Hello, and happy Monday! My local news channel informed me that it will officially be fall at 10:29 pm. I'm so excited; fall is my favorite time of the year.
I hope all of you had a fabulous weekend. I worked for most of the weekend, but babe and I both have today "off", so we're going to pretend like it's Saturday!
On to today's post...
There's nothing better than fresh fruits and vegetables. When in season, they're bursting with flavor and packed full of nutrients.
Freezing produce when it's reached peak ripeness allows you to enjoy it all year long, even when it's not in season. And friends, having a freezer full of fresh strawberries and peppers from the garden is a very beautiful thing.
But freezing fresh produce isn't as simple as dumping fresh berries into a freezer bag... there are a few tricks and tips (courtesy of my mamma) that will help you get the most out of your fruits and veggies!
- Freeze fruits and veggies when they're at their peak of freshness.
- For fruit: wash/prepare fruit thoroughly and let dry. Place the fruit on a cookie sheet in a single layer (not touching) place in the freezer. Once the fruit is partially frozen, transfer it to a Ziploc bag or any other type of freezer-safe storage container. Allowing the fruit to first freeze while not touching other pieces of fruit ensures that you will be able to take out individual pieces of fruit instead of one huge chunk of strawberries. For fruits that tend to brown (think apples), treat them with ascorbic acid first.
- For veggies: veggies are best frozen when blanched first (briefly submerged in boiling water). Then, place the veggies in an ice bath to prevent the veggies from cooking- the purpose of blanching is to preserve the color, nutrients, and flavor of the veggies.
- Most veggies can go straight from the freezer to boiling water to be cooked. Most fruit should be defrosted/thawed at room temperature. Some people aren't crazy about mushy defrosted fruits, so eating them just before they're completely thawed is also an option.
- Frozen fruits can be stored for about a year, while veggies can last for up to 18 months in the freezer. They can be stored for longer, of course, but the quality can start to decline.
Now you can eat fresh fruits and veggies all year long!
Hope these tips were useful :)