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Freezing Vegetables

Most vegetables can be frozen which preserves them for later use and saves you money. This is a general guide about freezing and storing vegetables.

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Using Leftover Vegetables, Freezing Green BeansPhoto of green beans with frost on them.
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September 17, 2011 Flag
6 found this helpful

If you think about it, a lot of recipes start the same way, sauteing onions with, depending on the cook, garlic, celery, carrots, or peppers. You probably have your own preference that you use more than any other. Well, on a day when you have a little extra time, make a huge batch of it, make your meal with a portion of it, and let the rest of it cool. Then measure in 1/2 or 1 cup portions and freeze.

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When you are rushed or tired and need some, you can thaw out however much you need. You might even want to make a couple of variations, such as onions and peppers, and onions and celery, or with garlic, and without.

Source: This is inspired by pure laziness, a little work one day saves me a lot later!

By Copasetic 1 from North Royalton, OH

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May 13, 2016 Flag
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I have had a good crop of capsicums, how would I prepare the capsicums for freezing?

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    May 14, 20160 found this helpful

    Thank you so much, I did google it but you gave me more information than I found 

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    August 31, 2011 Flag
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    How do you freeze cauliflowers and green beans? Do you have to blanch them first or can you freeze them without blanching?

    By Yvonne from Coventry, England

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    Anonymous Flag
    September 1, 20110 found this helpful
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    Follow Elaine S' advice and it's the same (3 minutes) for cauliflower but the florets and stems need to be cut into about 1 to 1 1/2 inch pieces. Assorted veggies need different blanching times but beans and cauliflower happen to both be the same.

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    January 9, 2012 Flag
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    How do I freeze fresh celery?

    By Vic

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    January 10, 20120 found this helpful
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    I have done this too, but I also wrapped several layers of plastic wrap and placed it in a zip lock bag to insure no freezer burn, in case I didn't get it used up in a timely manner. Now I use a vacuum sealer works much better, no freezer burn because all the air has been 'sucked' out.

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    October 9, 2014 Flag

    When I open a bag of corn (or any other veggies), I use my scissors and cut across the top of the bag, leaving enough that I can use it to tie my bag up with it. The other thing I use is leftover twisty ties. When I get garbage bags, I always get the ones with twisty ties so I have plenty when needed. I always hand tie my garbage bags, so it doesn't really matter what kind of bag I get.

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      July 30, 2009 Flag
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      I am freezing zucchini and one of the methods is to freeze it unblanched. Is this method safe? What about the enzymes that blanching kills? I would hate to have problems with the zucchini once it is thawed but like the idea that it would not be as mushy as it gets when it is blanched. Please help, as we have a garden full of zucchini.

      By Mira

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      July 30, 20090 found this helpful
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      I wash my zucchini well and drain. Then grate it peeling and all for making my zucchini cakes in the winter. I've never had any bacterial problems arise after immediately thawing it for use.

      I also do not blanch bell peppers but clean well and stuff with rice, tomatoes, ground beef and onion and place in freezer bags. When ready to use, I put them in a pan with water covering the lower bottom a little and use a lid and cook til done. Again never had any bacteria problems arise preparing some vegetables in this manner.

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      December 23, 2015 Flag
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      Can you freeze some vegetables when they have been in a jar?

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        December 25, 20150 found this helpful

        Yes, however, the quality and taste may be affected and the veggies may be somewhat "mushy" after thawing.

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        June 5, 2012 Flag
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        Do all vegetables have to be blanched before freezing?

        By G Norman from Oxfordshire

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        June 6, 20120 found this helpful
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        No - most do need to be blanched, but not all. I freeze summer squashes without blanching, just slicing and freezing. Tomatoes can be frozen whole. This is an excellent way to have fresh-tasting sauces all winter, and the skins just slip right off once the tomatoes are partially thawed. I also freeze corn straight out of the garden without shucking, then microwave still frozen and still in the husks - tastes like summer!

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        September 28, 2011 Flag
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        I want to vacuum pack vegetables without cooking them. Can you freeze vegetables without cooking them?

        By Joan

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        Anonymous Flag
        September 29, 20110 found this helpful
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        Except for veggies like peppers and onions they need to be blanched. The reason is to keep their fresh color but, most importantly, to stop the enzymes that break down the quality and nutrients of the food. Here's some info I shared a few weeks ago:

        Vegetable Water Blanching Timetable

        There have been a lot of requests for blanching veggies as of late so here's an easy timetable to follow. Be sure to check tenderness part way into the blanching guide times because freshness and size of vegetables vary and can affect how long they truly need to blanch.

        Be sure to give the veggies an immediate ice water bath after the blanching to stop the cooking process. Pat veggies dry if you are going to be freezing them and remove as much air from the freezer bag as possible because both help to reduce freezer burn.

