Food Storage: Freezing Fruits and Veggies
Buying fruits and veggies in bulk can save money if you have extra storage space. Freeze the extras to use another time.
Most produce maintains its quality when frozen up to about 6 months (for fruits) or 12 months (for veggies).
Blanching is a cooking process in which a food, usually a vegetable or a fruit, is quickly cooked in boiling water, removed after a brief, timed interval, and finally plunged into iced water or placed under cold running water to halt the cooking process. Blanching foods helps reduce quality loss over time.
Blanching slows the loss of flavor, color, texture, and nutrients during freezing. Veggies frozen without blanching are safe to eat, but may not maintain their quality for as long. Hearty veggies like broccoli, carrots, corn, and squash can be frozen without blanching, but less-hearty veggies like cooking greens and peas do better with blanching.
Ready to freeze some fruits and veggies? Follow these simple steps:
- Rinse produce. Pat dry.
- Prep as directed in the chart below.
- If freezing vegetables, blanch for the amount of time shown in the chart below. Using a slotted spoon, immediately transfer boiled veggies to a bowl of ice water. Drain well and pat dry.
- Place produce in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze.
- Transfer frozen produce to a large freezer-safe bag or other airtight container.