Many people decide to freeze seasonal fruits and veggies to make summer last longer. They do this to preserve the nutritional value and flavors of the summer and enjoy them all year long, far after the season has passed.
If you are a student, this type of food preservation is also a great way to save lots of time and money. Frozen veggies such as potatoes, corn, and others, can become a garnish for your meals, and if you cook them before freezing, it will only take a bit of time to cook later.
What is more, preserving fruits and veggies in the summer, will save you plenty of money later because these can be rather costly in colder seasons.
So, as a student living on a tight budget, you should really try this food hack for the time and money economy. We know that you’re busy. But, you can hire an expert research paper writer on PaperWriter to take care of your current tasks now and have more time for preserving foods. And, later, you will be happy that you did this.
Now, to help you get started, let us share with you a detailed guide on how to use this method of food preservation for different types of fruit and veggies. Let’s dive in!
How to Freeze Seasonal Fruits
Seasonal fruits are among the most popular foods to freeze in the summer to use later. The primary reason for that is their versatility. While fresh fruits are rather hard to find in cold seasons (and they get pretty expensive too), frozen fruits can be used all year round for a variety of purposes.
To be more specific, you will be able to use them for:
- Snow cones;
- Topping for cereal or yogurt;
- Sauces, etc.
These are only some of the many uses. Now, the main question is how to freeze different types of fruit correctly. And, if you are thinking about simply shoving them into a freezer, that’s not a way to go. So, let’s look at a few tips here.
Let’s talk about berries first. Strawberries, blueberries, and other types of berry are widely used for freezing. To do everything right, grab the type of berry you like, and then wash and dry it. Then, take a cookie sheet and place your berries on it in a single layer. Then put it away in a freezer and wait until the berries get hard. After this, you can put them in a bag.
This method will help you ensure that your berries don’t stick together. And the same tactic also works for cherries. However, you will probably want to get them pitted first.
What about nectarines and peaches? These should be blanched, peeled, and sliced before freezing because otherwise, their skins will get too tough.
Fruits with even thicker skins, such as pineapples or bananas, don’t need to be blanched. But, you have to remove the skin and chop them.
Lastly, doing anything with apples deserves an extra mention too. If you simply try to slice and freeze them, it will work, but your apples will likely turn brown. To avoid this, dip apple slices in an ascorbic acid solution right after you slice them.
How to Freeze Seasonal Veggies
Some of the most common seasonal veggies that you might want to save for winters include peas, carrots, summer squash, asparagus, green beans, tomatoes, cauliflower, and broccoli. Also, you might want to freeze corn and potatoes (or sweet potatoes). But, the process will be slightly different from fruits.
Before you get started, you want to wash, dry, and cut your veggies accordingly. And then, you will want to blanch or cook them.
Unlike fruits, most vegetables benefit a lot from blanching. In a nutshell, blanching is the process of scalding foods in boiling water or steam for a short time. The reason you need to do this to your veggies is that blanching stops enzyme actions, which could make your veggies lose color, texture, and flavor.
Blanching also cleanses the surface of vegetables from different organisms and dirt. And, apart from this, it helps retain the most vitamins. Therefore, whatever type of vegetable you want to freeze, be sure to blanch it first. To do this right, you can get yourself a cooking app or find a detailed guide on the web.
Alternatively, you may also want to cook some of your veggies instead of just blanching them. This method will help you cook them faster in the future.
What’s next? Just like berries and fruits, you want to freeze your veggies in a single layer to prevent sticking. Then, you can transfer them to a bag or container.
If you want to save peppers and onions, these are some of the few veggies that don’t require blanching or cooking. You only need to wash, dry, and chop them.
How to Freeze Herbs
Apart from fruits and veggies, you may also want to freeze some fresh herbs that are hard to find during the off-season. For example, you may want to save mint, basil, parsley, sage, and cilantro.
All these herbs are great for cooking. And the good news is that they are very easy to freeze. To get started, you only need to wash and dry them. Then, you can either leave your herbs whole or chop them. Finally, you only need to wrap them up tightly and put them in a freezer.
Pro Tip: When freezing herbs, you might want to top them with a bit of olive oil. This trick will help you preserve the flavor.
Now that you know some of the key tips and tricks used for freezing different types of seasonal fruits and vegetables, you can try it! Use these hacks to enjoy the flavors of summer all year round and save plenty of time and money on cooking in the future. Once you try it for the first time, you will never go back!