        Artichoke Hearts, Globe: 7 minutes

        Artichoke Whole, Globe: 10 minutes

        Artichoke Whole, Jerusalem: 3 to 5 minutes

        Asparagus: Small Stalk - 2 minutes, Medium Stalk - 3 minutes, Large Stalk - 4 minutes

        Beans: Snap, Green or Wax - 3 minutes

        Beans: Lima, Butter, or Pinto - Small - 2 minutes, Medium - 3 minutes, Large - 4 minutes

        Beets: Cook until tender

        Broccoli, Florets and Stems: 1 1/2 inch pieces - 3 Minutes

        Brussels Sprouts, Heads: Small - 3 minutes, Medium - 4 minutes, Large - 5 minutes

        Cabbage or Chinese Cabbage: Coarsely Shredded, thin wedges or leaves separated - 1 1/2 minutes

        Carrots: Whole - 5 to 6 minutes, Diced or Sliced - 2 to 3 minutes

        Cauliflower, Florets and stems: 1 to 1 1/2 inches - 3 to 4 minutes

        Celery: Diced - 3 minutes

        Corn-on-the-cob: Small - 8 minutes, Medium - 10 minutes, Large - 12 minutes, kernels - 5 minutes

        Eggplant: 1 1/2 inch slices - 4 to 5 minutes

        Greens, All Varieties: Tough Stems Removed - 2 1/2 to 4 minutes

        Kohlrabi: Whole - 3 minutes, Cubed - 1 minute

        Mushrooms: 4 to 6 minutes

        Okra: Small - 3 minutes, Large - 4 minutes

        Peas: 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 minutes

        Peppers, Sweet: Strips or Rings - 2 to 3 minutes, Halves - 3 to 4 minutes

        Potatoes, All Varieties: Cook until tender

        Pumpkin: Cook until tender

        Rutabagas: Diced - 2 to 3 minutes

        Soybeans, In Pod: 4 to 5 minutes

        Squash, Winter: Cook until tender

        Squash, Summer: 1/2 inch slices - 3 to 4 minutes

        Turnips: Diced - 2 to 3 minutes

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        July 16, 2011 Flag
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        How do I to freeze vegetables?

        By surelock from Lapeer, MI

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        July 17, 20110 found this helpful
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        If you can pick up a Ball Blue Book of preserving this will be a great help. I got mine at Wal-mart years ago and its a book that's worth it if you do canning or freezing of vegetables. Blanching is very important and must be done properly to destroy microorganisms that could destroy your food. But its a fairly easy process using boiling water don't over blanch this will cause a loss of flavor. Cool your vegetables by using ice water. Hope this helps.

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        July 2, 2012 Flag
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        Do I need to do anything (like blanch) veggies to use later as stirfry? Any other helpful hints? Thanks.

        By Mary from Henderson, NC

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        July 12, 20120 found this helpful
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        Yes, you should blanch most of the veggies that you save for stirfry (squash, broccoli, green beans, etc). Green and red peppers, onions, celery, mushrooms don't have to be blanched, however.

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        May 14, 2011 Flag

        I was considering lightly microwaving my home grown yellow squash and green beans instead of par boiling them which can make a lot of water, and then vacuum sealing is difficult.

        Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

        By Daphna A. from Alachua, FL

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        May 17, 20110 found this helpful
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        I microwaved 2 years ago and they got that funny taste after 6 months. I then tried the steam method, instead of microwave. Leave them whole, and when you get them hot all the way through dunk them in ice water to cool at once like corn on the cob, dry with a towel and cut up and freeze that way. They probably won't save over a year without changing taste. This works for green and yellow squash. After about 7 months I take mine out and dry them in the dehydrator and powder them to add to all my dishes. including spagetti sauce. Dried veggies add good flavor even to fried meat.

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        May 24, 2013 Flag
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        After you freeze vegetables can you thaw them and eat them as a raw vegetables?

        By Dawn

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        May 27, 20130 found this helpful

        Probably not. When they thaw, the water will come out of them. They will be fine for soup, but they will be soft and a little soggy, not crunchy like they were when fresh.

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        March 24, 2010 Flag
        1 found this helpful

        It is handy to chop up such items as celery, onions, peppers and peeled garlic and store them in small plastic bags in the door of your freezer. I save some to use fresh, but a lot of the time I don't use them up, and they can go bad before we eat them; especially garlic as it tends to dry up. I use the top part of celery with leaves for soups. It's nice to have these items all ready to use.

        Garlic would not have to be chopped up, as one can chop the frozen cloves but peeling it saves that tedious job. Also it lets one buy in bigger quantity when on sale.

        Another thing I have done is to just clean celery stalks and freeze them whole in a long bread bag. When it is frozen, it can be chopped up very easily.

        By Judy S. from Valley City, ND

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        August 28, 2004 Flag
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        Fresh vegetables can be frozen quickly and easily during the harvest season. Whether you freeze purchased or home-grown vegetables, the keys to a successful product are using vegetables at the peak of ripeness and freezing quickly after purchase or harvest.

        Contents include:

        This article is available in PDF format. Click here to download it.

        Published by: New Mexico State University

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        November 15, 2010 Flag
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        How do you freeze raw cauliflower and broccoli? Is it possible to freeze raw zucchini squash?

        By Shirley from Tequesta, FL

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        Anonymous Flag
        November 16, 20100 found this helpful

        Here's all the info you should need. :-)

        http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/publications/uga/uga_freeze_veg.pdf

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        October 13, 2000 Flag
        2 found this helpful

        Veggies on sale? Buy a lot and freeze them. Your freezer can be your best friend when trying to save money on your food bills.

        Frozen veggies in a ziplock bag.

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