Category: Vegetables

Vegetables

Can You Freeze Cooked Cabbage?

Cabbage is a nutritious, delicious vegetable that keeps so well in the fridge. But what about keeping cooked cabbage in the freezer? Can you freeze cooked cabbage? Freezing is not recommended for storing any type of fresh leafy vegetable. Cabbage, in particular, is quite delicate because it is mostly made up of fibrous membranes with high water content. Freezing this vegetable raw could alter its texture.

The good news is, it is possible to freeze cabbage with little to no flavor or texture changes as long as it is cooked. Or at the very least, blanched. Cooking the cabbage makes the vegetable resistant to freezing temperatures.

Different Types of Cabbages

There are different types of cabbages, some freeze better than others:

Green Cabbage

Green cabbage is the most popular type of cabbage and is best used in cooking. It is used in a variety of cooking including stir-frys and slaws.

Red Cabbage

Red cabbage has a deep red to almost violet hue. This type of cabbage is just as popular as green cabbage but is best utilized in slaws and raw salads.

Savoy Cabbage

Savoy cabbage has a distinctive wrinkled or patterned leaves and a medium to light green hue. It is often used for cooking. Savoy cabbage is a seasonal vegetable so it is not always readily available. This cabbage is perfect for stir-frys and soups.

Bok Choy

A mainstay in Chinese cooking, bok choy is distinct for its fleshy stems and deep green leaves. Since bok choy is quite hardy and fibrous, it should be steamed first before adding to any recipe.

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Picking the Perfect Cabbage for Cooking and Freezing

The quality of the cabbages prior to cooking does affect its shelf life after the product has been frozen and defrosted. That’s why it is important to choose the freshest produce for freezing. Choose cabbages with dense, solid heads. The leaves should be fresh and green. Avoid cabbages with wilted or yellowing leaves or browned edges.

For store-bought cabbages, check the label to gauge the freshness. Usually, the cabbages are harvested at the peak of ripeness and stored in warehouses for several days before being sold at your local supermarket. If you want the freshest produce possible, buy cabbages from your local farmer’s market. Ask the vendors when the heads were picked to check for freshness. If you are harvesting cabbages from your own garden, do it during the early morning before the day gets too hot. Wait until closer to frost before harvesting the cabbages for optimal freshness.

Prepping the Cabbages for Blanching

Blanching is the perfect way to prep any type of vegetable prior to freezing because it locks in the nutrients and enhances the natural color of the produce. But you have to be careful when blanching delicate veggies because you might overcook them.

To prep the cabbage for blanching, wash the heads thoroughly. Remove aphids, beetles, caterpillars and other critters that are hiding under the leaves. Soak the cabbages in a salt and water solution for half an hour just to make sure the cabbages are free of bugs. After soaking the cabbage, rinse well with plain water.

Peel off any yellowing leaves then cut the cabbage in quarters using a sharp knife. Do not remove the core because it will hold the leaves during blanching. Pat the cut cabbage heads with paper towels. It is now ready for cooking or blanching.

To blanch the cabbage, fill a large stockpot with water then bring the water to a boil over high heat. Once the water reaches a rolling boil, add the quartered cabbage heads using a colander. Blanch the vegetable for one and a half minutes.

After blanching, you have to give the vegetable an ice bath. This will stop the cooking process while locking in the color of the produce. Using the colander, collect the quartered cabbage heads and submerge in iced water. When the cabbage has cooled completely, take it out of the ice bath and shake off the excess water.

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How to Freeze Cooked Cabbage?

Be sure to pat the blanched cabbage dry prior to packing to prevent freezer burns. Place the blanched cabbage on a cookie sheet then stick in the freezer to flash freeze. Leave the vegetable to freeze for an hour or two. Once the cabbage is frozen, transfer the vegetable to freezer-friendly plastic bags. Squeeze out the excess air, seal the bag then write the storage date. Place the cabbage in the freezer and you’re done.

Freezing Cabbage Rolls

Got leftover cabbage rolls? Since the cabbage has been cooked thoroughly prior to making the rolls, you have to prep the dish for freezing. Otherwise, the cabbage rolls will turn into a soggy, soupy mess! If you’re making the rolls from scratch and you are anticipating a lot of leftovers, try freezing the filling and the cabbage separately. This way, the sauce won’t make the vegetable soggy.

On the other hand, if you are freezing leftover cabbage rolls, you want to freeze the dish slowly. Start by chilling the leftovers in the fridge for several hours to overnight. Place the dish in a freezer-friendly container beforehand so you don’t have to transfer the rolls once you’re ready to freeze. When the rolls are nice and chilled, transfer the container to the freezer.

