Knowing how to freeze fresh garden produce can make a huge difference in the way it keeps. Cooking and freezing in large batches saves money on the grocery bill. It won’t save you much money if half of the garden ends up in the trash. Freezing food successfully is easy if you follow the five tips below. They’re all designed to keep food fresh longer.
Not all foods freeze well. For instance, bananas turn black in the freezer. So do potatoes, if they’re not cooked. Lettuce doesn’t freeze at all. Most foods freeze better if cooked first. Most garden vegetables will freeze well if the proper procedure is followed. Sometimes freezing food successfully is a trial and error process.
There are several ways of doing this. You can use a vacuum sealer. If you don’t have one, use specially designed freezer bags or wrap food tightly in several layers of plastic wrap. You can also use heavy duty plastic containers. Don’t forget to ‘burp’ the air out of them before freezing. I don’t recommend using aluminum foil to wrap frozen foods. It can hold the cold and cause freezer burn.
Certain foods like bread and other baked goods are prone to condensation. Letting foods cool prior to freezing is an effective freezer burn prevention method. Placing them in the freezer while warm can cause them to retain moisture and spoil easily once removed. They can also have a mushy texture if frozen while warm from the oven.
You may think you’ll remember when you made that chili. A month from now, you’ll be staring at the container trying desperately to recall the day. Why waste food due to uncertain dates? Get yourself a permanent black marker. Write the date on everything you freeze before placing it in the freezer. You can do this for packaged frozen foods as well. Better safe than salmonella.
Spread it out.
Avoid stacking food in the freezer until it’s completely frozen. Food that’s stacked freezes more slowly. Remember my hint about the vegetables? Don’t stack them up in neat piles unless you absolutely have to. A quick freeze retains freshness. Single layers freeze faster. This is true of all foods, not just veggies. Do you really want to serve your family food that took several days to freeze? Use these tips for freezing food successfully and safely for the health of your family.
Portions of this article were originally published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.