Freezing veggies is a bit more of a process than freezing fruit, but it’s still not hard and is definitely worth the time and the trouble.
In June, my husband brought home 40 pounds of asparagus that he got for $0.70 a pound. It was delicious fresh, but 40 pounds was way more than we wanted to eat. I now have about 30 pounds of asparagus in my deep freeze! It took us less than two hours to process the asparagus that we plan to enjoy all winter long.
Most of the time, you’ll need to blanch vegetables before you freeze them. The one exception to this is peppers. For some reason, you can just wash, slice, and seed peppers and then freeze them without doing anything else.
The way we processed our asparagus was this: first, we cleaned and trimmed the asparagus. Then we blanched the asparagus in batches by submerging it in boiling water for 4 minutes. After that 4 minutes of boiling water, we immediately plunged the asparagus into a pot of ice water. Then we spread out the asparagus on a clean towel to dry it off a little. We laid out the asparagus in a single layer on a cookie sheet and froze it. After it was frozen, we scooped the individual asparagus stalks off the cookie sheet into ziplock bags. We froze batches of about 1 pound each.
This same method works for most veggies. Beets must be cooked quite a bit longer before they’re frozen.
NEVER freeze potatoes unless they’re mashed.
I’ve also found that the best way to freeze summer squashes (zucchini, crook-neck, yellow, and pattypan squash) is to shred the squash in the food processor and freeze it in measured amounts in ziplocks. Don’t blanch the squash first.
Tomorrow, I’m posting my favorite freezing tip: soup kits. So stay tuned.