|Photo by Renato Ghio|
So far one section of my freezer is filled with homemade "prepared" items including: marinara sauce, tomatillo sauce for enchilada suisas, ratatouille, and various permutations of veggie soup. Another section of my freezer is dedicated to individual packets including: corn, blueberries, green beans, whole cherry tomatoes, shredded zucchini, and dark, leafy greens.
If, like me, you have a canning-phobia but still want to save summer's bounty, freezing is an easy alternative. To get you started here are a few of my quick tips.
Dark Leafy Greens (Swiss Chard, Kale)
- Trim, wash thoroughly and drain. Blanch (in small portions) for 2 minutes. Lay flat on towels to cool, squeeze out excess moisture. Vacuum-seal or store in rigid containers leaving 1/4 inch headspace.
- Strip off husks and silks, rinse and dry throughly. Hold the cob upright in a large bowl and careful cut the kernels off the cob. (The bowl catches the falling kernels.) Package the kernels. Vacuum-seal in 2 cup portions or store in rigid container with 1/4 inch headspace.
- You could also blanch the kernels while on the cob for 4-6 minutes and them remove the kernels and store.
- Trim the ends, wash and shred. Vacuum-seal in 2 cup portions or store in rigid container with 1/4 inch headspace.
- You can also slice, then blanch the slices for about 1 minute. Let them cool, drain excess moisture and dry. Store in rigid containers by layering the slices and separating the layers with parchment paper.
- With the small abundant little tomatoes wash them and freeze them whole. You can pop them into stews and soups where they will just melt away leaving only their wonderful flavor. Wash them, drain and dry thoroughly. Spread them out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, pop it into the freezer for about an hour. Remove the sheet and vacuum-seal in 2 cup portions.
- Remove the tops and tails. Wash and cut into 1-inch pieces. Blanch for 304 minutes, cool in ice water for 5 minutes, drain thoroughly and dry. Vacuum-seal.
- Select crisp peppers. Wash, remove stem and seeds. Cut into strips or rings. Vacuum-seal.
- You can also blanch the slices for 3 minutes and them vacuum-seal or store in baggies.
- Wash them, drain and dry thoroughly. Spread them out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, pop it into the freezer and freeze overnight. Remove the sheet and vacuum-seal the individually frozen berries into small portions.
|Photo by Renato Ghio|
This is just a place to start. For detailed information about freezing, visit the National Center for Home Food Preservation.