Freezing Fried Cabbage with Bacon

This is another popular cabbage-based dish that’s a cinch to prepare and freeze for later!

Simply prepare the dish as you normally would then leave it to cool completely. Do not cook the cabbage all the way through for minimal texture changes after defrosting. Once the dish has cooled completely, spoon it into several resealable plastic bags. Squeeze out the excess air then seal. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

Freezing Cabbage Soup

Yes, it’s quite possible to freeze cabbage soup for later enjoyment. Just make sure the soup has cooled completely when preparing it for freezing.

If you have a lot of leftovers in your hand, prepare several rigid plastic containers with an airtight lid. Using a ladle, transfer the soup into the containers but do not fill the containers completely. The liquid will expand as it freezes so leave about an inch or two of space when prepping the soup for freezing.

Once you’re done, close the lid, make sure it is sealed completely then write the storage date. Stick in the freezer and you’re done.

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Shelf Life, Thawing and Reheating Suggestions

When kept in the freezer, cooked cabbage will keep to about a year or more especially if the freezing temperature is kept at a steady 0 degrees.

Thawing cooked cabbage – or any type of frozen vegetable for that matter – has to be slow. Never thaw the cooked cabbage or dish at room temperature because this will affect the texture and flavor of the vegetable. Simply place the frozen vegetable in the fridge to thaw overnight.

Once the cooked cabbage has been thawed completely, you can start reheating the dish in the microwave or on the stove.

Summary

Can you freeze cooked cabbage? Of course, you can! As long as you prepped the vegetable properly prior to freezing, you can extend the shelf life of the cooked vegetable.

Vegetables

Can You Freeze Fresh Vegetables?

Can you freeze fresh vegetables? Nothing like eating fresh vegetables on the daily but if you have too much of your favorite greens, freezing the rest can be a great idea too. Certain types of vegetables are great for freezing; there will be minimal texture or flavor changes. Usually, fibrous, hard or dense vegetables freeze so well.

However, delicate greens and starchy vegetables are a little tricky to keep in the freezer. Still, if you want to preserve the nutritional value of your favorite vegetables, freezing is your best bet. In addition, freezing vegetables takes more than just packing and sticking the veggies in the freezer. There are certain steps you need to take to keep rot and frost away. These steps include these techniques:

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Flash Freezing the Vegetables

Flash freezing involves “shocking” or exposing the food to low temperature prior to freezing. This helps retain the freshness of the ingredients. Some vegetables tend to lose their crunchiness or fresh flavor when frozen and thawed. Through flash freezing, the vegetables won’t lose their crispiness and distinct green taste even when frozen and thawed.

To flash freeze the vegetables, place the washed and trimmed vegetables on a cookie sheet. Make sure the greens aren’t touching each other so they are easy to pull apart. Stick the cookie sheet in the freezer and let sit until frozen solid.

For larger vegetables, this should take two hours or so. For smaller vegetables, check every 30 minutes. If you are unsure if the veggies are frozen, cut a piece and see if the center is frozen.

Blanching the Vegetables

Blanching involves immersing fresh vegetables into a pot of boiling water – usually for a minute or two – then plunging the vegetables in an ice bath to stop the cooking process.

This technique is meant to prolong the freshness of the vegetables as well as add vibrancy to their natural color. Blanching helps kill the enzymes that cause the vegetables to ripen. The method helps preserve the vegetables at the peak of freshness prior to freezing.

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To blanch the washed and trimmed vegetables, simmer a pot of boiling water. While waiting for the pot of water to simmer, prepare a large bowl of iced water then set aside.

Once the pot of water is boiling, place the vegetables in the pot using a slotted spoon or a colander. Give the vegetables at least 60 seconds to blanch or until the color of the veggies becomes brighter. Then, take the vegetables out of the pot and plunge into the ice water. Once completely cooled, the veggies are ready to be packed for freezing.

Now that you know two of the best techniques for prepping veggies for freezing, let’s take a look at the step by step guide on how can you freeze fresh vegetables:

How to Freeze Fresh Vegetables?

This is a general guide on how to freeze most types of fresh vegetables.

To start, select only the young and fresh vegetables then wash them thoroughly. With a knife, trim the veggies, remove the husk, peel the vegetables or cut in desired pieces, etc. Once the vegetables are washed and trimmed, you can choose to blanch or flash freeze first prior to freezing. Please refer to the instruction above for the blanching or flash freezing guide.

Once you are done flash freezing or blanching the fresh vegetables, pat the vegetables dry with paper towels. This is an extremely important part of freezing fresh vegetables. If you don’t pat the vegetables dry prior to freezing, ice crystals will form within the veggies. This will ruin the flavor and texture of the greens once they are defrosted!

