Category: Vegetables

Vegetables

Can You Freeze Swiss Chard?

Can you freeze Swiss chard? Freezing any type of greens is tricky because they could wilt or turn brown after thawing. Since Swiss chard is only available during the summer season, it makes sense to buy this vegetable in bulk then freeze them for later use.

The good news is, Swiss chard is a hardy green, which makes it suitable for freezing. Of course, you have to prep the greens well prior to freezing to extend its original color and flavor. When prepping the Swiss chard for freezing, you can either blanch the greens or flash-freeze them.

Preparing the Swiss Chard Prior to Freezing

Start by picking the greenest bunches of Swiss chard on your local supermarket (or garden!). Then, wash the Swiss chard in running water, making sure to remove any dirt or debris you find. After rinsing the Swiss chard clean, cut the base of the stem with a sharp knife. Separate the stems from the leaves as you cut because it’s best to freeze these separately. After cutting the Swiss chard to size, you can start prepping it for blanching or flash freezing.

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How to Freeze Swiss Chard?

Blanching the Swiss Chard for Freezing

Prepare a pot of water and bring it to a boil on high. Then, prepare a large bowl of ice water nearby. Place the Swiss chard in a colander then submerge the colander into the boiling water. Leave the green to blanch for 30 seconds or until they turn a bright green. Never cook the Swiss chard all the way through or the greens will turn to mush once they have been thawed. Give the blanched Swiss chard an ice bath to stop the cooking process. After blanching, you are ready to pack the Swiss chard for freezing.

To pack the Swiss chard for freezing, shake off the excess water and pat the greens dry with paper towel. Prepare two small resealable plastic bags, one for the Swiss chard stems and the other for the chopped leaves. Place the Swiss chard stems and leaves in their rightful container than squeeze out the excess air before sealing. Write the storage date then stick flat in the freezer.

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Flash Freezing the Swiss Chard for Freezing

To flash freeze the chopped Swiss chard, prepare a large bowl of ice water. Wait until the water is extremely cold or near-freezing. Submerge the Swiss chard into the ice water and let sit for at least 15 minutes. Prepare a wax paper-lined baking pan and drain the Swiss chard. Pat them dry with paper towel and separate the stems from the leaves. Lay the greens on the baking pan and place the Swiss chard in the freezer. Leave the greens to freeze for at least 1 hour. While waiting for the Swiss chard to freeze, prepare two resealable plastic bags, one for the stems and another for the leaves.

Take the baking pan out of the freezer and start packing the greens for long-term freezing. Place the Swiss chard stems and leaves in their rightful container than squeeze out the excess air before sealing. Write the storage date then stick flat in the freezer.

Shelf Life, Thawing, and Cooking Suggestions

When kept in the freezer, Swiss chard will keep for up to 6 months. It can last in the freezer for 12 months or a year when the temperature is kept at a steady 0 degrees Fahrenheit. However, we recommend consuming your supply in a month or less for optimal flavor and texture. Thawing the Swiss chard, or any type of frozen greens for that matter should be done slowly. Just take a pack of frozen Swiss chard out of the freezer and leave it to defrost overnight in the fridge.

If you are using the greens for stir-fry’s or stews, thawing is not needed at all. Just add the frozen Swiss chard directly into the dish you are cooking. The heat from the stove will thaw the greens while cooking them thoroughly at the same time.

Summary

Can you freeze Swiss chard? You might think that greens such as Swiss chard are hard to freeze but you’d be surprised how well this vegetable freezes. The key to successful freezing is proper prep. Make sure the greens are not cooked all the way through during blanching so they won’t turn mushy or slimy once they are defrosted! Just keep all these storage tips in mind so you can freeze and thaw Swiss chard properly.

Vegetables

Can You Freeze Portobello Mushrooms?

