How would you like to have fresh produce in the off season? Ever thought about freezing fruits and vegetables?   With fall around the corner, the farm fresh fruits and vegetables will be hard to come by.  Why not plan to enjoy great produce throughout the year by freezing it.  At Southern Oaks Apartments, we have a few tips to share with our residents on freezing food.

 

How to freeze fresh produce:

A tip to freezing fresh fruit is to spread out the cleaned, dried, and cut up into pieces on cookie sheets and place in freezer. Once the individual pieces of fruit are frozen, you can combine and put in freezer bags. If you like, you can pack fruits in sugar or sugar syrup to help preserve texture and flavor.

Vegetables usually need to be blanched before freezing if you want to maintain flavor, color, and texture. Blanching times vary depending on the vegetable. The National Center for Home Food Preservation has a chart with blanching times for everything from corn to collard greens and simple instructions for how to freeze a large variety of vegetables.

 Tips for freezing foods:

  • Put foods in the freezer as soon as possible after you get them. It preserves the quality and will be better when you defrost.
  • Make sure you label the foods you plan to freeze so you know how long they have been in the freezer.
  • Don’t thaw foods on the kitchen counter. It is a breeding ground for bacteria. Place in the refrigerator, in a cold water bath, or in the microwave.
  • If you freeze in glass containers, make sure it is tempered so it doesn’t break.
  • Cool cooked foods down before freezing so they freeze faster, which helps preserve quality.
  • You can freeze meat in its original packaging, but if you want to store it for long periods of time, add an additional layer of packaging, such as plastic wrap or bags.

What are your tips for having fresh produce throughout the year?  Let us hear from you on our Facebook page.

Image source:  Free Digital Photos