After patting the vegetables dry, you can now pack the veggies for freezing. You can either use a large airtight container or resealable plastic bags to pack the veggies. Just place the vegetables into your preferred container then seal. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer. If you’re using a resealable plastic bag, it’s best to use the quart sized ones so you can divide the vegetables into manageable portions. This will make defrosting much easier.

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Guidelines for Freezing Specific Vegetables

Freezing a certain type of vegetables? Don’t worry, we got you covered. Here are the basic guidelines on how to freeze some of the most commonly used fresh vegetables:

Asparagus

Asparagus keeps so well in the freezer because it’s quite a fibrous vegetable. Here is a complete guide on how can you freeze asparagus.

Zucchini

Just like asparagus, zucchini is a terrific vegetable for freezing because it doesn’t turn soggy or mushy once defrosted. Here is a step by step guide on how to freeze zucchini.

Carrots

Who doesn’t love carrots? Learn how to freeze carrots the right way by checking out our complete guide! Click here to get started.

Cabbage

Cabbage is a delicate vegetable so freezing it will require careful attention. Most types of green leafy vegetables are tricky to freeze so refer to this guide to get it right.

Celery

Celery is also a delicate vegetable so it’s a little tricky to freeze. But once done right, celery will keep fresh in the freezer for months. Go here for the step by step guide on how to freeze celery.

Onions

Onions are quite easy to freeze. Here is our step by step guide on how to prep and store fresh onions in the freezer.

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts keep so well in the freezer. Check out our guide on how can you freeze Brussels sprouts here.

Butternut Squash

It’s always a great idea to stock up on butternut especially during the colder season. Here is a step by step guide on how to prepare and pack butternut squash for freezing.

Eggplants

Ever wonder how to prep eggplants for freezing? Extend the shelf life of your favorite vegetable with this simple guide on how to freeze eggplants!

Green Beans

Green beans aren’t so tricky to freeze because they are fibrous. Here is our guide on how to freeze green beans properly.

Bean Sprouts

Bean sprouts tend to lose their crispiness once frozen but our step by step guide will walk you through the proper way to freeze beans sprouts.

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How to Defrost Fresh Vegetables?

There is no need to thaw frozen fresh vegetables if they’ll be used in cooking. They will thaw as they cook. This is great news if you’re making soups and stews – just chuck the frozen vegetables, and you’re done. However, there are certain dishes that do require the frozen vegetables to be defrosted. For instance, if you are making fresh salads, stir-frys, and hors d’oeuvre made from fresh veggies, you need to defrost the vegetables first.

Generally, you want to defrost the fresh vegetable slowly. That means, you just need to transfer the frozen vegetables from the freezer to the fridge. This goes especially for delicate vegetables such as green leafy vegetables and starchy vegetables. Leave the fresh vegetables to thaw for several hours to overnight. Once the vegetables are completely thawed, use as directed by the recipe!

Summary

Vegetables come in different varieties so there is no clear-cut freezing method that applies to all vegetables. Some vegetables require more care than others because they are more sensitive to temperature changes while others are hardier.

One secret to maintaining the freshness of the vegetables even after freezing and defrosting is to keep the temperature at a steady 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Of course, packing the vegetables properly prior to freezing is also important too!

We hope that this guide on how can you freeze fresh vegetables is a great help to you. For our full list on fresh vegetable freezing guides, please go here.

Vegetables

Can You Freeze Boiled Potatoes?

Can you freeze boiled potatoes? Cooked potatoes can be frozen but there will be minor texture changes. If the potatoes have been packed poorly, they could take on a soggy, watery, or even grainy texture once thawed.

That being said, cooking the potatoes prior to freezing helps cut the prep time when you’re cooking. In addition, freezing boiled potatoes extends the shelf life of the spuds, which is great if you’ve got more potatoes than you can handle. Imagine all the baked potatoes, French fries, and croquettes that you can make in the future by freezing cooked potatoes right now.

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When kept in the fridge, boiled potatoes will keep for a week or so. But when frozen, boiled potatoes will keep fresh for 3 to 4 months. Do note that some potato variety keeps well in the freezer and some don’t. Waxy potato varieties such as white, red, and yellow potatoes are perfect for freezing. These potato varieties have low moisture content so changes in texture are kept at a minimum.

When choosing what type of potatoes to get for freezing, look for spuds that are firm, smooth and blemish-free. Avoid potatoes with a green tinge, as this is a sign of prolonged sun exposure. The green tinge is actually a toxic compound. Now let’s take a look at the step by step guide on how can you freeze boiled potatoes:

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How to Freeze Boiled Potatoes?

