Freezing is the easiest way to stock up for the winter with self-grown vegetables or vegetables bought on the market at a low summer price. For best results, try to freeze vegetables as fresh as possible in order to maintain the maximum beneficial properties.
Almost all fresh vegetables should be blanched before freezing. The exception is sweet peppers and onions. They can be cut and frozen without blanching. Blanching is necessary to interrupt the process of ripening of the fruit, which will continue after freezing, depriving the vegetable of freshness of taste and making it hard and colorless.
Blanching consists of two stages. First, the vegetables are immersed in boiling water for a while, depending on the type and size of the vegetable. Then cooled as soon as possible, dipping in cold water, usually at the same time as in boiling water.
Wash vegetables thoroughly. Remove the stems, seeds, remove the skin and slice as you would cut them fresh for cooking.
For blanching, prepared vegetables are poured into a colander or metal mesh, not more than 0.5 kg at a time. Water is poured into the pot, about 5 liters per 0.5 kg of vegetables. If the vegetables are leafy (cabbage, lettuce), the amount of water can be doubled so that the leaves do not stick together. Bring water to a boil. Colander dip in boiling water. Cover the pot with a lid and start counting the time as soon as the water begins to boil again. It is very important to determine the time correctly.
- Cauliflower - 3 min.
- White cabbage straws - 1, 5 min.
- White cabbage in pieces - 3 min.
- Eggplants - 4 min.
- Whole carrots - 5 min.
- Carrot straws - 2 min.
- Squash - 2 min.
- Mushrooms - 2-5 min.
Remove vegetables from water and cool as soon as possible by dipping in ice water. If the vegetables are not cool, they will continue to boil inside, and it will not be frozen, but boiled vegetables. When the vegetables have cooled, they need to be dried well.
Spoon the vegetables into a plastic bag or freezer container. Fill the container so that there is still a distance of 1 cm from the lid. The bag or container should be tightly closed. Attach a label with the inscription and date and put in the freezer.
Now you can blanch the next batch. In the same water you can blanch up to 6 servings of the same kind of vegetables. But you need to change the cold water often.
1. Use special packaging to keep maximum nutrients, taste, color and smell of vegetables.
2. The bag should be tight, and the container - hard, with a tight lid. They must withstand low temperatures and not burst.
3. The storage temperature of frozen foods should be -18C.
4. Do not re-freeze thawed food.