Sunday, November 13, 2011

Waste Not: Freezing Vegetables Without Blanching


As we begin to celebrate Thanksgiving, a new study reveals that about half of all food in America is wasted. That number includes food waste from restaurants, families, grocery stores, etc. Did you know that 14%-25% of the food that enters American households gets thrown out? We waste almost a quarter of our food!

Throwing out food is a waste of money and is bad for the environment. Food decomposing in landfills is a contributor to global warming! Of course we should buy only what we need and use the food that we buy. We can also compost our food scraps instead of contributing to landfill waste. But those are posts for another day. Today I am writing about what we can do with the extra food in our homes before it goes bad. Today, let's talk about freezing vegetables without blanching.

Like I've said before, my family gets a farm share once a week. That means that we have a box full of vegetables each Tuesday. Sometimes we are overwhelmed by the amount of vegetables that we receive.
We have begun to freeze vegetables to make them last longer and be available for use throughout the winter. Our vegetables are not blanched before freezing because we just don't have time for that. And it's not necessary. Freezing itself stops the enzyme process in vegetables and also slows mold and bacteria growth.

Remember: wash your vegetables before freezing. When you are ready to use your vegetables, use/cook them frozen. Do not try to thaw them before cooking.

The following vegetables are good for freezing:
  • Tomatoes (whole; good for sauces or soups)
  • Green Peppers & other Peppers (cut into strips or pieces)
  • Green Beans (ends trimmed, can be broken into smaller pieces)
  • Onions (diced or in larger pieces)
  • Zucchini & Summer Squash (cut into the size and shape you would like to cook)
  • Corn (on or off the cob)
  • Cabbage (chopped into the size you would like to cook)
  • Peas (ends trimmed or shelled)

I'd love to know if you have had a good (or bad!) experience freezing these or other vegetables. I'm always on the lookout for easy ways to preserve food.

Happy Freezing!
Christine




Sources and further reading:
Culinate.com
Foodproductiondaily.com
HubPages.com
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