Tag: vegetable

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.

Image used under Creative Commons from Marco Verch

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.

Image used under Creative Commons from Philippe Put

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.

Image used under Creative Commons from ripplestone garden

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 Butternut Squash?

Can you freeze butternut squash? Fresh butternut squash is typically enjoyed throughout the fall months but you can have it available all year long by freezing it. Read on to learn more.

Fresh butternut squash is typically enjoyed most throughout the fall months since harvesting usually occurs in late summer early autumn.

However, you can enjoy this delicate fruit, or as some call a vegetable, any time of the year by simply freezing large harvest to enjoy later in the year when you feel like something sweet and savory to eat that provides comfort and nourishment to the body.

How to Freeze Butternut Squash?

Freezing butternut squash is simple. You can freeze the squash using a few different methods too. Below is a step by step guide on how can you freeze butternut squash:

Freezing Raw Butternut Squash

If you want to freeze freshly harvested butternut squash in its organic form, you do have to remove the stem, skin, and seeds from the inside of it first. Then, you can chunk up the squash flesh into bite-sized pieces.

After, lay the pieces out onto a wax paper lined cookie sheet and freeze them in the freezer for about an hour. Once the pieces are frozen, you can place them into sealable freezer bags or containers and store them in the freezer for up to a year.

When you are ready to cook some squash up, simply remove the container from the freezer and cook up the squash the way you desire to.

can you freeze butternut squash

Image used under Creative Commons from Forest and Kim Starr

Freezing Mashed Butternut Squash

One of the most favored ways of eating butternut squash is mashed with some butter and brown sugar blended into it. Some people even add in maple syrup and a pinch of a salt for a sweet and savory side dish.

You can create whatever flavor of mashed squash you desire. To make mashed butternut squash you simply remove the stems, peels, and seeds from some squashes. Chunk up the squash flesh into bite-sized pieces.

Place the pieces into a large steamer pan or shallow pot of water and cook them until fork tender. After, you strain any water from the butternut squash chunks and place the chunks into a large mixing bowl with your favorite seasoning ingredients.

Then, you beat the ingredients together until you receive a smooth and creamy deep mashed butternut squash dish that is full of outstanding flavor. Next, you scoop the mashed butternut squash into freezer containers, place the date onto the container and freeze the squash this way for up to a year or until you are ready to use it.

When you are ready to use up a mashed butternut squash side dish, remove a container from the freezer and dump the frozen squash dish into a small saucepan and heat on low heat until it becomes warm and creamy to eat. You can also warm this dish up in the microwave, but the flavor and texture might change a bit.

Freezing Halved Butternut Squash

If you want to freeze butternut squash in halves, all you have to do is cut a squash in half, scoop the seeds from it and place each half into a freezer bag.

Then, freeze the squash this way for up to 2-years or until you are ready to use it. The best way to cook up frozen halves of butternut squash is by roasting them in the oven at 400 degrees for about an hour or until tender.

You can add seasonings and butter to the halves in order to achieve a flavor you desire too. Some people even stuff the halves with wild rice, nuts, and dried fruits to make a delicious vegetarian dish. You do whatever you feel best for your frozen halves of butternut squash.

Halved butternut squash

Image used under Creative Commons from Richard North

How to Defrost Frozen Butternut Squash?

It would not be best to take frozen butternut squash from the freezer and allow it to defrost in the refrigerator or countertop because it will cause discoloration and possibly even a slimy mushy texture.

It is always best to take frozen butternut squash from the freezer and cook it right away so it still has the same fresh flavor it did on the day you harvested it.

Keeping squash frozen for longer than 2-years can cause frost and may even change the flavor of it so it is always best to use any frozen squash up before the 2-year mark passes.

Summary

Freezing butternut squash is easy and convenient, especially when you’re whipping up quick meals. Now that you know how can you freeze butternut squash, there is no need to worry about wastage when storing this nutritious vegetable for later use. You can take advantage of sales because you can maximize the vegetables to their fullest!

Vegetables

Can You Freeze Radishes?

If you have ever thought about freezing radishes and are eager to learn about the process and when it makes sense to freeze radishes, read on!

