Wednesday, February 15, 2012

How to get summer foods in winter?

*Information provided by Disabled World - Published: 2009-09-14

I found this list that I thought might be helpful to extend the life of your fruits and vegetables so that you can get fresh food from local farmers markets and extend the life of some of these into the winter months.

How to Freeze Vegetables:

Asparagus: wash and cut off any spears and woody parts. Cut in half and blanch in boiling water for three minutes. Let cool in ice water for three minutes and then drain. Put wax paper on a cookie tray, lay the asparagus out on the sheet, and freeze for a half-hour. Pack in freezer bags for efficient storage.

Beans lima: Shell, wash, blanch, cool and drain.

Beans: Wash and remove ends. Leave whole or slice into 1½-inch lengths. Blanch, cool and drain.

Beets: Wash, Trim tops leaving ½ inch of stem. Cook in boiling water until tender. Cool, peel and cut into slices or cubes.

Blueberries: Blueberries freeze particularly well and will keep in the freezer for up to a year. Simply lay a single layer of unwashed, dry blueberries out on a cookie sheet and freeze. Washing them before freezing will compromise the texture and toughen the skins. Transfer the frozen berries into dry pack freezer bags or cartons.

Broad beans: Shell and wash. Blanch for 1 ½ minutes and cool in ice water for 1-2 minutes. Freeze in the same manner as the asparagus, for 30 minutes, and pack in freezer bags, making sure to remove the air. * Broccoli: Use the tender stalks and heads without flowers. Wash thoroughly, blanch for three minutes, cool in ice water for three minutes, drain, and freeze in the same manner as asparagus, for 30 minutes. Pack in freezer bags, making sure to remove the air.

Broccoli: Split into pieces about 1½ inches across. Blanch, cool and drain.

Brussel sprouts: Trim and remove outer leaves. Blanch, cool and drain.

Cabbage: Strip the outer leaves off and wash the rest. Cut into thin strips or shred and blanch for 1 ½ minutes. Cool in ice water for one-two minutes. Pack in freezer bags and freeze.

Carrots: Scrub and chop any large carrots into smaller pieces. Blanch three minutes, chill three minutes. Freeze in the same manner as the asparagus and pack in freezer bags, making sure to remove the air.

Cauliflower: the same method as broccoli.

Celery: Wash the tender stalks and cut into one inch pieces. Blanch for two minutes, chill for two minutes. Freeze in the same manner as asparagus and store in freezer bags, removing the air.

Cucumber: Chop in food processor--peeling is optional. Pack into airtight containers or freezer bags, making sure to seal well.

Eggplant: Wash, peel and slice. Blanch, cool and drain.

Mushrooms: Pack clean mushrooms in freezer bags, remove air, and freeze.

Onions: Peel and either chop or cut into rings. Wrap in layers of plastic wrap and store in an airtight plastic container or freezer bag. Freeze up to three months.

Parsnips: Remove tops, wash, peel and cut into ½ inch cubes or slices. Blanch, cool and drain.

Peas: Shell, wash, blanch for one minute, and chill for one minute. Freeze in the same manner as asparagus and store in freezer bags.

Peppers: Wash, remove seeds, and slice into strips. Freeze in the same manner as asparagus and store in freezer bags.

Potatoes: If they are new potatoes, scrub and cook in boiling water until they are almost done. Drain and let cool, then pack in freezer bags. You can also freeze mashed potatoes for up to three months.

Pumpkin and Squash: Wash, cut into small pieces and remove seeds. Cook until soft in boiling water. Remove skin. Mash cool, package and freeze.

Sweet corn: Clean well, making sure to remove all the silk. Cut off the top of the cob and wash again. Blanch for five-seven minutes, depending on size, and chill for five-seven minutes. Wrap each cob individually in plastic wrap after draining and store in a freezer bag.

Tomatoes: Wash and remove stems, cut into halves, quarters, or leave whole. Dry and pack into freezer bags and freeze.

Turnips: Wash, peel and cut into ½ inch cubes. Blanch, cool and drain.

NOTE: Unless otherwise specified, it is not recommended that you keep these frozen vegetables over six months.

Blanching Vegetables

Blanching is a process of food preparation, usually a vegetable or fruit, is plunged into boiling water, removed after a brief interval, then plunged into iced water or placed under cold running water to halt the cooking process. Blanching neutralizes bacteria present in foods delaying spoilage. This is often done before freezing and refrigerating vegetables.

Disabled World - A list of vegetables that you can freeze including recommended freezer times for veggies:

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