Preparing the Potatoes for Freezing

Start by preparing the potatoes for boiling. With a soft brush, scrub the potatoes under cool running water. Peel the potatoes with a peeler and remove the eyes and/or blemishes. You can cut the potatoes if they are too large or leave then un-cut. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a full boil then gently add the potatoes. Cook the potatoes for 5 to 6 minutes or until slightly tender. Do not boil the potatoes completely, they should remain firm. While waiting for the potatoes to cook, prepare a bowl of iced water. When the potatoes are done, scoop each one with a slotted spoon and give them an ice bath. This will stop the core heat from cooking the spuds through. After the ice bath, pat each potato dry with paper towels.

Packing and Freezing the Potatoes

On a parchment-lined baking sheet, spread the potatoes and make sure each one is cooled completely. Stick the baking sheet in the freezer for two hours or until the potatoes are frozen solid. This extra step stops the spuds from clumping together. Once the potatoes are frozen solid, get several resealable plastic bags or a large freezer-safe container. Take the potatoes out of the freezer and place them in your preferred container. Seal the container, write the storage date with a marker and then stick in the freezer.

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How to Defrost Boiled Potatoes?

When it comes to defrosting frozen whole boiled potatoes, simply transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the potatoes to thaw for several hours to overnight. As for potatoes that were diced and sliced prior to freezing, there is no need to thaw the spuds. They can be used in cooking immediately. Since diced or sliced boiled potatoes were cut into smaller bits, they will thaw quickly as they cook.

When using thawed boiled potatoes in cooking, add them when the dish is almost done cooking. That means preparing the dish without the potatoes and adding the spuds just as you are about to wrap up. This will prevent the spuds from turning into soggy, mushy mess.

Summary

Freezing boiled potatoes is easy as long as you know what factors to keep in mind during the process. Now that you know how can you freeze boiled potatoes, there is no need to worry about what to do with your excess spuds! Just freeze the potatoes for future cooking.

Vegetables

Can You Freeze Beetroot?

Do you love beetroot? With its distinct earthy flavor, beetroot is often used in soups, sandwiches, stews, and salads. This vegetable can be used in desserts and smoothies too! But what if you have leftover beetroot? Can you freeze beetroot? Thankfully, beetroot keeps so well in the freezer.

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Fresh beetroot will keep fresh for a week in the fridge. But when frozen, this vegetable will stay fresh for 8 months or so. It’s important to keep the temperature at a steady 0 degrees Fahrenheit to maintain the quality and freshness of beetroot in the freezer.

Now the problem with freezing fresh beetroot is that the vegetable has the tendency to soften once it’s taken out of the freezer. Don’t worry, we will teach you how to freeze beetroot properly to maintain its original texture. Also, the beets are prone to “bleeding” after defrosting.

The fact is, beetroot that has softened after thawing is safe to use in cooking. Also, there is a way to keep the beets from bleeding, which we will outline below. Now, let’s take a look at how can you freeze beetroot:

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How to Freeze Beetroot?

In this guide, we will outline the ways to freeze beetroot and roasted beetroot. We don’t recommend freezing fresh beets, you have to cook the vegetable first prior to freezing for best results. Fresh, uncooked beets that have been frozen will take on an unpalatable grainy texture once defrosted.

Freezing Fresh Beetroot

To start, cut the greens from the beetroot but leave about an inch or two of the stem. Trim the long root ends and start scrubbing the vegetable with a soft brush to remove dirt. Once the vegetable is cleaned, set aside.

Get a large bowl; fill it with ice and water then set aside. Then, fill a large pot with water, add about ¼ cup of vinegar or lemon juice then bring to a boil. The lemon juice or vinegar will prevent bleeding after defrosting the beets.

Make sure the bowl filled with ice water is within a few inches from the pot so it’s accessible during blanching. Drop the beets into the boiling water gently and boil for about an hour for large beets and 25 minutes for smaller beets.

Once the beets are fork-tender, drain the vegetable and quickly immerse in ice water. This will stop the cooking process. Leave the beetroot to cool completely before trimming the root ends and removing the skin.

Once the beets are trimmed and skinned, it’s time to slice the vegetables into your desired cut. You can also forgo the cutting and start packing the vegetable whole for freezing. Place the beetroots in a freezer-safe plastic container or a resealable plastic bag. Write the label with the storage date then stick in the freezer.

Freezing Roasted or Leftover Beets

For roasted or leftover beets, get a resealable plastic bag and place the slices of vegetable inside. Give the resealable plastic bag a good squeeze to remove the air then seal. Write the storage date with a marker then stick in the freezer.

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How to Defrost Frozen Beetroot?