Portobello mushrooms have distinct meaty flavor and a chewy texture that makes them an ideal alternative to pork or beef. Unlike more delicate varieties of mushrooms, Portobello mushrooms have a longer shelf life thanks to their denser texture. However, any type of mushroom will turn slimy when improperly stored. What if you bought Portobello mushrooms in bulk? Can you freeze Portobello mushrooms?

Yes, Portobello mushrooms freeze so well. Of course, they have to be prepped properly to minimize texture or flavor changes. Prepping the mushrooms for freezing involves cleaning the Portobello mushrooms to remove deep-seated dirt.

Tips for Buying Mushrooms

When picking the mushrooms, avoid those with a musty or moldy odor. Mushrooms have a naturally woodsy, clean smell. Check the firmness of the mushrooms and avoid bruised, soggy, or discolored ones. Broad mushrooms such as Portobello mushrooms have a thick, fleshy, and firm texture.

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The underside of the Portobello mushroom, called the gills, should be firm and brown, not black.

How to Clean the Mushrooms for Freezing

Most chefs and cooking experts do not recommend rinsing the mushrooms in running water. Instead, they use a special brush to brush off unwanted debris. How you clean the mushrooms will be entirely up to you but if you need help, check out this quick video:

How to Freeze Portobello Mushrooms?

There are so many ways of prepping Portobello mushrooms prior to freezing and we are outlining each one! If you want to retain the natural flavors of the Portobello mushrooms, consider freezing the shrooms fresh. Do note that frozen fresh mushrooms should only be used in making soups, casseroles, and stews.

If you want to extend the shelf life of the Portobello mushrooms even further, steaming, sautéing, or blanching the Portobello mushrooms first prior to freezing is your best bet. Steaming, sautéing, or blanching the Portobello mushrooms allows you to use the mushroom in a variety of ways!

Freezing Raw and Chopped Portobello Mushrooms

Clean the mushroom by brushing off visible debris. With a sharp knife, trim the stem ends and remove the gills on the underside of the mushrooms. Once the Portobello mushrooms are clean, chop them into equal sizes.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the chopped Portobello mushrooms evenly. Make sure the pieces are not touching each other. Stick the baking sheet in the freezer and freeze for an hour or two. After an hour or two, place the chopped Portobello mushrooms in a heavy-duty, resealable plastic bag. Squeeze out as much air as you can before sealing. Write the date before sticking it flat in the freezer.

Freezing Raw and Whole Portobello Mushrooms

Clean the mushroom by brushing off visible debris. With a sharp knife, trim the stem ends and remove the gills on the underside of the mushrooms. You can freeze the raw and whole Portobello mushrooms by simply sticking them in the freezer or flash-freezing them first.

If you’d like to take the simpler route, just wrap each of the clean Portobello mushrooms in cling wrap then place them in a heavy-duty, resealable plastic bag. Squeeze out as much air as you can before sealing. Write the date before sticking it flat in the freezer.

If you’d like to flash-freeze the raw Portobello mushrooms, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the Portobello mushrooms evenly. Make sure the mushrooms are not touching each other. Stick the baking sheet in the freezer and freeze the mushrooms for an hour or two.

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After an hour or two, place the Portobello mushrooms in a heavy-duty, resealable plastic bag. Squeeze out as much air as you can before sealing. Write the date before sticking it flat in the freezer.

Freezing Sautéd Portobello Mushrooms

This method will retain the firmness of the mushrooms the longest! Clean the mushroom by brushing off visible debris. With a sharp knife, trim the stem ends and remove the gills on the underside of the mushrooms. Slice or chop the mushrooms in equal sizes then sauté in butter over high heat in a skillet. Do not cook the mushrooms all the way through. Leave the mushrooms half-cooked so they’ll cook fully once you’re using them for your recipe.

After sautéing the mushrooms, place them on a plate, remove the excess oil and pat leftover oil dry with paper towels. Leave the sautéed mushrooms to cool completely. Once the mushrooms have cooled completely, place them in a heavy-duty, resealable plastic bag. Squeeze out as much air as you can before sealing. Write the date before sticking it flat in the freezer.

