The Gardener's Network
Nav Menu

Holiday Insights









Affordable Greenhouses




Deck boxes

Freezing Home Grown Fruits and Vegetables

Freezing your bumper crop of fruits and vegetables is the quickest and easiest way to save your bountiful harvest to enjoy at a later date. Avid home gardeners like you and me are only limited by the size of our freezer. The only drawback is that the storage time is less than that of canned goods.

And here is more good news...you can freeze most fruits and vegetables. Some exceptions are leafy vegetables, like lettuce. Upon defrosting, leafy vegetables are limp and mushy, not an appealing trait for a salad.

Safety First: We always stress the importance of following proper measures to ensure your food is safe and edible. This includes cleaning all utensils prior to use, proper preparation, storage, and thawing.When using any foods, our motto is "When in doubt, throw it out".


Food Selection

Always select the freshest, healthiest foods for freezing. Pick fruits and vegetables at their peak. Discard food with blemishes and soft spots, signs of plant disease and insects.Wash thoroughly to remove dirt and debris. Peel skins and cut to size as desired.


About Enzymes

An enzyme is a protein found in all living cells. It is an organic "Catalyst" that causes foods to ripen and eventually spoil. Other than that, we'll spare your the Chemistry 101 lecture.

Why the lecture on Enzymes? Because freezing only slows enzyme activity. It doesn't stop it. To stop the enzyme activity altogether, we turn our attention to blanching.


Blanching

Vegetables should be blanched prior to freezing. The most common methods are boiling and steaming. Blanching in the microwave is also increasing in use. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add your vegetables, and boil or steam.

Learn how to blanch vegetables and blanching times

Also see: Blanching Times


Preparing Fruits

Fruits are usually are not blanched. Some fruits, like strawberries can be frozen whole or sliced, and require no blanching. They are simply frozen as soon are they are prepared. For others like peaches and apples, ascorbic acid, not lemon juice, is used to retard enzyme activity. Another method is to pack fruits in sugar syrup to eliminate browning effects of enzyme activity.


Packaging and Storage

Almost any airtight container can be used. The most common is freezer bags (found at your local store) and plastic containers. We stress "air tight", as any opening is the pathway for air from your freezer to enter and cause freezer burn.

Pack food tightly. If you are using plastic bags, squeeze out all of the air.

Freeze foods as quickly as possible.

Most foods, including fruits and vegetables are best stored at 0 degrees Farenheit.


Freezer Burns

Freezer burns occur when air gets into a package of food. The longer food is stored in your freezer, the more likely it is that the food will get freezer burned. The food becomes discolored, turning a grayish brown and leathery where it has been exposed to the air. Freezer burned food is not unsafe. It just tastes bad or "funny", and is unattractive in appearance. If the area affected is small, simply cut away the bad spot. If it is a large area, the taste of the whole whole package may be affected. In that case, you will want to discard it.


Tips for Thawing:

Some foods like Turkeys require a slow thawing over a period of time. Vegetables on the other hand, are best when taken right from the freezer and put directly into a pot of boiling water.

Most fruits should be thawed slowly in the refrigerator. They can be placed on the counter for a short period of time.

Important: Never allow frozen foods to thaw overnight at room temperature, or to reach above 40 degrees. Once thawed, harmful bacterias and micro organisms become active again and grow.


Mmore Related Information, see:

Home Canning


Blank

Food Strainers make fast work preparing

sauce and juice for canning and cooking.

Buy Now

Seaweed & Fish Fertilizer

Shop For:

Gardening:
Seeds - 500 Varieties
Organic Supplies

Cold Frames
Composters
Garden Fertilizers
Greenhouses
House Plants
Garden Planters
Raised Beds
Garden Supplies

Trees, Shrubs, Vines

Seasonal /Holiday:
Halloween
Thanksgiving
Carving Stuff
Decorations

Foggers, Misters
Gory, Scary Props
Jello Molds
Party Supplies

Yard & Deck:
Hammocks
Hose Carts/Reels
Outdoor Storage
Rock Enclosures
Solar Lights
Pest Control

Other:
Tomato Press
Food Processing
Kitchen Gadgets
Kid's Playhouses


| Home | How to Grow | Flowers | Fruit | Bulbs | Vegetables | Lawn Care | Pumpkins | House Plants |
| Garden Shop |
Herbs | Organic | Plant Problems | Bushes 'n Shrubs | Trees | 4 the Birds | Garden Recipes |


Copyright 1999 - 2016 © by Premier Star Company