Tag: vegetables

Vegetables

Can You Freeze Squash?

Bumper crop of squash or a sale at your grocery store beg the question: “can you freeze squash?” Indeed you can, read on to learn how.

Did you have a bumper crop of squash in your garden this year? Were colorful squash on sale at your grocery store and you over-zealously threw a pile in your cart? Fortunately, too much of a good thing is a good thing, since you can easily preserve this nutrient-rich bounty with little time and effort.

The good news is, squash lends well to freezing. However, prep for winter and summer varieties have slight differences. Squash is part of the gourd family, and it’s designated into two classifications: winter squash and summer squash.

Varieties of winter squash include acorn, buttercup, butternut, Hubbard, kabocha, spaghetti, and turban. These hearty varieties are mainly used for casseroles, main or side dishes, and soups. Process winter squash with a deep color and a hard rind. Once cooked or steamed, the squash is ready for your freezer.

Summer squash includes pattypan, tromboncino, zucchini, and yellow squash varieties. They’re a delicious, ingredient in vegetable lasagna, stir fry, creamed soup, and pasta. A puree or grated squash (especially zucchini) can also be used in baked goods. Grate, slice, or puree the flesh of young, tender summer squash for freezing.

can you freeze squash

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Is freezing really a great method to preserve squash? Freezing is certainly beneficial for longer storage times, and many recipes call for pre-cooked squash. Winter squash can stay fresh in a cool atmosphere (about 50 degrees F) covered in newspaper in a single layer for 4 to 8 months.

Winter squash can stay fresh in a cool atmosphere (about 50 degrees F) covered in newspaper in a single layer for 4 to 8 months. However, squash is a larger item, so it may take up precious storage room that you don’t have or can’t spare for several months.

Sometimes, it’s just easier to process batches all at once if you’ve grown a large amount from your own garden or found a ridiculously low price per pound at the grocery store. That means you’ve only got to haul out your kitchen appliances once. Also, you only have to deal with the mess and dishes of the processing chore now (so you’ll thank yourself later).

Zucchini is an especially popular, healthier alternative ingredient to butter or oil in muffins, brownies, and cakes. According to Wilton.com, “Cooked mashed squashes…will replace half if not all the fat in most baked desserts, and are particularly suited for muffins, quick bread, gingerbread, fruit cakes and other dense cakes.

Squash or sweet potatoes are an excellent choice if the recipe calls for cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, or cloves…! You can use 3/4 as much of the vegetable puree as the total amount of fat called for in the recipe…”

How to Freeze Squash?

Freezing Winter Squash

When steamed and cooked winter squash has cooled, it can be frozen.

Preparing the Squash

First, wash the rind, then cut the squash in half, taking out the seeds. Place the halves face-down into a shallow baking tray filled with approximately an inch of water.

Cook time is about 6 minutes in the microwave per pound of squash or 40 or 45 minutes in a 400 degree F oven.

Next, scoop out the pulp from the rind, and mash it with a fork. (Use a food processor or immersion [hand] blender to puree the squash for soups or baby food. Pour the puree directly into ice cube trays for baby food portions.)

Packing the Squash for Freezing

Put the squash into freezer containers or plastic freezer bags. For frozen summer squash, gently scrub the rind. Cut it into 1/2-inch slices. Blanch the slices for 3 minutes then cool, drain, and package.

Freezing Summer Squash 

Preparing the Squash

Since summer squash or zucchini is an alternative to oil in baking, freeze it back. First, wash the zucchini and peel off the skin. Grate the zucchini flesh and blanch it.

Packing the Squash for Freezing

Transfer the grated zucchini to freezer containers or bags, but keep them open while you place them in a pan or bowl of cool or ice water. Seal containers or bags after they’ve cooled.

Give the squash a 1/2-inch head space in its containers. The recommended maximum freezer storage time is 12 months.

How to Defrost Frozen Squash?

To thaw, place the squash in your refrigerator until completely thawed. When thawed, summer squash is mushy, so discard any extra liquid.

Use frozen squash in baked goods or thaw it quickly by running the freezer container under hot water. Use thawed squash within 2-3 days, and refreezing is not recommended.

Summary

Although raw squash is always available, it’s nice to know that you can store your supply in the freezer and enjoy this vegetable whenever you like. Now that you know how can you freeze squash, there is no need to worry about extending the shelf life of this vegetable for future cooking.

Vegetables

Can You Freeze Kale?

Can you freeze kale? Preparing fresh kale is simple, but it can be time-consuming. What about freezing kale? Not everyone wants to deal with washing and chopping kale after a long day at work.