Freezing Steamed Portobello Mushrooms

If you want to preserve the Portobello mushrooms’ flavor, this is the perfect method to try! Start by prepping the mushrooms for steaming. Clean the mushroom by brushing off visible debris. With a sharp knife, trim the stem ends and remove the gills on the underside of the mushrooms.

Chop the mushrooms or leave them whole, if desired. Then, place the mushrooms in a steamer basket or a double boiler and steam for several minutes. For whole mushrooms, steam for five minutes. For chopped or sliced mushrooms, they should be ready in 3 minutes or less. After steaming the mushroom, soak them in a pot of ice water. This will stop the cooking process. If you want to preserve the color of the mushrooms, soak them first in a lemon juice and water solution prior to steaming.

After the ice bath, shake the excess water and pat the steamed mushroom dry with paper towels. You’re ready to pack the mushrooms for freezing. Place them in a heavy-duty, resealable plastic bag. Squeeze out as much air as you can before sealing. Write the date before sticking it flat in the freezer.

Freezing Blanched Portobello Mushrooms

Blanching the Portobello mushrooms first prior to freezing will stretch their shelf life the longest. It’s a simple method that involves parboiling or blanching the mushrooms. Start by prepping the mushrooms. Clean the mushroom by brushing off visible debris. With a sharp knife, trim the stem ends and remove the gills on the underside of the mushrooms. Place the clean mushrooms in a colander and boil a pot of water. Submerge the colander into the boiling water and blanch for 1 to 2 minutes. Do not cook the mushrooms fully or they’ll turn soggy once defrosted!

After 1 to 2 minutes, give the mushrooms an ice bath. This will stop the cooking process. After the ice bath, shake the excess water and pat the steamed mushroom dry with paper towels. Place the mushrooms in a heavy-duty, resealable plastic bag. Squeeze out as much air as you can before sealing. Write the date before sticking it flat in the freezer.

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Shelf Life and Thawing Suggestions

The shelf life of the frozen Portobello mushrooms will depend on the preservation method you used prior to freezing. Raw Portobello mushrooms will last in the freezer for at least 10 months. Sauteed Portobello mushrooms have a shorter shelf life, about 3 to 6 months. Steamed Portobello mushrooms will keep for up to a year in the freezer, just like blanched Portobello mushrooms.

Thawing the frozen Portobello mushrooms is easy. Just transfer the mushrooms to the fridge and leave to defrost overnight. Once defrosted, the mushrooms are ready for any recipe!

Summary

Can you freeze Portobello mushrooms? As you can see, Portobello mushrooms freeze so well and there are so many ways to do it too. With this guide, you can take advantage of sales and get as much Portobello mushrooms as you can. Just freeze the rest for later!

Vegetables

Can You Freeze Bok Choy?

Bok choy adds a delicious crunch and a healthy dose of nutrients to stews, stir-fry, and soups! But if you have leftover boy choy, how do you store it without turning this vegetable to mush? Can you freeze Bok choy?

The problem with storing Bok choy is that the vegetable tends to wilt as soon as it is kept in the fridge. However, blanching Bok choy, or most green, leafy vegetables for that matter, helps retain the original texture of the product. There will be minor texture changes but only because the water content of the vegetable has crystallized and thawed after freezing. Flash freezing the vegetable is another great way of preserving Bok choy!

How to Freeze Bok Choy?

Start by choosing the freshest, greenest bok choy you can find in the market. Avoid bruised or yellowing bunches of bok choy. Wash the vegetable under running water to remove any dirt or debris. If the Bok choy has not been trimmed yet, cut the ends of the stems using a sharp knife. For large bunches of bok choy, cut the tough white base near the leaf base. Cut the Bok choy to size and set aside. Now you’re ready to prep the vegetable for freezing.