Ah…the indelible radish! Raphanus sativas, the common red radish, has a bright future. A known food staple since before the 3rd Century B.C., it was probably first domesticated in China or India, though recorded European history traces it back to the Romans. Today the radish enjoys world-wide popularity, and has found its way into myriad dishes and recipes. So, can you freeze radishes?

Yes, of course you can. But, would you want to? High in folic acid (folates), calcium, potassium, rich with vitamins–especially vitamin C–and high in fiber, radishes are best when eaten fresh. But you can store them in several ways, including freezing. Below is a step by step guide on how can you freeze radishes:

How to Freeze Radishes?

Because radishes can be planted in the Fall, or up to four weeks before the last frost in the Spring, and the fact that they mature within three weeks, you could end up with more radishes than you can use.

Radishes can be kept in dry storage, refrigerated for a couple weeks, or frozen. But freezing them, especially when done carelessly, can ruin taste and texture. They should be blanched first. Blanching preserves color and freshness by slowing the ripening process.

Preparing the Radishes

Cleaning should be easy if the radishes are store-bought. Always choose firm, well-formed radishes–these will be crisp. But if they’re fresh out of the garden, a little more preparation is prudent.

Under cold, running water, remove dirt and the greens (save these, as radish greens are yummy when cooked), and trim the ends. Do not peel! The skin helps protect the white flesh and texture.

Blanching the Radishes

Cut radishes into smaller pieces. They are water-lovers and retain high amounts of moisture. If they are frozen whole, the skin will split, causing loss of texture quality. Boiling the cut pieces for two to three minutes helps to lesson this effect, as it slows down enzymatic reactions.

After boiling, immerse in icy cold water. Drain thoroughly. Use a quality freezer bag for storage – avoid excess moisture and air.

It should be noted that radishes will lose their original taste and texture once they’ve been frozen, and won’t be quite the same as fresh. But they are just fine for dishes that involve cooking them. Blanching will help preserve their flavor much better than if you just tossed them in the freezer.

How to Defrost Frozen Radishes?

To thaw, just run under cold water. It should not take very long to thaw completely. Once they are sort of squishy, and you no longer see ice crystals in them, they are safe to cook.

Bunch of radishes

Image used under Creative Commons from Ashleigh Bennett

While freezing radishes is certainly a viable option for long time storage, they will never taste as good as they do when eaten fresh. However, if you want to save them for future dishes you plan on cooking, then freezing them is okay. The taste won’t be quite as potent, but you’ll still know you’re eating a radish when you bite into a slice.

Often overlooked as a health food, the radish is a powerful antioxidant that fights the free radicals that lead to poor health.

Summary

Freezing might not be an ideal method of preserving radishes (because fresh is always better) but it’s better than wasting good radishes. Now that you know how can you freeze radishes, prepare lots of them in the freezer for future cooking! They taste great, they’re good for you, and they’ll put some zing into your day.

DairyVegetables

Can You Freeze Potatoes?

Have you ever wondered “can you freeze potatoes?”. If so, and you don’t know the answer to this question yet, I’m here to help. There are quite a lot of things you might need to know about freezing potatoes and here I will provide you at the very least the most important ones. If you’re looking for a quick answer to the main question, it both yes and no. When it comes to freezing raw potatoes, that’s a bad idea, because they don’t freeze well, so that’s a “no”. When it comes to cooked potatoes, however, they freeze quite well, especially in certain forms and that’s why I said “yes”. If you would like to know more, read on.

Backyard potatoes
(credit: avlxyz)

Freezing cooked potatoes – mashed potatoes

If you’d like to freeze a lot of potatoes, mashing them and then freezing is probably the best idea. Many people freeze mashed potatoes with success, and I suggest you do the same. In fact, we have on Can You Freeze This an article on freezing mashed potatoes, check it out!.

Freezing cubed potatoes

First off, peel the potatoes and cut them into cubes (a typical 1” cube will suffice). Then cook those cubes in salted water just until they are tender (not as long as you typically cook potatoes). Once done, dry those cubes thoroughly. Now it’s time to take a cookie sheet and line it with aluminum foil (you can spray it with a non-stick cookie spray instead of using the foil) and put potato cubes on it, making sure they don’t touch one another. Then put the cookie sheet into the freezer until the cubes freeze solid. After that, you take out the pan, transfer the cubes into freezer bag (or bags if needed), label them properly and put into the freezer. You can reheat them in simmering water.

