits can go a long way to cutting the cost of your groceries. Now that you know how can you freeze green beans, go ahead and store this vegetable for later. It’s easy!

Vegetables

Can You Freeze Brussels Sprouts?

Can you freeze Brussels sprouts? The answer is of course, yes. Brussels sprouts are like any other vegetables and you can freeze them just like you do to other sprouts. There are many reasons as to why you would consider freezing Brussels sprouts.

You may purchase Brussels sprouts during summer for your winter stock, and freezing them is the best chance of them living in the winter time. Your residential home may be far away from your green grocer store and therefore you want to reduce your trips to the store, therefore, freezing is your best choice.

Freezing Brussels sprouts preserves the vegetables’ freshness. You don’t have to throw away excess vegetable after your meal. If you can’t use up all your Brussels sprouts during a meal, you can freeze them and enjoy them later on.

Now, freezing Brussels sprouts is one thing but does it really makes sense to do it? Yes because you may buy your vegetables with an intention of using them for a later day. It is common for many people to buy foodstuff in bulks.

Likewise, when you are expecting visitors it is advisable to buy your supplies for the day in advance. If brussels sprouts are on the list, you can buy them a few days before the red-letter day and freeze them for the big occasion.

Many people are okay with eating frozen foods especially when they are not so keen on tastes. Brussels sprouts get a bit mushy when thawed. If you don’t mind the taste, then you can go ahead and freeze them.

Brussels sprouts

Image used under Creative Commons from krgjumper

Brussels sprout has a long shelf life meaning that it can last for long without necessarily being inside a freezer. This is the main reason why some people are reluctant to freeze their Brussels sprouts. Now let’s take a look at how can you freeze Brussels sprouts below:

How to Freeze Brussels Sprouts?

Freezing Brussels sprout is not a hard task. You need to be aware of the freezing process and the rest is simple. There are several freezing methods. You can either choose to the full or sliced vegetables or freeze them for a cooked meal.

Prepping Brussels Sprouts 

You may also choose to blanch them before freezing or freeze them without blanching. Select the firm and compact Brussels sprouts and ensure they are green. Ensure that the heads and leaves are free from insects. It is important to clean them to drive out any insect or bugs hiding in the sprout.

Water Blanching the Brussels Sprouts

Soak them for about 30 minutes in a salt and vinegar solution. Once you get rid of insects, trim the heads and get rid of the coarse outer leaves. Sort the heads size-wise into small, medium and large heads.

Water-blanch the Brussels sprouts. For the small ones, blanch them for 3 minutes, 4 minutes for medium-sized and 5 minutes for the large.

Freezing these vegetables without blanching gives them a lifetime of 2 months. With blanching, you increase their lifetime to 12-14 months. Blanching protects your sprouts from the growth of yeast, molds, bacteria and other harmful microorganisms.

After blanching, you are too cool the by placing them into a cool water bath present with ice. Store the sprouts in a resealable plastic bag or an airtight plastic container then stick in the freezer. Keep the temperature at 0oF to extend the vegetables’ shelf life to 12 months.

How to Defrost Frozen Brussels Sprouts?

Thawing process is a short process that is designed to soften the frozen sprouts. Brussels sprouts need as little as 5 minutes to thaw them. The thawing process is all about warming the frozen vegetables to make them suitable for consumption.

Thawing, however, has some effects on Brussels sprouts. Your vegetables will have a change in texture. They lose their crunch capabilities and become tender. This may not go down well with people who are very keen on the taste.

Thawing may also cause discoloration to the Brussels sprouts. These vegetables may lose their characteristic green color and become a little bit yellowish. Another thing that may change is the general taste. Freezing and thawing have effects on the general taste of the vegetables.

However, these changes do not happen every time you freeze and thaw your Brussels sprouts. It all depends on the entire freezing and thawing process. Moreover, at times they are not noticeable and you can enjoy your entire meal without noting a single change in taste or color in the Brussels sprouts.

Summary

It takes a little prep to freeze Brussels sprouts but the extra effort is worth it. You can maximize your favorite vegetables with zero waste. Now that you know how can you freeze Brussels sprouts, there is no need to worry about your excess vegetables. Just stick them in the freezer for later use, it’s that easy!

Herbs & Spices

Can You Freeze Parsley?

The avid herb gardener who is also a great cook may ponder the question, “Can You Freeze Parsley?” The short answer is “Yes,” but the questions of why and how to put this versatile herb in cold storage remain. Here are some tips that experts suggest for successful freezing, thawing and cooking with parsley.

Parsley is one of those plants that yield a crop that is so abundant no one household can use all of it in a single growing season. This applies to both the flat leaf and curly kinds of parsley.

 

Fresh parsley

Image used under Creative Commons from Richard North

Yes, be sure to add it to your soups and hot dishes, meatballs, and hummus, and use it as a garnish for everything you set on the table. Then, give it to neighbors and friends. After doing all that, you are sure to have too much to use fresh.

