How to Flash Freeze Vegetables
If you’re reading this, congratulations! It means you had a bountiful fall and winter garden and you have cauliflower, artichokes, peas, etc. being harvested like crazy. But don’t worry! Your fall/winter garden is full of veggies that can be frozen and used later if you don’t know how to use them fresh out of the soil. Peas, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, peppers and herbs are some of the many veggies that can be frozen, but these are particularly ones you may have in your garden from Leaf’d Box! Once frozen in time they can be used for just about anything you want! Peas to add to a soup, broccoli and cauliflower into a stir fry, herbs to cook with your favorite meats! The list goes on. Do keep in mind that veggies with high moisture content, like cucumber cabbage, lettuce, don’t do too well being frozen then thawed. They tend to turn mushy when thawed and that’s a yuck from me!
Here’s what I found to be the simplest and most effective way to successfully freeze your goodies to eat later!
To begin, you would prepare the vegetables as you normally would. Wash, peel (if needed), trim any stems or roots and then cut/dice as if you were going to add them to your meal that day.
Then, you would blanch your prepared foods, and it’s recommended to do it one variety at a time since each vegetable may have a different blanch time. Here's a link that lists the different blanching times for each veggie. Once in the pot for it’s amount of time, take those babies out and place them in an ice bath to stop any further cooking. Pat them dry with a towel to avoid any freezer burn and some websites suggest freezing them on a sheet pan first that way they don’t freeze together, otherwise you can throw them into a freezer safe container and store them for, well, kinda, ever. BUT up to 8 months is recommended since any time after that they tend to lose their tasty flavor. Don’t forget to label when you began freezing your veggies that way you can keep an eye on their freshness.
The herbs are a whole different story. Herbs are beautiful, delicate and delicious plants that are stored a bit differently. First, finely chop your herbs up and fill each ice tray cube about ¾ of the way full. Fill in the rest with some olive oil and throw them in the freezer! It’s that easy! Mix and match the herbs!
Have fun with it, they’re your plants from your garden you can do what you want!