Freezing Produce In Paper Bags

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I learned this freezing method from a friend who puts up produce from a very large garden every year. She freezes Okra, green beans, bell peppers, zucchini and yellow squash, Purple hull peas, and more this way. Use brown paper lunch bags.


Take three bags, open and insert one inside the other for a triple thick bag. Wash your veggies, and lay on a towel to dry. When dry, prepare appropriately: snap the beans, shell the peas, slice the squash, etc. Put them into the prepared paper bags. Then fold down the tops and either clip them or staple them. Label and date the bags with a sharpie, and put them in the freezer.

They will not freeze together into a lump, and very little, if any, frost will accumulate in the bag. Also, no freezer burn. Blanching is not necessary. I have even started transferring the frozen veggies that I buy from the store to the paper bags. They keep better. You can open a bag and use what you need, then re-fold and re-staple the bag.

August 18, 20080 found this helpful

This is an awesome idea and I'm going to try it out. Thank you for the tip.

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August 18, 20080 found this helpful

WOW!I am SO glad you posted this tip! In fact I think it's the best one I've read on ThriftyFun in the past 3 years that I've been on this forum! Thank you for taking the trouble to post this wonderful tip. Our frozen veggies often get thrown away by my partner do to freezer burn. I use them to make soup & the freezer burn can sometimes be disguised, but this tip will save me many bags of stuck-together freezer-burned veggies & lots of money to boot! THANK YOU!

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August 19, 20080 found this helpful

What do you do with the green peppers to freeze them? Thanks

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August 19, 20080 found this helpful

Sounds like a great tip, I just have one question I thought that veggies needed to be blanched to kill the bacteria in them before freezing. Just wondering. The tip would save me alot because I always seem to blanch to much and the are mushy after defrosted.

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August 19, 20080 found this helpful

This makes so much sense because the moisture remains in the freezer itself instead of the plastic container :-) Thanks for this tip!

As for the questions about blanching, you only need to blanche anything for a minute or two. Maybe your veggies get mushy because they're blanched longer than that. I don't blanche very many veggies before freezing because I use them up pretty quickly. I also found this: The reason for blanching vegetables before freezing is that it stops the action of enzymes.

Up until the time vegetables are ready to pick, enzymes help them grow and mature. After that they cause over ripening, loss of flavor and color changes. If vegetables are not sufficiently blanched, the enzymes continue to be active during frozen storage. The vegetables may develop off-flavors, discolor, or toughen so that they may be unappetizing after a few weeks of freezer storage.

Oh, and the other question about freezing green peppers: They can be seeded and pre-cut or frozen whole :-)

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August 19, 20080 found this helpful

My mom did something similar. She used to clean the top silk from the corn, then put them in bags, roll and twist them, and put them in plastic bags. Once thawed, they are ready to shuck and clean.

Another thing she taught me was that you can put cleaned, gutted and prepped fish in a 1/2 gallon cleaned paper milk carton and fill with water. If several fish will fit, the more the better. Close and freeze, marking the item and date on the top. Once it's frozen, they can be stored on their sides. The fish come out fresh and ready to cook.

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August 21, 20080 found this helpful

Thank you for this freezing tip. I have sent it to my daughter as she has a big garden. I wish I knew about this years ago. Sue

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August 3, 20160 found this helpful

I know it has been a long time since this was posted, but I just saw it. I am having a banner year with my zucchini, and there are plenty more to come. The family is zucchinied-out and I just froze my first batch. I'm looking forward to summer flavors this coming winter. Thank you for posting.

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