So as not to waste this colorful and flavorful plant, make room in your freezer for it. Unlike fresh parsley which will only keep 2 weeks or so, frozen parsley will last for up to 6 months. Below is a step by step guide on how can you freeze parsley:

How to Freeze Parsley?

Freezing parsley is not rocket science. In fact, it’s one of the easiest prep, package and freeze kitchen chores around.

Prepping the Parsley for Freezing

Using garden shears, Harvest your crop in the late morning after the sun has burned away the dew. Bring it in the house for washing. Taking small bunches, wash a little at a time under running, cold water, taking care to remove any dead or discolored portions and dirt that may be clinging to the plant.

Allow the parsley to dry on paper towels spread on the kitchen counter or in a large colander. This makes the herb easier to work with. Some cooks even use a salad spinner to ensure the plants are thoroughly dried.

Freezing Un-cut Parsley

When dry, you have a couple of options. One is to double bag the parsley in freezer bags, taking care to eliminate as much of the air as possible. Some people use food sealers.

Freezing Cut Parsley

The other option is to finely chop the parsley or puree it in a blender or large food processor. Add a small amount of water or olive oil to the chopped herbs. Add this puree to ice cube trays which have been prepped with a non-stick spray, or use small plastic storage containers.

Freeze and store in the trays or containers. Alternatively, remove the parsley cubes or blocks and store in freezer bags.

Don’t expect frozen parsley to look the same as when it is fresh. It will wilt some when bagged, and of course, cubed parsley will not work as a decorative garnish.

How to Defrost Frozen Parsley?

Thawing frozen parsley couldn’t be easier, just transfer the product to the fridge. Leave the frozen herbs to thaw overnight for optimal flavor. Once the parsley is completely thawed, it is ready to use.

There are many uses for this colorful herb. Parsley fans really love its texture, flavor, and aroma and routinely add it–fresh or frozen– to soup and salad dressings and as a binder in meatloaf and meatballs. Nutritionists also praise parsley’s high Vitamin C content.

Summary

Any herb which yields in such abundance is meant to be enjoyed in many ways. So, use your imagination, and experiment with the different ways to freeze, eat and enjoy parsley. Now that you know how can you freeze parsley, you can now extend the shelf life of this delicate herb for future cooking!

Bread & Baked Goods

Can You Freeze Banana Bread?

Can you freeze banana bread? Baking banana bread often leaves you with leftovers because you can’t eat the entire loaf fast enough. You can freeze banana bread and preserve those slices so they stay fresh. If that sounds interesting then read on to learn about freezing banana bread.

Whether you buy it from the grocery store or do it yourself, homemade baked goods taste delightful and fresher than pre-packed persevered foods.

One of the most popular baked goods people seem to love most is banana bread, but sometimes when you get it fresh, you end up with tons of slices left over because you are unable to eat the entire loaf up fast enough.

The good news is you can freeze the banana bread and preserve those slices for later. This will allow you to eat the bread later when you are craving it, and prevent those extra slices from spoiling and turning to waste. Below is a step by step guide on how can you freeze banana bread:

How to Freeze Banana Bread?

The best way to freeze leftover banana bread loaves or slices is by placing them into a freezer storage bag or container. Banana bread will stay fresh this way for up to a few weeks without the flavor or texture of the bread being changed at all.

However, if frozen banana bread is not used up within a few weeks the flavor and texture can change slightly. In fact, banana bread that stays frozen for a long period might also change color and become moister in texture. Banana bread that is frozen should always be eaten up within a month from the freezing date.

Slices of banana bread

Image used under Creative Commons from Karen and Brad Emerson

Can you freeze the batter for later? If you truly want freshly baked banana bread for breakfast, but you never, have time to get up and make it, simply make a banana bread batter when you have time and place it into a freezable loaf pan, cover it up with a lid and place it into your freezer.

Then, when you are ready to bake it some morning when you are crazy it, take the loaf batter out of the freezer and place it into a 350-degree oven for around an hour or two hours, or until you can stick a toothpick in the center of it and have it come out clean. After, you can remove the bread from the oven, allow it to get cool and slice it up and enjoy it for a tasty snack or breakfast treat.

How to Defrost Frozen Banana Bread?

The best way to defrost banana bread loaves or slices is to simply take the bread out of the freezer bags and set them onto a cutting board with a piece of paper towel. Next, allow them to defrost for about 30-minutes to an hour for slices, or an hour to 2-hours for banana bread loaves.

After that, you can serve it up and eat it up at room temperature, or you can microwave or toast the bread to warm it up before eating it. You could even use the bread to make banana bread French toast or a custard pudding if you preferred.

Summary

It is never wise to freeze banana bread slices that have been sitting on the counter for more than two days. It is always best to freeze fresh banana bread within the first day you purchase it or bake it so it retains its freshness and full delicious sweet banana flavor.

The good news is, you can freeze freshly baked banana bread, leftovers, and even banana bread batter! Freezing is such a convenient way of preserving your favorite baked goods. Now that you know how can you freeze banana bread, just save all your excess for later snacking!