To defrost frozen beetroot, just transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the vegetables to thaw for several hours to overnight. There is no need to reheat the thawed beetroot because it can be eaten as is. Reheating the beets prior to adding in cooking will only cause the vegetable to turn soggy.

Summary

Beets are such versatile vegetable. Luckily, beetroot can be frozen to extend its shelf life. Now that you know how can you freeze beetroot, you can buy this vegetable in bulk and try different recipes.

 

Vegetables

Can You Freeze Bean Sprouts?

With their crisp, clean taste and mild flavors, bean sprouts are a staple in Asian cooking and vegan dishes. Bean sprouts make a fine ingredient in soups, salads, stir-fry’s, and stews! They are quite nutritious too.

Bean sprouts are a great source of vitamin C, folic acid, dietary fiber, and protein. They are also high in copper, which promotes better cardiovascular, kidney, skin, and muscle health. If there’s one type of vegetable that you simply need to stock up on, you can’t go wrong with bean sprouts. But can you freeze bean sprouts?

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Yes, bean sprouts can be frozen but you have to work the veggies a bit so the sprouts won’t lose their crunchiness. When kept in the fridge, bean sprouts will only stay fresh for a week. But when kept in the freezer, bean sprouts will last for 10 months to a full year! As always, the freezer temperature must be kept at a steady 0° Fahrenheit to extend the vegetable’s shelf life. Below is a step by step guide on how can you freeze bean sprouts:

How to Freeze Bean Sprouts?

Bean sprouts may lose their crunchy texture once they’ve been frozen. The crispiness of the veggie is attributed to its high water content. The good news is, it’s possible to retain the crunch of bean sprouts by blanching the vegetables prior to freezing.

Start by washing the bean sprouts thoroughly, removing dirt and other bits. Boil a pot of water and prepare a large bowl of ice water nearby. Vegetables tend to cook quickly and blanching is a quick process so make sure the chilled water is just a few inch away from where you’re blanching.

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As soon as the pot of water boils, immerse the spouts (use a metal colander so the sprouts are easy to collect) for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes, take the blanched veggies directly into the chilled water, immersing the sprouts completely to stop the cooking process.

After 3 minutes in ice water bath, drain off excess moisture and start prepping the sprouts for freezing. We recommend packing the sprouts in manageable portions just so thawing is easier. Get a resealable plastic bag or a rigid plastic container and pour the sprouts in. Do not overfill or the veggies will bruise. Seal or close the airtight lid and write the storage date before sticking in the freezer.

For leftover bean sprouts, those that have been cooked thoroughly, just transfer the vegetables to a rigid plastic container. Make sure the container has an airtight cover so frost won’t seep in and ruin the bean sprouts. Finally, write the storage date and stick in the freezer.

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How to Defrost Frozen Bean Sprouts?

To thaw the sprouts, transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the veggies to thaw for about 2 hours or so. Drain excess liquids and the bean sprouts are now ready to use. If you’re using the bean sprouts in soups or other hot dishes, there’s no need to thaw the bean sprouts at all. Just add the frozen bean sprouts straight into the hot dish during cooking.

Summary

Bean sprouts add a delicious crunch to soups and stews, not to mention a long list of essential nutrients! It’s great to know that bean sprouts keep so well in the freezer. Now that you know how can you freeze bean sprouts, there’s absolutely no need to worry about what to do with the leftovers.

Vegetables

Can You Freeze Yams?

Yams make the perfect diet food. They are high in energizing complex carbohydrates as well as dietary fiber. Whether baked, fried, mashed or boiled, yams are filling, delicious, and nutritious! That’s why keeping these root crops in stock is always a good idea. But can you freeze yams?

The fact is, yams are not available all year round. Freezing yams ensures that you have your favorite starchy vegs in stock when supplies are limited. Just like other starchy root crops, cooked yams keep well in the freezer.

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However, the starchy flesh of a yam is quite delicate so prepping the root crop is essential to maintain its original taste and texture. As for fresh yams, we don’t recommend freezing raw yams because the texture and flavor will change no matter how careful you are with prepping.

When kept at room temperature, uncooked yams will keep fresh for 2 weeks or so. Cooked yams kept in the fridge will keep for 2 to 3 weeks. Freezing boiled yams will extend their shelf life to 10 to 12 months at 0° Fahrenheit. Below is a step by step guide on how can you freeze yams:

How to Freeze Yams?

Because raw yams aren’t recommended for freezing, you should boil or bake the yams first prior to freezing. Heat a pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil, place the yams in the pot and boil for 10 to 15 minutes or until the yams are tender but not 100% cooked through.