Freezing for french fried potatoes

If you’d like to make french fries from your potatoes in the future, this way is definitely most suitable for your needs. Like usual, you need to peel the potatoes and cut them into strips of your favorite size. Wash them in cold water and then dry. Now it’s time to ‘pre-fry’ those strips. Fry them in hot oil (but not as hot as it usually is when you’re frying potatoes) for a couple of minutes, so they’ll become tender but not brownish (ready to eat). Then you need to drain them (paper towels will be helpful) and let them cool. Once they’re cool, transfer them into freezer bags, squeeze all air out and seal those bags tightly. Label the bags and put them into the freezer, where they can be stored for a couple of months. When you’ll be ready to prepare french fries, you just need to transfer the frozen strips into deep oil and proceed as you always do.

Summary
As you can see, there are a few methods of freezing potatoes. I suggest you try out at least two of them and pick one that works best for your needs. Also, it’s quite possible that different methods will be suitable for different situations, so trying out all of them is a reasonable thing to do as well.

Grains

Can You Freeze Corn On The Cob?

Ever wondered about freezing corn on the cob? If you did and you don’t know whether you can freeze corn or not, probably you will find this article helpful. Why would one consider freezing corn? Well, there are at least two choices. First is when you’ve got too many fresh corn cobs from your garden. Second on is when there’s this big sale at a super market where you usually buy corn and you would like to buy way more ears of corn than you’d be able to use in reasonable time (without that corn going bad). Either way, you can freeze corn. There are at least a couple of ways to freeze corn, so I suggest you test each one of them on your own, examine the results you’ll get and choose your favorite one.

Corn on the cob
(credit: Phil Roeder)

Freezing corn on the cob – plain and simple method without blanching

This method requires almost no work. To start, you take each ear of corn you would like to freeze and you cut off its sharp end, below the cob (leave the husks and silks in place). Now you just need to wrap each ear separately using a plastic wrap or freezer wrap and put them into the freezer. If you plan to keep them there for a longer period of time, make sure you wrap each one a couple of times, or put all of them into a freezer bag. When they are needed, you can thaw them in the microwave. Once thawed, you can remove husks and silks and it’s ready to be consumed.

Here’s where I found this method.

Freezing corn on the cob with blanching

This method is definitely more time-consuming than the one mentioned earlier, but you may find it more successful in certain cases (e.g. if you would like to freeze corn for quite a long time, like a couple of months). First off, start by removing all the silks and husks. Now take a pot, pour in water (to about half the pot), add two tablespoons of sugar and bring the pot to a full boil. Then add the cobs to the solution, bring it back to a boil and cook it for a few minutes, until the cobs will turn darker yellow. You might need to turn each cob over in the pot so they will heat evenly. Once done, transfer the cobs into very cold water (possibly with ice cubes), so they will cool thoroughly. Then dry each cob and foil-wrap individually. Put wrapped cobs into a freezer bag and then into the freezer. This way you can easily take as many cobs from the freezer as you need at a time. Thaw them on the counter or using a microwave.

Here’s where I found this method.

Freezing corn kernels

This method is very similar to the last one, so make sure to read the description above before reading this. First off, remove husks and as much silk as you can. Then you need to bring a half-full pot of water to a boil, add the prepared cobs, bring it back to a boil and keep them in boiling water for a couple of minutes (usually 4-6 minutes). After that transfer those cobs into ice-cold water for few (6-8) minutes and then drain them. Now it’s time to cut the kernels off each cob. You can use this using a sharp knife. You can also remove them in any other way, depending on your preferences. If needed, separate the kernels into individual kernels. Then it’s time to transfer those kernels into a freezer ziplock bag (or a bag that you’re using for vacuum sealing), remove as much air as you can (a straw might be helpful) from the bag and seal it tightly. Now you just need to label the bag and you can put it into the freezer. Thaw on the counter or using a microwave.

Here’s where I found this method.

Summary
As I’ve mentioned, there are at least a couple different ways to freeze corn. Try all of them out and pick on that yields the best results. As you can see, the answer to the question “can you freezer corn on the cob?” is affirmative.

Herbs & Spices

Can You Freeze Cilantro?

