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How to Freeze Vegetables

3 Easy Steps to Freezing Vegetables

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Freezing vegetables is an easy way to save the great flavors of ripe in-season vegetables to enjoy later in the year. See how easy it is to freeze vegetables below.

1. Prepare the Vegetables

Rinse all vegetables clean. Some require some trimming, peeling, and even blanching before heading into the freezer (see How to Blanch for more details):

  • Asparagus, green beans, snap peas - trimmed, 1-minute blanch
  • Bell peppers - stemmed, seeded, cut into large pieces
  • Broccoli & Cauliflower - cut into florets, 2-minute blanch
  • Fava beans - shelled, peeled (they are blanched in this process)
  • Kale, chard, and other cooking greens - 2-minute blanch, squeeze of as much water as possible
  • Peas - shelled, 1-minute blanch
  • Spinach - 1-minute blanch (squeeze out excess water as it cools)
  • Tomatoes - simply halved or otherwise cut into pieces and seeded; can be peeled (after a 30-second blanch), if you like

 

2. Freeze the Vegetables

Lay the prepared vegetables in a single layer on a large baking sheet or pan (make sure it fits flat in your freezer first!). You can line the pan with parchment paper, waxed paper, or aluminum foil, if you like. Make sure the veggies aren't crowded and are touching each other as little as possible.

Put the veggie-laden sheet, flat, in the freezer until the vegetables are frozen solid. This usually takes an hour or two. You can leave the vegetables in the freezer uncovered like this up to overnight.

3. Transfer Vegetables for Freezer Storage

Once the vegetables are frozen through, transfer them to heavy-duty freezer bags. Press out as much of the air as possible (you can get maniacal about it with a vacuum sealer if you have one, or suck the air out with a straw), seal the bag, and store in the back or coldest part of the freezer.

Frozen vegetables will last up to a year in a stand-alone freezer that isn't opened and closed a lot, and up to 6 months in a frequently opened refrigerator-freezer.

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