One solution would be to wash and chop bulk amounts ahead of time, but the kale would spoil before you could use all of it. But if you freeze the prepared kale, you can add kale to meals quickly and without much extra preparation.

Kale, like few other vegetables, freezes beautifully — but you have to deactivate enzymes in the kale before putting it in the freezer. Most vegetables have these enzymes that cause the vegetables to continue aging and rotting even if the vegetable is frozen.

If you thaw out vegetables that have been frozen raw, you’ll find they are slimy and really unappetizing. Below is the proper way on how can you freeze kale:

How to Freeze Kale?

Blanching, or quickly boiling the vegetables, for a couple of minutes before freezing deactivates the enzyme that accelerates spoiling in green leafy vegetables.

However, cooking for too long, though, will cook the kale into a mushy mess that doesn’t freeze that well. So it’s crucial that you do the blanching properly.

can you freeze kale

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Luckily, blanching is easy to master. Have everything ready to go before you start the blanching process, and definitely use a timer. Set aside a couple of hours for this; eventually you’ll get so much better that freezing kale won’t take you that long.

Preparing the Kale

When you’re starting out, though, leave yourself a buffer zone and don’t attempt blanching before any big appointments, lest you run late.

Wash the kale well; dunk it in water and ensure all dirt and any bugs wash off. Dry the kale completely — this is important because you don’t want excess water to freeze as chunks of ice on the kale. Cut out the stiff central stem and slice up the leaves and set aside.

Blanching the Kale

Start the water boiling in the stockpot and add the insert. The bottom of the insert should be below the surface of the water. Dunk as much kale as you can into the insert — all the kale should be submerged.

Start the timer and set it for two minutes. When the two minutes are up, remove the basket insert that’s holding the kale and place it in the ice water. Again, all the kale should be submerged. Remember that overcooking the kale results in mushy kale, so don’t estimate the time. Use a timer.

Freezing the Kale

Repeat all that until you’ve blanched all the kale. Dry all the kale and spread chunks of it out on a large tray. Put the tray in the freezer for about half an hour or so.

What you’re doing is freezing the kale just enough so that the pieces won’t smash down into a heap when the kale is stored. Place the semi-frozen kale in a freezer bag.

How to Defrost Frozen Kale?

Defrosting frozen kale is easy, just take out what you need when you start preparing your meal so that the kale has a little time to melt. Then add the kale to soups or stir-fries as appropriate. You might not want to eat the thawed kale without further cooking because the texture could seem a little weird. But it will taste wonderful in cooked dishes.

Technically, frozen kale will be good for however long you keep it in the freezer. However, after a couple of months or so, freezer burn might start to take its toll. Try to use the frozen kale within those couple of months. See how the quality changes over time; you might find that in future batches, you can store the kale for a longer time without a change in quality.

Summary

Freezing kale is a great way to maximize an otherwise delicate vegetable with a short shelf life. Now that you know how can you freeze kale properly, there is no reason why you shouldn’t buy in bulk. Just stick the vegetable in the freezer and you can enjoy this nutritious vegetable anytime you want.

Vegetables

Can You Freeze Beets?

Can you freeze beets? It’s not unusual to crave beets when they are out of season. To preserve fresh beets from your garden, you may want to consider freezing them. Take advantage of sales at farmer’s markets or supermarkets by following these easy steps for freezing beets.

For best results, only the freshest beets should be chosen for freezing, as those that are somewhat limp may become mushy when frozen. The ideal beets will be a deep, even red color, and contain crisp stems and leaves.

Inspect beets carefully for signs of decay, and cut away any damaged pieces to ensure you are working only with top quality specimens. While beets of any size may be frozen, the ideal size for freezing is around two to three inches in diameter. Keep this number in mind when you are buying beets to freeze later.

Although frozen beets will keep almost indefinitely, you should nonetheless eat them within twelve months after freezing if you are to fully enjoy their flavor.Below is a guide on how can you freeze beets:
Freshly harvested beets

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How to Freeze Beets?

Preparing the Beets

Cut the tops and bottoms off of your beets with a sharp knife, leaving around ½ to one inch of both the stems and roots. This will allow them to maintain an even color when they are cooked. Next, scrub them gently in a sink full of cool water to remove dirt and residue. Drain them by placing on paper towels to absorb excess water.

Cooking the Beets Prior to Freezing

Raw beets are not suitable for freezing; therefore, you must cook them first. Place your beets in a large kettle and cover them slightly with water. Boil for around 30 to 45 minutes until they are completely tender but not mushy. Drain and rinse your beets and then discard the liquid.