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Blanching and Freezing Fresh Bok Choy

This process involves boiling the bok choy for several minutes then submerging the vegetable in an ice bath. The ice bath will lock in the flavor and color of the vegetable while also stopping the cooking process.

Boil a pot of water over medium-high heat. Place the bok choy in a steamer basket or a colander then submerge the basket in the pot. Blanch the bok choy for 3 minutes or until the leaves turn a vivid green. After 3 minutes, remove the basket from the pot and submerge it into ice water until completely cool.

Shake the excess moisture out of the leave then pat the bok choy dry with paper towel. Place the vegetable in a resealable plastic bag, leaving about an inch of space before sealing. Remove the excess air then seal the plastic bag. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

Flash Freezing Fresh Bok Choy

This process involves pre-freezing the prepared bok choy before freezing the vegetable for long-term to extend its shelf life.

Prepare the vegetable as you normally would (refer to our prep instruction above), making sure to pat the bok choy completely dry before flash freezing. Get a baking sheet and line it with wax paper. Place the bok choy leaves on the baking sheet in a single layer. Make sure none of the leaves are touching each other. Stick the baking sheet in the freezer and freeze for at least 2 hours.

After a couple of hours, take the baking sheet out of the freezer. Place the bok choy leaves in a resealable plastic bag, leaving about an inch of space. Press the plastic bag to remove excess air then seal. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

Image used under Creative Commons from Philippe Put

Freezing Cooked Bok Choy

If you have leftover bok choy (steamed, stuffed, stir-fried, etc.), you can still freeze it for later. Just place the bok choy in a rigid plastic container with an airtight lid. If the cooked bok choy comes with sauces or other trimmings, you might have to freeze those separately. Close the container with the airtight lid, write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

Shelf Life and Thawing Suggestions

When stored in the freezer, bok choy will keep for 4 to 6 months, maybe longer if the temperature is kept at a steady 0 degree Fahrenheit. There is no need to thaw the bok choy when used in cooking. Just add the bok choy directly into the dish you’re cooking and it will defrost quickly. But if you’d like to thaw the vegetable still, you can. Just do it quickly. Submerge the frozen bok choy in a bowl of tap water for a couple of hours and it’ll be ready for your recipe.

Summary

Can you freeze bok choy? Bok choy is not available all year round so it’s great that you can freeze this vegetable for later! Do note, however, that bok choy is quite delicate so proper prep is a must to retain its naturally crunchy texture.

Vegetables

Can You Freeze Sweet Banana Peppers?

Sweet banana peppers are known for their distinctive bright yellow color, mildly tangy flavor, and banana-like shape. This sweet pepper variety is often served stuffed, added in cooking or pickled. Since it’s abundant in the summer season, sweet banana peppers are often bought in bulk. So what if you bought more sweet banana peppers than you can handle? Can you freeze sweet banana peppers?

Sweet banana peppers freeze wonderfully as long they are prepared the right way. Do note that frozen sweet banana peppers should be strictly used in cooking. The thawed peppers could retain their natural flavors although they will lose their texture.

can you freeze sweet banana peppers

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These types of sweet peppers have a high water content. Freezing the peppers causes the water particles to crystallize. This triggers the contraction of the cell, which causes the peppers to develop a soggy texture. This means once frozen, you cannot serve the sweet banana peppers stuffed or added fresh to sandwiches, garnishes, and hors-d’oeuvres.

How to Freeze Sweet Banana Peppers?

Freezing Fresh Sweet Banana Peppers

Start by choosing the ripest, freshest sweet banana peppers and then rinsing them well under running water. Using a sharp knife, cut each stem off and slice the sweet peppers open. Shake the seeds out and chop the peppers to your desired size.

If you’re using the peppers strictly for cooking, you can remove the skin too. Leaving the skins on helps retain the peppers’ crisp texture.

Now, get a baking sheet and line it with wax paper. Spread the cut sweet peppers on the wax pepper and stick the baking sheet in the freezer. The pepper pieces should not touch each other. Leave the sweet peppers to freeze for several hours to overnight.

