Blanching Garden Vegetables for Freezing
Spending a few days during the growing season freezing your garden vegetables will yield you months of healthy add-on to your meals during the off season.
Below you will find the methods that I use to freeze my vegetables.
One term you may not be familiar with is blanching. Blanching vegetables is important to retain flavor and coloring of the vegetable.
How to Blanch Vegetables
Boil a kettle of water. Place about a pound of vegetables into a fine-mesh wire basket with a wire cover to hold the vegetables under the boiling water. Lower the basket into rapid boiling water. Make sure that the boiling water covers the food. Cover the kettle and then count the recommended time for each type of vegetable using the methods below. After blanching, chill quickly. Plunge the vegetables into ice water to chill them thoroughly. When completely chilled, remove and drain. Pack for freezing at once.
Excellent Vegetable Choices For Blanching
Asparagus – Wash, cut, sort into groups according to thickness of stalk. Blanch, chill, pack. Blanch for 3-4 minutes in boiling water, depends on stalk thickness.
Beans, (Green and Wax) – Wash, stem, slice, cut or leave whole. Blanch, chill, pack. Blanch cut beans for 2 minutes in boiling water. Blanch whole beans for 2 1/2 minutes in boiling water.
Beans (Lima) – Shell, wash, blanch, chill, remove bean whites. Blanch for 1 or 2 minutes in boiling water. depends on size.
Carrots – Remove tops, wash, scrape. Slice lengthwise or crosswise. You can leave small carrots whole. Blanch whole carrots 4-1/2 minutes in boiling water. Sliced carrots should be blanched in boiling water for 3 minutes.
Cauliflower – Break heads into flowerettes about 1 inch across. Wash, blanch, chill and pack. Blanch for 3-4 minutes in boiling water.
Corn (On Cob) – Husk, trim away silk and spots. Wash, blanch, chill, pack. Blanch for 7 minutes for slender ears. 9 minutes for medium and 11 minutes for large.
Corn (Kernels) – Husk, trim away silk and spots. Wash, blanch, chill, pack. Blanch for 7 minutes for slender ears. 9 minutes for medium and 11 minutes for large. After the corn ears are chilled, cut kernels off and pack.
Greens (Beets, Chard, Kale, Mustard, Spinach etc) – Wash, discard bad leaves, tough stems, blanch, chill, pack. Blanch for 2 minutes in boiling water.
Peas – Shell, sort, blanch, chill, pack. Blanch 1-2 minutes in boiling water. Depending on size.
Peppers – Wash, cut away seeds, slice. Blanch, pack in brine made with 1 teaspoon salt to 1 cup of cold water. Blanch for 3 minutes in boiling water.
Freezing your garden vegetables from your bountiful garden crop will provide you with that fresh from the garden taste year round.