Can you freeze cilantro? If that’s the question bothering you, you’re in the right place to find the answer. Since cilantro doesn’t stay fresh in the fridge for long and most often in comes in a bigger bunch than it’s needed, people search for a way to preserve it for longer. Basically, there seem to be two possible choices – drying and freezing cilantro. In this article we will focus on the latter. If you’re interested, read on.

Cilantro
(credit: LeafLanguages)

Freezing cilantro – important information

When it comes to cilantro, you can freeze it, but not everyone will be really satisfied with the end result. The most important thing you should know is that freezing changes the appearance of this veggie, so it probably won’t work that well for salads and other similar dishes. When it comes to cooked dishes, frozen cilantro works pretty well and in most cases you will be satisfied with what you’ll get. That being said, please remember that you’re the one who has to freeze it a couple of times and make sure frozen cilantro works (or doesn’t work) for your needs.

Before you get to freezing itself, you need to do a little prep. Rinse the cilantro to remove any impurities and pat it dry. Not it’s time to trim off any yellowish or brownish leaves, we don’t want them anyway. Now cop it. Once done, you can proceed to on the two described ways of freezing cilantro. Make sure to try out both and choose one that works better for your needs.

Freezing cilantro using a cookie sheet

Take a cookie sheet and line it with wax paper, then place as many leaves as you can on it, making sure they don’t touch one another. Then transfer the cookie sheet into the freezer for few hours, so the leaves will freeze. Once they’re frozen, take the tray out of the freezer and transfer the leaves into a small freezer bag. Push as much air from the bag as you can, seal it tightly and label it properly. Now it’s ready to be put into the freezer. Make sure it’s in a place where it won’t get crushed.

Freezing cilantro using an ice-cube tray

Take an ice-cube tray and add a few leaves into each cube (depending on how large the cubes are), make sure leave doesn’t stick out of the cube. Now fill each cube with water, so it will cover the leaves, and the tray into the freezer for a day. Once done, get the tray out of the freezer, transfer cubes into a freezer bag and put the bag into the freezer. This way you can quickly and easily get as many cilantro leaves as you need by getting as many ice cubes from the bag as needed.

Summary
Cilantro can be frozen and quite a few people do it, although it will work well only in cooked dishes like soups or stews. It’s suggested that cilantro shouldn’t be frozen for longer than half a year because of quality reasons. I encourage you to test out both described methods of freezing cilantro and pick the one that works well for your needs. If neither one does, that’s fine as well, you will learn that you shouldn’t freeze cilantro for this certain purpose you’ve frozen it for.

Vegetables

Can You Freeze Eggplant?

If you’ve ever wondered about freezing eggplant (often called aubergine), this article will give you all the answers you need. Eggplant is not a very popular vegetable, although quite a few people seek information about freezing it. What you should know for starters is that eggplant can be frozen and the whole freezing process is pretty similar to other veggies, so if you’ve frozen some vegetables already, you’ll feel like home when reading the rest of the article. If you’re interested, read on.

Freezing eggplant (aubergine) – preparation

Before we get to the last step, meaning putting the eggplant into the freezer, we need some prep. It will take about 20-30 minutes, depending on how many eggplants you would like to freeze. Some of the activities require as much time no matter how many eggplants you plant to freeze, so it’s always better to batch freeze. First thing to do is of course washing the eggplants. Next you should cut off both ends of each one of them, peel them (if you desire to) and slice them. Now they’re ready for the next step.

Eggplant
(credit: jordanfischer)

Blanching

Once eggplants are prepared, it’s time for blanching, which keeps the veggies from getting discolored. Now you should boil a mixture of water and a half cup of lemon juice. Once the mixture is boiling, place the slices in it for about 4 minutes. After that, transfer the eggplants to cold (possibly ice) water for a few minutes, so they’ll cool thoroughly. Once they’re cool, drain and dry them. Now they’re almost ready to be put into the freezer.

One thing to note – if you’ve got an already cooked eggplant, you can (and should) of course omit the preparation and blanching steps, since you’ve already accomplished them.