Once the sweet peppers are frozen solid, take the baking sheet out of the freezer. Prepare several heavy-duty resealable plastic bags. Place the cut peppers into the plastic bag and remove as much air as possible prior to sealing. Seal the plastic bag, write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

Freezing Cooked Sweet Banana Peppers

Assuming that the sweet peppers have been stuffed, char-grilled, or roasted prior to freezing, leave the cooked peppers to cool completely. Once the sweet banana peppers have cooled completely, place them in an airtight rigid plastic container. Cover the container with cling wrap prior to sealing. Seal the container, write the storage date, then stick in the freezer.

Other Ways of Preserving Sweet Banana Peppers

Apart from freezing, you can also preserve the sweet banana peppers through canning, pickling, drying.

Canning Sweet Banana Peppers

Prepare the sweet peppers by cutting off the stems and shaking out the seeds. Cut the peppers to your desired sizes. Prepare a lined baking sheet and place the sweet peppers in a single layer. Bake the peppers at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 6 minutes or until the skin begins to blister. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and give them an ice bath. The skin should peel off easily at this point.

Sterilize several canning jars by boiling them in water for at least 3 minutes. Then, place the chili peppers in the canning jar, along with about ¼ teaspoon of salt. Fill the canning jar with hot water, leaving about an inch of space. Close the jar with the lid and secure with a lid ring. Set the jar in the pressure canner and set the pressure canner accordingly.

Pickling Banana Sweet Peppers

Make a brine by stirring 3 tablespoons of salt and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a cup of white vinegar. Pour the solution into a pot and simmer over medium heat until the ingredients dissolved completely. Leave the brine to cool.

Prepare the sweet peppers by cutting off the stems and shaking out the seeds. Cut the peppers to your desired sizes. Place the sweet peppers into canning jars. Add your favorite spices then pour the brine until the peppers are covered with the liquid. Close the lid and store in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

can you freeze sweet banana peppers

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Drying Banana Sweet Peppers

Dehydrating or drying the banana sweet peppers is a terrific way to preserve the vegetable while enhancing their natural flavors. Prepare the sweet peppers by cutting off the stems and shaking out the seeds. Cut the peppers to your desired sizes.

There are many ways of drying the sweet peppers, you can either air-dry or oven-dry the peppers as well as use a food dehydrator.

Air-Drying: This is the simplest and easiest way to dry any type of vegetables. Just spread the cut pepper on a flat container. Set the container somewhere that gets a lot of airflow and sunshine. Depending on the humidity in the air, it could take 2 to 4 weeks to dry the sweet peppers fully.

Oven-Drying: Set the prepped peppers on a lined baking sheet in a single layer. Place the peppers in the oven and bake at 150 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 to 2 hours or until fully dried. Leave the oven door open slightly to allow the moisture to dissipate. Check the sweet peppers every 30 minutes and rotate the pepper pieces for even drying.

Once the sweet peppers are dry, you can pack them in a resealable plastic container. To rehydrate the peppers, submerge them in water.

Shelf Life and Thawing Suggestions

When kept in the freezer, fresh sweet banana peppers will keep for 6 months to 12 months. This goes especially if the temperature is kept at a steady 0 degrees Fahrenheit. For cooked banana sweet peppers, the shelf life is much shorter, about 4 to 6 months. Frozen sweet banana peppers should be consumed as soon as possible for optimal flavor.

To thaw frozen and cooked sweet banana peppers, just transfer the container to the fridge. Leave the peppers to thaw for several hours to overnight. For frozen raw sweet banana peppers, you can add the peppers directly to the dish you’re cooking.

Summary

Can you freeze sweet banana peppers? Sweet banana peppers may be tricky to store but they do freeze wonderfully when prepared properly! Just keep these storage tips in mind to extend the shelf life of sweet banana peppers.

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!