This post first appeared in July 2013. I’m about to be inundated with summer produce so it seemed appropriate to share it again.
I’ve had a few people ask me how I freeze the vegetables from the garden, so I thought I would give you my tips and tricks.
We get lot of vegetables from the garden for the majority of the year, but we tend to get gluts of one vegetable for a few weeks and then none. At the moment we are getting so much broccoli (which we all love), but it will all be gone in a few weeks, so freezing the extra means we can have it all year – particularly in early spring when there isn’t much coming from the garden. Of course you can do this with store bought vegetables too if you wish.
Almost any vegetable can be frozen. Many you can just stick straight into the freezer, however I normally blanch mine first. This just makes sure they are not going to go black.
1. Have a big pot of boiling water.
2. Have the sink full of iced water (or a big bowl or tub).
3. Cut the vegetables into equal sized pieces.
4. Plunge the vegetables into the boiling water for about 30 seconds (longer if you are doing things like carrots). I tend to do this part in small batches.
5. After 30 seconds quickly remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon, and place directly into the cold water. This stops them cooking, and keeps their colour looking bright.
6. Repeat this with your remaining vegetables.
7. Lift the vegetables out of the water and place in a colander to drain. I normally let it sit for about half an hour to make sure they have drained properly.
8. Place portions into labelled snap lock bags or containers and freeze.
When you want to use them, treat them the same way you would any shop bought frozen vegetables. I have done this to broccoli, broad beans, beans, peas, and corn (I cut the kernels off the cob first).
For vegetables such as beetroot and pumpkin I bake them on a tray, allow them to cool and then freeze them in a bag. I think roasting gives them a better flavour, and it means I can have pumpkin soup make in 10 minutes when we get home late and the kids need feeding straight away.
Have you ever tried freezing your own vegetables?