Eggplant – freezing

Ok, sliced eggplants are cool and dry, now it’s time to package them. You can put them into airtight containers or freezer bags, although the latter ones seem to be the better choice, because the don’t take as much place in the freezer. When packaging, consider dividing the veggies into several freezer bags, so you can easily defrost as much eggplant slices as you need at a time. Make sure you remove all the air from those bags (a straw might be quite helpful), seal them tightly and label properly. Now they’re ready to be put into the freezer.

If you wonder how long eggplant can be kept in the freezer, most sources suggest keeping it in there for no longer than 6-9 months. Of course you can keep it there for longer, but you might not be satisfied with its quality after defrosting. Of course frozen and thawed veggies work best in stews, soups and casseroles, but you probably know that already.

Summary
As you can see, the answer to the question “can you freeze eggplant?” is affirmative – this veggie freezes quite well and it’s not that difficult to freeze it. Just test it out for a couple of times to be sure that freezing eggplant works well for your needs.

Salads

Can You Freeze Potato Salad?

Can you freeze potato salad? If you have a lot of leftover potato salad, how do you keep the rest for later? The fact is, potato salad has a notoriously short shelf life. When kept in the fridge, it will only keep for a week. But when kept in the freezer, potato salad should keep for several months.

That being said, most chefs and culinary experts do not recommend freezing potato salad. The dairy, boiled eggs, and mayonnaise in potato salad tend to degrade quickly when frozen and defrosted. Still, it’s possible to freeze anything and as long as you have packed the potato salad well, freezing should be no problem at all.

Corned beef on rye(credit: jeffreyw)

Make sure you’ll freeze the salad in an airtight container or in a freezer bag. Don’t forget to seal it tightly. and don’t store it in the freezer for too long, as it doesn’t help with keeping the consistency of the salad anywhere near its original texture. Below is a guideline on how can you freeze potato salad:

How to Freeze Potato Salad?

Freezing Freshly Made Potato Salad

If you are making potato salad ahead of time and you are expecting a lot of leftovers, it’s best to divide the dish so you can freeze the untouched potato salad as soon as possible. To do this, prepare several large, resealable plastic bags or an airtight rigid container.

With a slotted spoon, spoon the potato salad into your preferred container. Do not overfill the container, leave about an inch or two of space. If you’re using a plastic bag, squeeze the air out before sealing. Write the storage date with a marker then stick in the freezer.

Freezing Leftover Potato Salad

Now if say, you have a little bit of potato salad leftover to freeze, remove any food debris that got mixed into the salad. If you don’t, this will speed up the degradation of the ingredients, causing the salad to go bad.

Once that’s done, get an airtight container and spoon the leftover potato salad into the container. Do not overfill the container, leave about an inch or two of space. Seal with the airtight lid, write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

Image used under Creative Commons from Stacy Spensley

How to Defrost Frozen Potato Salad?

Eating frozen potato salad is no fun, you have to defrost it first. Just transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the salad to thaw overnight.

The separation between ingredients is quite common after thawing. This goes especially for dishes that contain dairy, mayonnaise, and eggs. If such is the case, just give the potato salad a good stir to incorporate the ingredients again. Since potato salad is best served chilled, there is no need to reheat.

Summary

Who doesn’t love potato salads? As a quintessential side dish, potato salad adds a yummy dose of umami to any meal. Now that you know how can you freeze potato salad, there is no need to worry about your salad turning bad because of its short shelf life. Just freeze it!

Fruit

Can you Freeze Cucumbers?

Can you freeze cucumbers? Most of the people would answer no to this question, but that’s not entirely true. There are a few ways to freeze cucumbers, but you need to know that they require work (some of them quite a lot). And you won’t necessarily be happy with the results you’ll get. Truth be told, cucumbers consist mostly of water and should be enjoyed fresh (as most other veggies).

Freezing Cucumbers

A whole cucumber definitely won’t freeze well, but like other veggies, there are other options. Basically, there are two possibilities. The first one is to slice the cucumber and preserve it in brine or vinegar. The other one is to use those cucumbers in a recipe that allows to freeze the dish once it’s ready. Of course none of the options guarantees that the results will be satisfactory

Salad with cucumber

(credit: Laurel Fan)

Freezing Cucumbers in Brine

Start off by washing and peeling the cucumbers. Once done, you should slice them thinly (you can use a food processor if you wish). Not it’s time to prepare the brine. Here’s a recipe from ThirtyFun.com:

In a large bowl, mix 2 quarts of cucumbers with chopped onions and 2 tablespoons of salt. Let stand for 2 hours. Rinse well with cold water, drain and return to clean bowl. Add 2/3 cup of oil, 2/3 cup vinegar, 2/3 cup of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of celery seed. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Once you got the brine ready, transfer sliced cucumbers into plastic containers or glass jars and cover them with brine. Please remember to leave some headspace, because the contents of the jar or container will expand. Close those jars or containers tightly and put into the freezer and keep it there at least a week before defreezing. Thaw in refrigerator.

