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Thread: Freezing Fresh Veggies...

  1. #1

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    Default Freezing Fresh Veggies...

    Do the vegies have to be blanched before freezing, or can i just chop em up and put them in a freezer bag, straight into the freezer??

    Thanks


  2. #2

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    No, it is best that you blanch them first. If you hang on a sec, I will find my presevering book with it in it.

    OK, what exactly do you want to freeze, because different vege's need to be done a bit differently.

  3. #3

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    Thanks Sherie!! Your a cooking guru!!.

    I'd like to freeze Carrots, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Corn and Pumpkin!! And Potato's if possible

    Just wondering tho, would doing the veggies myself, be any better than bought frozen ones? Or should I just buy frozen?

    Thanks

  4. #4

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    Depends on how quickly you can freeze them!! The nutrient value in the veggies that we buy should be good if they are fresh and snap frozen. However if you have a good deep freeze that should do the job. If they freeze slowly though you may lose nutrients. Last year I froze fresh beans (didn't work at all, they just got thin and stringy) and zucchini - which went really well. I didn't blanche the zucchini, just chopped it up and popped them into snap lock bag and into the deep freeze. HTH
    :-)

  5. #5

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    If you have the time and the inclination to do it, then yeah. We have done it when we have grown our own veges and they are really good, just like brought ones.

    Freezing Carrots
    Choose young, tender coreless medium length carrots. remove tops. wash and peel. Leave small carrost whole and cut larger ones into thin slices, 6mm cubes or lengthwise strips. Water blanch small whole carrots for 5 minutes, diced, strips or sliced carrots for 2 minutes. Cool promptly, drain and pack leaving 13mm head space. Seal and freeze.

    Broccoli
    Select form, young tender stalks with compact heads. Remove leaves and woody portions. Separate heads into convenient size sections and immerse in solution of 4tsp salt to 4lts water for 30 minutes to remove insects. Split lengthways so that florets are no more than 40mm across. Water blanch for 3 minutes or steam blanch for 5 minutes. Cool promptly, drain and package, leaving no head space. Seal and freeze.

    Cauliflower
    Choose firm, tender white heads. Trim off leaves and cut head into pieces about 25mm across. If necessary, remove insects by soaking for 30 minutes in a solution the same as for broccoli. Repeat blanching process as for broccoli and freeze.

    Corn
    Select only tender and if possible, freshly picked, corn in milk stage Husk and trim to ears and remove silks and wash. Corn on the Cob - water blanch small ears (30mm or less in diameter) for 7 minutes, medium ears (30-40mm) for 9 mins and large ears (40+mm) for 11 mins. Cool promptly and drain and pack. Seal and freeze. Corn Kernels - Water blanch whole cob for 4 mins, cool, drain and cut kernels from cob about 2/3 the depth of the kernels. Pack and leave 13mm head space.

    Pumpkin
    Use Mature pumpkin with fine texture. Wsh and cut into cooking size sections and remove seeds. Cook until soft in boiling water, in steam or in a pressure cooker. Remove pulp from rind and mash. To cool, place pan containing pumpkin in cold water and stir occasionally. Pack, leaving 13mm head space. Seal and freeze.

    Potato
    Slect smooth, new potatoes. Peel or scrape and wash. Water blanch for 3-5 minutes depending on size. Cool, drain and pack whole or sectioned. Leaving 13mm head space. Seal and freeze.

    BLANCHING
    Blanching is a must for almost all vegetables to be frozen. It heats the veges long enough to slow or stop enzyme activity but not long enough to cook it.

    WATER BLANCHING
    Use 4tsp salt to 4lt water per 500g of prepared vegetable. Put the veges into a wire basket or colander to fit inside the pot. Bring the water to the boil and then lower the veges into the water. cover and start timing immediately. Keep heat high for the time given in the directions for the veges you are blanching.

    STEAM BLANCHING
    Steam blanching takes about 1.5 times longer than water blanching but helps retain water soluable vitamins. To steam, use a pots with a tight lid and a basket that holds the food at least 75mm above the bottom of the pot. Put 25-30mm of water in the pot and bring to a boil. Put the veges in the basket to a single layer so the steam reaches all the parts quickly. Cover the pot and keep heat high. starting timing as soon as the lid is on.

    COOLING
    As soon as the blanching is complete, veges should be cooled quickly to stop the cooking process. To cool, plunge the basket of veges immediately into a large post of cold water at 15 degrees or below. Change water frequently or use cold running water. If ice is used, about 450g is meeded for each 450g or veges. Cooling veges should take the same amount of time as blanching.
    Drain the veges thoroughly after cooling, Extra moisture can cause a loss of quality when veges are frozen. Dry the surface with clean tea towels or paper towels.

    PACKING
    We just used snap lock bags, with all the air squeezed out of them before sealing. You can also tray pack, where you place the cooled veges on a tray in a single layer and freeze just long enough to freeze firm. After the first hour check often as long exposure wil result in loss of moisture. Package quickly, leaving no head space then seal.

    The HEAD SPACE that is referred to when packing is just the amount of room you should leave at the top of the container you are freezing them in, but if you use snap lock or other bags, you don't have to worry about that.

    THAWING
    Most frozen veges should be cooked from frozen without thawing. If thawing, do so in the fridge or under cold running water. Never allow to thaw at room temp. To retain the nutrients, cook in as little water as possible, 1/2 cup is enough for 500g of veges. Bring water to the boil and add veges, return to the boil, cover and lower the heat. Cook just until fork tender, which is usually half the time for the same veges when cooked from fresh. Corn on the cob should be thawed so the cob will heat right through. Broccoli and other greens will cook more uniformly if thawed slightly and broken apart before cooking. Do no refreeze once they have been cooked. They can also be steamed, microwaved and stirfried.
    Last edited by Trillian; September 29th, 2006 at 08:15 AM.

  6. #6

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    Awwww Sherie, Your an absolute gem....Thankyou so much for taking the time to do this for me
    Last edited by EllyBoo72; September 28th, 2006 at 10:27 PM.

  7. #7

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    Ally, I am not an advocate of the home shopping channel, BUT, have you seen those vacuum seal bag machines? They are ideal for home preserving/home freezing of veggies, as they take the oxygen out of the bag.........

  8. #8

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    Lucy, we have been thinking about getting one of those because we buy so much meat in bulk.

    Ally, there are heaps of different fruits you can freeze, too. Let me know if you want to do that too.

  9. #9

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    Lucy, those bag sealing machines sound like a great idea too.. I must invest in one. I'd also like to get hold of a good veggie slicer, to make things easier!Can anyone recommend one?

    Thanks again Sherie, I havent thought about doing fruit! If any i would most likely just do apples!

  10. #10

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    I wasted a whole cauli the other day as I accidently put it in the freezer and it went to mush when I thawed it Gotta love that baby brain rofl.

    Sherie thanks for the guide you posted I'll have to try them out.

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