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After boiling the yams, turn off the stove and leave them to stand at room temperature until completely cooled. Once the yams have cooled completely, dice or slice them with a sharp knife. Get several storage bags, the resealable kind, of course, and place a proper portion of the cut yams inside. Squeeze as much air as you can then seal. With a marker, write the storage date and stick in the freezer.

If you’d like to bake or mash the yams first prior to freezing, refer to the boiling instruction above. After the yams are cooled completely, cut, season, and process the yams accordingly. Then, prepare several resealable plastic bags, place ample portions of the yams inside and squeeze as much air as you can before sealing. If you have a vacuum sealer, use it to suck the air out of each bag before sealing. Finally, write the storage date before sticking in the freezer.

How to Defrost and Reheat Frozen Yams?

Peeled yams are prone to oxidation so they should never be exposed to air after freezing. This means boiled cut yams should be used as soon as they are taken from the freezer. If you’re not cooking the thawed yams immediately, try immersing the yams in salted water until you’re ready to cook. For mashed or baked yams, they won’t discolor when exposed to air but we suggest reheating the dish as soon as they are thawed for optimal flavor.

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To reheat baked yams, just place the yams in a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Reheat in the oven for 350° Fahrenheit for about 25 to 35 minutes. As for mashed yams, you can reheat in a skillet over medium heat. Add a little milk to the mixture as you stir to loosen the consistency then serve once piping hot.

Summary

Yams may be delicate root crops but as long as you take extra steps to maintain their freshness, they can be stored in the freezer for a year or more. Now that you know how can you freeze yams, there’s no fear of ruining a batch or dealing with spoilage when you buy yams in bulk!

Vegetables

Can You Freeze Yellow Squash?

Summer is in full swing and that means enjoying the bounty of the season, including yellow squash! Yellow squash is a type of gourd that’s often used in cooking. It’s best used in stews and soups because the vegetable adds richness to the broth. From the rind to the flesh, every part of the yellow squash can be eaten. Although yellow squash can be enjoyed all year long, how do you keep the vegetable for long-term storage? Can you freeze yellow squash?

As long as the gourd is prepped and packed properly, you can freeze yellow squash. That goes for fresh, blanched or cooked yellow squash! Yellow squash has an extremely short shelf life. It only keeps for a week in the fridge. That’s because yellow squash contains enzymes that break down quickly at room temperature.

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By freezing the vegetable, yellow squash could keep up to 3 months. However, we recommend consuming yellow squash as soon as possible for optimal flavor. Even when you freeze yellow squash, there’s no guarantee that the enzymes won’t break down and cause flavor or texture changes. Storing the gourd could also reduce its nutritional content.

There are two ways to prep yellow squash for freezing. You could either freeze the yellow squash uncooked or blanched. While it’s much easier to freeze yellow squash without cooking, blanching the vegetable will extend its shelf life. Here is a step-by-step guide on how can you freeze yellow squash:

How to Freeze Yellow squash?

If you’re freezing whole and uncooked yellow squash, we don’t recommend cutting the gourd into pieces prior to freezing. The rind will protect the yellow squash from freezer burn and preserve its natural texture and/or flavor.

To start, wash the yellow squash in running water. Remove any sticky part or residues then pat dry with paper towels. Get a large, heavy-duty resealable plastic bag and place the yellow squash inside. Squeeze as much air as you can before sealing and then write the storage date on the label. Stick in the freezer and you’re done.

If you’d like to blanch the yellow squash first prior to freezing, wash the gourd and pat dry with paper towels. On a cutting board, slice the ends of the yellow squash, about ¼ inch on both ends. Heat a pot of water on the stove over high then place the yellow squash inside and blanch for 3 minutes.

After 3 minutes of blanching, scoop the yellow squash out of the boiling water and into a bowl of ice water. This will stop the heat from cooking the yellow squash through. Leave the yellow squash completely submerged in ice water for 5 minutes or so. Drain the water using a colander and pat the yellow squash dry with paper towels. Finally, pack the yellow squash in a plastic resealable bag, squeezing out as much air as possible before sealing and sticking in the freezer.

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How to Defrost Frozen Yellow Squash?

To thaw frozen yellow squash, just transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the yellow squash to thaw for several hours to overnight. Do not defrost the gourd at room temperature. The drastic change in temperature will alter the texture of the yellow squash!

Slow defrosting is key to maintaining the yellow squash’s original flavor and texture. Once the yellow squash is soft enough to be cut, just slice it according to the desired cut and it’s ready for cooking. Reheating the yellow squash is not necessary unless the gourd has been cooked in stews or soups. Just add the thawed yellow squash in the middle of cooking.