Allow the beets to cool enough so that you can remove their skins and finish cutting off the roots and stems. When beets are cooked thoroughly, the skins should slide off easily by hand. Slice them into evenly sized pieces, or leave them whole if they are very small beets.

Packing the Beets for Freezing

Freeze beets by placing them inside clean freezer containers, Ziploc storage bags or vacuum sealed bags. Make sure to remove any excess air from your bags, as this will allow your beets to stay fresh longer. Label them with their contents and date of packing before storing them in your freezer.

Washed and peeled beets

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How to Defrost Frozen Beets?

Frozen beets can be thawed at room temperature and served cold, or may be cooked by simmering them on top of the stove in a pan full of water.Frozen beets make excellent side dishes, and are also ideal for

Frozen beets make excellent side dishes, and are also ideal for use in soups, stews, and casseroles. Since they freeze well, there should be no noticeable difference in the taste, color or texture when compared to canned beets.

Summary

Surprisingly, beets do freeze well and require very little advance preparation before placing them in the freezer. The next time you come across an abundance of fresh beets, stock up on this vegetable. Now that you know how can you freeze beets, just stick the veggies in the freezer!

Fruit

Can You Freeze Peppers?

Can you freeze peppers? Freezing peppers is the solution if you find yourself harvesting loads of peppers in your garden during late summer and do not know what to do with them. All you have to do is just freeze the peppers properly so you can use them when you need to for recipes such as stews, chilies, stir-fry dishes, Mexican dishes or salsas.

However, if you are the type that loves your peppers fresh and crisp in texture the freezing method for preserving the vegetables to use later will not work for you. This is because peppers do change in texture during the freezing process, which makes them turn to mush during the defrosting and even cooking process.

Thankfully, freezing peppers does not change the flavor of them unless they are frozen for longer than a year.

All kinds of peppers can be frozen such as belle, jalapeño, banana, chili, rocoto, chocolate Congo, and the scotch bonnet big sun.

Just remember not to freeze them if you are a fan of the crunchy fresh texture they have because again, peppers mush due to the water content they hold during the freezing process. Otherwise, freeze all the peppers you can during harvest season and enjoy them throughout the year until the next harvest season arrives.

Below is our step by step guide on how can you freeze peppers:

How to Freeze Peppers?

First, it is important to know that all kinds of peppers can be preserved through the freezing method. All you need to do before freezing the peppers is remove the stems, seeds and white edging bitter pieces from the centers of them.

After, you can slice the peppers into halves, chopped them up or freeze peppers in slices. Then, you place your halves, chopped up or sliced peppers into freezer bags and place them into your freezer. It is wise to place a label with the date of each bag of peppers before freezing to keep track of when you placed them into the freezer.

Frozen peppers stay fresh in the freezer for up to 2-years. After that, they do become dissatisfying in flavor and develop a watery in texture when you cook them in dishes.

can you freeze peppers

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How to Defrost Frozen Peppers?

There are a few ways you can defrost peppers properly and safely.

Quick Defrosting

The first way is by taking a package out of the freezer and just tossing sliced or chopped up peppers into the dish you are cooking up. During the cooking process, the peppers will defrost, become tender and take on the flavors in the dish you are cooking up.

Slow Thawing 

The second way is by taking a package out from the freezer and placing the peppers in the refrigerator to defrost for about 24-hours. Therefore, if you know you need peppers for tomorrow’s meal take them out today and allow them to defrost overnight. After, you can chopped or slice up halves of peppers or your pre-sliced or chopped up peppers and cook with them the way you would normally cook with fresh peppers.

If you need to use halves of frozen peppers within the same day, you can take a freezer bag of the peppers out of the freezer and place the bag of peppers in a bowl of cool water.

Defrosting the peppers, this way should only take about an hour. After, you can remove the peppers from the freezer bag and use them the way you desire too. However, it is not recommended you toss the peppers onto any kind of leafy green salad because they will be slightly mushy in texture and not have that same crisp texture as freshly picked garden peppers have.

Summary

Freezing is a terrific way to preserve your favorite ingredients, including fresh peppers! Now that you know how can you freeze peppers, there is no need to stress about extending the shelf life of your supply. Just stick the peppers in the freezer and they will keep fresh for months.

Vegetables

Can You Freeze Bell Peppers?

Can you freeze bell peppers? Bell peppers whether green, yellow, red or orange can all be frozen to help preserve the delightful sweet peppery flavor they contain. The best time to freeze bell peppers is immediately after harvesting.

