When we enter the winter season, we have to make the most of what produce we have. We can’t just grow more. Instead of leaving them to rot after the first few weeks, we can freeze them. Freezing fruits and veggies halts the enzyme process with little to no loss of edible quality.
Fruits come in such wide varieties that it’s important to remember some special exceptions to certain fruits. Berries are best frozen as is due to their small size and fast freeze time. They also require little to now thawing. If you want to make a jam out of them, then mashing them first is a good idea.
While peaches and bananas can be frozen with their skins still on, you’ll have to remove it from others. Like pineapples, which need to be cut and cored first.
Some of the crunchier fruits, like apples and pears, do not freeze well. If you want to preserve them this way, then you’re best off turning them into pie filling or sauce first.
Grapes can be frozen, but thaw awfully. They’re best eaten while frozen instead.
If sliced or cut, freeze the items spread out on a tray. Otherwise, they’ll freeze together into one large chunk. Once frozen, feel free to combine them into a more space-conscious container.
Not all veggies can be frozen, unfortunately. Even less can be frozen without blanching. This includes cabbage, cucumber, garlic, mushrooms, pepper, and tomato. If you want to store green beans, peas, broccoli, and cauliflower, you need to blanch them. This is the process of dropping the items in boiling water and then freezing water. This is commonly done to help skin certain foods, but it also helps retain freshness in the freezing process.
To blanch an item, simply drop it into boiling water and leaf for a minute or two. If it is a skinned veggie like tomatoes, then cut a small X into the bottom. This lets the skin peel back naturally. Once ready, use a slotted spoon to transfer the items into a bowl of ice water and let cool. Remove once cool and skin if necessary. Cut and freeze and tada, you’re done.