Freezing Your Share
How to freeze your Farm Share properly.
Freezing most vegetables at home is a fast, convenient way to preserve produce at their peak maturity and nutritional quality. Here are various techniques for freezing and thawing vegetables, as well as how to cook your frozen vegetables.
Note: Freezing is not recommended for artichokes, Belgian endive, eggplant, lettuce greens, potatoes, radishes, sprouts, and sweet potatoes.
Follow these steps on how to freeze and thaw your veggies:
2. Chilling- After blanching, remove vegetables from boiling water and immediately plunge into ice-cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain vegetables to remove water.
3. Freezing- Place chilled vegetables in freezer containers/bags, remove excess air, and freeze. For best results, freeze no more than 3 lb at a time. Many vegetables can be frozen as individual pieces. Spread on a shallow pan, freeze until firm (1 hour), then pack in freezer containers or bags in portions that are usable (½ cup increments). Vegetables store well frozen for about 1 year.
4. Thawing- Most vegetables do not need to be thawed before cooking. If thawing is necessary, thaw vegetables in their sealed packages at room temperature.
Cooking Methods for Frozen Vegetables
1. Boiling- Use minimal amounts of water to cook frozen vegetables to retain the best flavor and nutrition. For every 2 cups of vegetables, use ¼ - ½ cup water and ½ tsp salt if desired. (Cook corn in enough boiling water to cover and avoid toughening the kernels by not using salt.) Bring water to a boil. Add vegetables, cover, and return to a boil. Once at a boil, begin counting cooking time, reduce heat, and simmer gently until vegetables are tender. Drain before serving.
2. Microwaving- For leafy vegetables and those with high water content (mushroom), reheat 4-6 minutes per 1 lb. For dense vegetables reheat 8-10 minutes per 1 lb with 1/3 cup water and drain excess water after heating.
3. Pan frying- Melt butter or oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add frozen vegetables, season, cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until tender.
4. Baking- Frozen vegetables (carrots, parsnips, peppers, squash) can be baked along with a roast or in a casserole. Alternatively, place frozen vegetables in a lightly greased baking dish, season, cover, and bake at 325° F until tender. Stir occasionally.
5. Easily add frozen to sauces, soups, casseroles, stews, or to a stir-fry during cooking.
|Vegetable||Preparation||Blanching Time||Cooking Method & Time|
|Beans (green or wax)|
|Corn (whole kernel)|
|Corn (on cob)|
Swiss chard, Collards, Kale, Mustard greens, Spinach, Turnip greens
|Peppers (green or red)|
|Potatoes (mashed only)|
|Squash, (vegetable marrow, zucchini)|
|Squash (acorn, butternut, hubbard)|
The Simple Green Smoothie Formula (makes 2 servings- 32 oz): 60% fruits to 40% leafy greens
2 cups leafy greens (spinach, kale, romaine, bok choy, swiss chard, collards)
2 cups liquid base (water, coconut water, coconut milk, almond milk)
3 cups ripe fruit (banana, mango, berries, orange, avocado, peach, pear, apple, pineapple, grapes)
Blend leafy greens and liquid base together first. You can simply freeze this and add fruits later or add fruits now, blend again, and then freeze.