For more pieces of information about this way of freezing cucumbers, visit ThirtyFun.com. As you can see, it definitely takes time and hassle to do that, so you need to be sure it’s worth spending the time and money on freezing cucumbers this way. If you’ll decide to try it, try freezing only a small amount for the first time to find out if you’re satisfied with the results.

Freezer pickles

There are quite a few freezer pickles recipes on the Internet, so I will link only a few. Using cucumbers in freezer pickles is probably the best way to freeze cucumbers and thus extend their shelf life.

Recipes:
Crisp Cucumber Freezer Pickles
Freezer Cucumber Pickles Recipe
SWEET FREEZER PICKLES

Summary
There are at least a few ways to freeze cucumbers. They all require work and don’t guarantee you’ll be satisfied with the results you get. If you wish, you might experiment with freezing cucumbers, but they are definitely better when eaten fresh.

Dish

Can You Freeze Mashed Potatoes?

If you’ve ever wondered “can you freeze mashed potatoes?”, you’re in the right place to find out the answer. In short, you can freeze mashed potatoes and they do freeze pretty well. Quite on the contrary to whole baked or boiled potatoes. Because of that, if you’d like to cook a large batch of mashed potatoes and use it for a number of meals, you’re free to do that. Freeze the leftovers of the first meal and use whenever needed. If you’d like to know how to freeze mashed potatoes, please read on.

Mashed potatoes

(credit:turoczy)

How to Freeze Mashed Potatoes

  • Prepare mashed potatoes using your favorite recipe. That’s up to you how you like this dish, so cook it however you most like it.
  • Cool the prepared meal thoroughly. If you’d like to cool it quicker, consider putting it in a slightly cooler place (e.g. the pantry).
  • Method 1 (less work needed). This method is simple – you need to transfer mashed potatoes into freezer bags, release all air in the bag and seal it. Yyou might want to use zip-lock bags, that’s probably the easiest way to do this. If you decide on using small freezer bags, preferably portion-sized ones, that’s even better. This way you’ll be able to easily thaw and reheat as much mashed potatoes as you need at a time. Instead of freezer bags you can use airtight containers. If that’s the case remember the container should be almost full (the more air in it, the worse the freezer burn).
  • Method 2 (a little more work). First thing you need to do is to line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Then, using a large scoop, measure even portions of mashed potatoes and transfer them onto the baking sheet. Put the baking sheet into the freezer for at least a couple of hours (e.g. overnight). Make sure the portions are frozen thoroughly before getting them from the freezer. Now you need to transfer those frozen balls of mashed potatoes into a freezer bag and put it back into the freezer. Freezing mashed potatoes in small portions allows you to thaw only as much of it as you need.

Thawing and Reheating Frozen Mashed Potatoes

You can thaw and reheat frozen mashed potatoes in a microwave or an oven. If you wish, you can thaw it a little before heating by putting it into the fridge for a couple of hours. When heating, use about 50% of the power of your device and don’t forget to stir the dish from time to time. When using a microwave, microwave it for a minute, stir it, microwave for a minute, and so on. Heat it until it’s ready.

Things worth remembering

  • Label each bag of mashed potatoes properly. Remember to put there the name of the dish, its amount and the date.
  • Add a little sour cream (if thawed mashed potatoes are too watery) when heating. That will help achieve proper texture when the dish is ready.
  • Even though you can store mashed potatoes in the freezer for a long time, be careful. Keeping it in there for longer than 6 to 8 months isn’t recommended due to quality reasons.

Summary
As you should know by now, you can freeze mashed potatoes and it’s pretty easy to do that. Make sure to freeze it in small portions, so you will be able to thaw only as much as you need at a time.