With that being said those of you who love eating fresh crisp peppers on top of salads or on sandwiches should not freeze your peppers because freezing them causes them to retain more water for a longer time, which causes them to have a mushier texture once you defrost them.

Kind in mind, when freezing peppers they will change in texture, but not in flavor. Therefore, if you love your bell peppers fresh and crispy it is best too simply eat them and leave no leftovers. Otherwise, freeze all the bell peppers you can so you can have them on hand throughout the year to use in all kinds of dishes until the next bountiful harvest season.

Below is a step by step guide on how can you freeze bell peppers:

How to Freeze Bell Peppers?

The best ways to freeze peppers is whole with stem and seeds removed, sliced up or finely chopped. You can freeze your peppers whichever way works best for you.

Freezing  Whole Bell Peppers

To freeze your peppers whole simply slice off the tops of the peppers, remove the stems and seeds and place the peppers into individual freezer bags. After, place the whole peppers in the freezer to stay fresh for up to 2-years.

Freezing Cut Bell Peppers

To freeze slices of peppers you will slice off the tops of the peppers, remove the stems and seeds and slice the peppers up into thin slices in either circular form or vertical. You do whichever way pleases you. After, place the slices into a freezer bag or container and store them away in the freezer to keep fresh for up to 1-year.

Freezing Chopped Bell Peppers

To freeze chopped peppers you slice off the tops, remove the stems and seeds and chop the peppers up into bite-size pieces. Then you spread the chopped up peppers onto a wax paper lined cookie sheet and freeze them in the freezer for about an hour.

After, you can place the chopped up frozen peppers into containers or freezer bags. Store the bags in your freezer until you are ready to use them in dishes. Freezing chopped up peppers this way will prevent the pepper bits from sticking together. Chopped up peppers will stay fresh for up to 6-months this way.

can you freeze bell peppers

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How to Defrost Frozen Bell Peppers?

There are a few ways you can defrost bell peppers. If you were defrosting whole bell peppers, you would take them out of the freezer, place them into the refrigerator to defrost for up to 12-hours and slice them up or use them in your food dishes whichever way you please.

You can also take frozen whole bell peppers and defrost them in a bowl of cool water, which takes about an hour. After, you would cook them in your preferred method.

Now, with slices of peppers or diced peppers all you have to do is take them from the freezer and cook with them. You do not have to defrost them at all. You can defrost them in the refrigerator before using them to cook with, but this will cause them to be a bit mushier than usual.

Summary

Bell peppers may be available all year round but it’s nice to know that you can avoid wastage by freezing your bell pepper supply. Now that you can know how can you freeze bell peppers, don’t be afraid to buy in bulk. Just keep your leftovers in the freezer for future cooking!

 

Vegetables

Can You Freeze Green Onions?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Freeze Green Onions?

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

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Flash-Freezing Green Onions

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

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

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

Freezing Fresh Green Onions

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

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

Image used under Creative Commons from Mark Bonica

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

How to Defrost Frozen Green Onions?

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

Summary

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

Vegetables

Can You Freeze Rhubarb?

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

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

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

How to Freeze Rhubarb?

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

Flash-Freezing Rhubarb For Freezing

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

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

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

can you freeze rhubarb

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Preserving the Rhubarb in Sugar For Freezing

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

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

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

Blanching Rhubarb Prior to Freezing

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

How to Defrost Frozen Rhubarb?

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

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

Summary

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

Vegetables

Can You Freeze Green Beans?

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

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

How to Freeze Green Beans?

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

Freezing Fresh Green Beans

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

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

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

Freezing Canned Green Beans

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

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

Green beans

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How to Defrost Frozen Green Beans?

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

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

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

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

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

Beans

Image used under Creative Commons from Mohammed Mahdi

Summary

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

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

Vegetables

Can You Freeze Brussels Sprouts?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brussels sprouts

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

How to Freeze Brussels Sprouts?

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

Prepping Brussels Sprouts 

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

Water Blanching the Brussels Sprouts

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

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

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

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

How to Defrost Frozen Brussels Sprouts?

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

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

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

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

Summary

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

Herbs & Spices

Can You Freeze Parsley?

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

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

 

Fresh parsley

Image used under Creative Commons from Richard North

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

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

How to Freeze Parsley?

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

Prepping the Parsley for Freezing

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

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

Freezing Un-cut Parsley

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

Freezing Cut Parsley

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

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

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

How to Defrost Frozen Parsley?

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

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

Summary

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