Freezing fresh vegetables can be a great solution. If you bought more vegetables than you can consume and do not want to let them go bad or wants to avoid food wasting.
You may also need to freeze fresh vegetables, if you had planned for a big dinner, had a change of plans or may want to store it to be consumed later.
Either way, freezing fresh vegetables is possible and quite simple. You just need to pay close attention to each vegetable type and how long they last in the freezer.
Freezing the vegetables, is also a great solution for those who want to have some vegetables all year around instead of having them for a few months period. It is always good to have summer vegetables in the middle of the winter or the other way around.
How to freeze fresh vegetables
The process to the majority of the vegetables will be the same. Wash them well after you arrive from the grocery store and before freezing it. Dry it well with the help of a towel or paper napkin.
You can chop and slice the vegetables if you wish, this way you can store and later defrost and use just the portions you will need. Briefly blanch the vegetables to keep their color, flavor and texture after you store them in the freezer.
Put the pieces of the vegetables aligned in a baking sheet with parchment paper. Be careful not to let them touch each other or they will become one big block hard to separate later. Put it in the freezer for 4 hours or until it is rock solid.
After the vegetables are frozen. Remove them from the baking sheet, add them in freezing plastic bags, or any airtight compartment of your preference and take them to the freezer.
Write down in the compartments the date you bought the vegetables and the date you froze them. Because there is not a right amount of time that the vegetables will last in the freezer.
Most of them last from 8 to 12 months, but some may go bad before that and some may last longer.
But keep a close eye on the packages, if you notice that there was a color, texture, and odor change do not defrost and consume the vegetables.
Some of the fresh vegetables may have a high absorption power. Be careful where to put them in the freezer, so they do not absorb the smell and taste of other things also stored there.
How to blanch vegetables
As mentioned above, by blanching the vegetables before freezing, you will keep the color and flavor after it gets defrosted. It will avoid the freezer burn.
The blanch process is super simple and can be done by following the next steps:
- Boil a large portion of water.
- Prepare a bowl of water with ice cubes in it and let it get cold.
- Submerge the vegetables in the boiling water for a few minutes. You are not cooking the vegetables, just make sure that the color and taste will get more prominent. So the vegetables still need to be firm when you take them from the water.
- Use a scoop or spoon to take the vegetables from the boiling water. Immediately transfer them to the iced bowl of water. The temperate shock between the two waters will stop the cooking process of the vegetables. It will conserve the taste and color.
After the vegetable is completely cooled, you can take it from the iced water and dry it with the help of a clean towel or paper napkin.
Can you freeze raw vegetables?
It is not recommended to freeze raw vegetables, since they will get freezer burn in it, it will come out from the defrosting process with a munch taste and texture. And some raw vegetables will come out form the freezer with no color.
Also, be careful when freezing herbs. The ice cube tray and olive oil may be the most correct method for them.
The only vegetables that can in fact be frozen raw is onion and peppers. The rest may need a little blanch before.
How to defrost fresh vegetables
The defrosting process depends on how and where you will use your vegetables later.
If you will use it in salads. The best method is to let it defrost overnight in the fridge or for a few hours in room temperature.
But if the vegetables will be cooked and added in recipes. Then you can take them straight from the freezer and move on with your recipe.
Be careful when using the frozen vegetables in your recipes, since you will probably need to let the stove or oven on for a few more minutes than normal.
If you want to decrease the amount of times you need to go to the grocery store and want to avoid throwing away those vegetables you already bought, freezing the vegetables may be a great solution.
In the article above, you saw that you can freeze fresh vegetables to make them last for around a year, or even more! – and learned the secret to do it: blanching them.
By doing a little blanch before freezing the vegetables, you make sure that all the flavor, texture, color will be the same after defrosting the vegetables. It will always feel like eating freshly bought ones.
We also mentioned, that it is not recommended to freeze raw vegetables, since they will lose the color, flavor and will come out from the freezer with burns in it. Only onions and pepper are the exception here.
Of course, some vegetables will taste better than other after being defrosted. That depends on how long they were sitting in room temperature before being frozen or how they were stored, etc. But most of them will turn out simply fine.