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Monday, August 1, 2011

Freezing your Produce

Freezing your produce is a very easy and quick way to preserve it.  It doesn't take much time, and the bare minimum you need in equipment is freezer bags and a freezer.  This will keep for a few months, and if the closures hold, your food will be fine when it is time to serve it.  My husband used to go  the extra step and use a straw to create a semi-vacuum, by sucking out excess air.  If you are really serious about keeping your food for longer, I would recommend a vacuum sealer system.  I know most people have heard about "Food-Saver" products, and they are good, but very expensive.  I had one, but it was certainly depressing when the element died a few weeks after the warranty ended and it became a $150.00 paper-weight.  I found a replacement, the "Rival - Seal-a-Meal."  It was $49.00 at Target, and I have had it for several years with no problems.  It uses the same bags as the "food-saver," so it is always easy to buy the bags, and they run about the same as non-vacuum zipper freezer bags.  You just have to cut them from a roll, but you do not waste extra space this way.
The best thing about the vacuum bags is that the produce will last for several years in the freezer, and if you have a box freezer, you can buy everything during the summer, freeze it, and use it in the winter.  Just make sure that you do some reading on how to freeze certain items.  Freezing raw is not always a good thing, as some veggies, like green beans, need to be blanched before freezing, or they turn an ugly color.  And always put the date on the bag, that way you can use the oldest frozen first.

Freezing can be done as a project on its own, doing 5 lbs. of beans at one time, or it can be a bag or two at a time.  I like to have my husband, Robert, grill twice as much corn as we need for dinner, and then freeze what we don't eat for winter.  It only takes a few minutes after dinner tonight for a quick frozen side later.  Stay tuned as I continue processing my garden and my purchases from the Farmer's Markets.


  1. What is the best way to freeze the absurd amount of zuchinni I have? Can I just slice it, bag it, and freeze? Or should it be blanched as well?

  2. I would not blanch it, it will turn to mush after it is thawed. Check out my post on freezing zucchini, and another upcoming post on what to do with frozen zucchini.