Friday, July 24, 2015

Preserving the Harvest

How to freeze Fruits and Vegetables- make the most of the Summer/Fall Harvest

Have you ever run into a good price on produce or found that you had purchased more than you could eat before it started to turn? Read on to see how to freeze and preserve the foods so they don’t go to waste.

Vegetables: Wash the vegetables, then boil and blanch. A basic rule of thumb is to blanch (boil) the vegetable for 2-4 min, then put them in an ice bath for an equivalent amount of time. Strain vegetables and place on a baking sheet. Place in freezer for 2-3 hours, or until firm. Place in freezer bags and place in freezer for future use. (see a list here.)

Fruit: Wash fruit, remove stems and seeds, slice if desired, allow to dry. Then spread on a baking sheet and place in freezer for 2-3 hours, or firm. Place in freezer bags and place in freezer for future use.

Quick Tips
·     Freeze fruits and veggies when they're at their peak of freshness.
·     Freeze fruits and vegetables quickly.
·     Store in heavy-weight, air-tight containers or freezer bags.
·     Fill containers to the top and remove as much air as possible from freezer bags.

Once frozen, these can be used in soups, smoothies, casseroles, slow cooker meals and more. The nutrients are maintained and so is the flavor, without the worry of preservatives that may be found in frozen and canned foods purchased in the store.

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