Summary

Yellow squash may be a delicate vegetable to freeze but as long as you prep and pack the gourd right, it will last for months in the freezer! Now that you know how can you freeze yellow squash, why not keep a stock of this healthy vegetable for future meals?

Vegetables

Can You Freeze Jicama?

Looking for a great alternative to potatoes or starchy root crops? Give jicama a try! Jicama is a type of yam bean plant with an edible tuberous root. This plant originated in Mexico and South Africa and is often used in cooking.

Jicama’s fleshy root is crunchy and mild in flavor, similar to turnips. Its exterior is light brown or gray. As for the flavor, this vegetable has a sweet, nutty flavor and a crispy texture. Its crispiness is retained even when the vegetable is cooked briefly. Jicama can be eaten raw, added to salads, or cooked in stews. The flavor is so mild; it will not alter the flavor of the dish.

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Jicama is widely available in the US but you can buy this root crop in bulk. But can you freeze jicama? Jicama does surprisingly well in the freezer, unlike regular starchy roots! Fresh, uncut tubers will keep fresh in the fridge for up to two weeks. As long as you do not cut the vegetable into pieces, there’s no need to wrap jicama in tin foil or cling wrap to retain its freshness in the fridge.

However, once it is cut, you have to prep the vegetable prior to freezing. Although its root is crisp and white, it could turn soggy and yellowish once it’s left exposed to cold temperature. Exposure to moisture could also alter the flavor of jicama. It could even absorb fridge flavors when it’s not packed properly.

You can freeze jicama but this will change the texture of the root crop unless it’s frozen whole and uncut. If it’s cut, you can still freeze it but it will take on a softer texture once it’s been defrosted. Frozen jicamas could keep fresh in the freezer for up to 4 to 6 months.

Image used under Creative Commons from Forest and Kim Starr

One thing to keep in mind when wondering if can you freeze jicama is the moisture level of the vegetable prior to storage.

How to Freeze Jicama?

Jicama is extremely sensitive to moisture and once exposed to it, decay, discoloration, and texture loss will set in. As such, you need to keep the product as dry as possible prior to freezing. Below is a step by step guide on how can you freeze jicama.

Freezing Fresh Jicama

If you are simply chilling whole jicamas in the fridge, there’s no need to add protective wrapping as long as you plan to consume the root crops right away. But if you’re freezing whole jicamas, you will still need a protective wrapping to protect them from freezer burn or moisture loss. Before freezing, wrap each jicama in aluminum foil then stick them in the freezer.

Freezing Cut Jicama

For cut or shredded jicamas, use an airtight rigid plastic container to store the vegetables in the freezer. Start by patting the jicamas with a clean cloth or paper towels to absorb as much moisture as possible. You want the jicamas to be dry to the touch before freezing.

Once the jicamas are dry, place them in a plastic container and close the airtight lid. Do not overfill the container so the jicamas will freeze without bruising. Get a marker to add the storage date and label before sticking in the freezer.

Image used under Creative Commons from Eliazar Parra Cardenas

How to Defrost Jicama?

To defrost jicama, simply transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the frozen jicama to defrost overnight then, it is ready to use. Do note that defrosted jicamas must be consumed right away because the changes in temperature will turn the tuber soggy.

Summary

Jicamas make a great ingredient for healthy dishes including and salads, barbecues. Now that you know how can you freeze jicama, you can store this diet-friendly tuber for future uses!

Vegetables

Can You Freeze Vegetables?

Most recipes require fresh vegetables but not all produce are available all season long so what to do? You can always freeze vegetables to ensure a steady supply of your favorite produce! Freezing vegetables properly will require more effort than simply sticking them in the freezer. Just like fruits, vegetables are extremely delicate and sticking them in the fridge haphazardly could cause bruising, which will inevitably lead to spoilage and waste.

Image used under Creative Commons from Hans Splinter

The key to perfect freezing is blanching your veggies. Blanching requires “shocking” the produce in hot water for a few seconds before bringing the temps down with cold water. When properly frozen, vegetables can keep in the freezer for up to 14 months. Continue reading below for the step-by-step guide:

How to Freeze Vegetables?

The proper way to freeze vegetables is to do so when they are fully ripened. The fact is, freezing will inhibit almost-ripe produce from ripening fully so you want to make sure the veggies are at the peak of ripeness before they are frozen.

Prepping the Vegetables

Once you picked out the vegetables you want to freeze, clean each one thoroughly under running water. Remove unwanted bits, including stems, grit, dirt, and trim the produce one by one. After cleaning your veg, slice them up into the desired size or intended use. Once prep is done, you can start blanching the vegetables.

Blanching the Vegetables

Blanching your produce prolongs freshness because it prevents wilting, kills bacteria, and slows down vitamin and mineral deterioration.

To blanch your veggies, bring a large pot of water to a boil and with a colander, place your veggies in and submerge in hot water for 1 minute. Blanch quickly so you don’t cook the produce! Remove the colander from the hot water and transfer the produce to a bowl of ice water. Drain the vegetables using table napkins and you’re ready to pack!

Packing the Vegetables for Freezing

To pack your veggies, you can either use a freezer-safe, rigid plastic container or glass jars. The type of container you’ll use will depend on the type of veggie you’re freezing. If you’re packing the veggies loosely, you can use a baking sheet for freezing, just make sure each produce has enough space in between. Stick the container in the freezer and you’re done!

How to Defrost Frozen Vegetables?

The best way to defrost frozen vegetables is to cook it directly even if they are frozen solid. To thaw vegetables, bring about ½ to 2/3 cup of water to a boil (per 16 ounces of frozen vegetables) over medium heat. Add the frozen veggies, cover with the lid, and occasionally separate the veggies as they cook. Cook until the veggies are tender.

For larger batches of frozen vegetables, you can run the packaging under cold water until completely thawed.

Image used under Creative Commons from Personal Creations

Summary

Freezing vegetables properly means you can keep seasonal produce in stock right at home. Now that you know how to freeze vegetables properly, you can store your favorite veggies for later use.

 

Vegetables

Can You Freeze Leeks?

Can you freeze leeks? While leaks are available all year long, there are times where you might want to freeze those veggies. Maybe there’s a huge sale at the grocery store and you want to stock up. Or you grow your own leeks and would prefer to store some of them for later. Either way, freezing leeks seem like a good way to preserve them, right?

Can You Freeze Leeks?

As with pretty much every vegetable, you can freeze leeks. The real question is if it makes sense and if you will like the results that you get.

Like with other veggies, especially those with high water content like leeks, freezing changes the texture of leeks. In short, leeks after thawing will turn soggy. So there’s no clear answer to the can you freeze leeks? question. It all depends on how you plan to use the veggie.

Leeks

Image used under Creative Commons from THOR

If the texture is important for the dish you’re planning to prepare, freezing leeks won’t work out well. That means freezing leeks for a salad doesn’t make sense. But if those leeks will be part of a cooked dish, like a casserole or a stew, things change. In cooked dishes the texture of veggies usually doesn’t matter that much because it will change in the cooking process either way. So you likely won’t notice much difference between a stew with fresh leeks and one with frozen leeks.

Now that you know when it makes sense to freeze leeks, let’s go through the freezing process.

How to Freeze Leeks?

Let’s start with selection. As is the case with pretty much all other veggies, select the highest quality ones for freezing. If it’s starting to wilt or is heavily bruised, use it as soon as you can instead of freezing. Yes, that means you should freeze leeks as soon as possible, not after keeping them in the fridge for two weeks with no idea how to use them. Choose leeks that have dark green leaves and firm but pliable stalks. The stem and bulb should be white. Overall, the leeks should look crispy and fresh, not bruised, discolored or funky-looking.

Before you freeze leeks, you have to clean each stalk thoroughly. Remove anything that might be stuck between the leaves.

Now it’s time to prepare them for packaging. Consider how you will use those leeks and decide if they should be sliced or chopped. Basically, you want them to be ready for to the dish they are going into.

Now the veggies are ready to be blanched. This step is optional, though recommended. You can always test out how leeks turn out without blanching and decide if it’s worth the hassle. Blanching is really simple. First, bring a pot of water to a boil. Then toss cut leeks into the water for 1 to 2 minutes, depending how you cut the veggies. Then chill leeks rapidly in a cold water, possibly with ice cubes. Once chilled, pat them dry. They’re ready for packaging.

You can freeze leeks in freezer-safe containers or freezer bags. Bags are more convenient as you can fill each bag with the portion needed for a single dish and it will take exactly that amount of space in the freezer. So think about the amount you need for the dish you’re going to make and choose accordingly. Label each bag or container with the name and date for future reference. Toss the bags or containers into the freezer.

Leeks, generally speaking, should be frozen for no longer than 6-12 months. The sooner you use them, the better the quality. So after a year in the fridge these veggies will be perfectly edible, although you might not like the taste.

How to Thaw Leeks?

This one is really straghtforward. Just transfer the frozen leaks directly into the dish while cooking. It will thaw and cook and everything will be just fine. You might try thawing them in the fridge, but that doesn’t make much sense as they will go into a cooked dish either way.

Summary
While leeks are available all year long, from time to time you might want to stock up and freeze them. The freezing process is quite simple: wash, cut, blanch if needed, and freeze. Remember that freezing leeks works only for cooked dishes.