Food & Beverage · Home & Garden · Seasonal & Holiday

Tips for Freezing Your Garden Harvest

So, you have a great garden and you want to preserve your harvest to enjoy all winter long. If you want to have fruits and vegetables to during the winter, but are afraid it will require canning or other labor intensive preserving methods, keep reading. Freezing is an easy way to preserve your fruits and vegetables, and you don’t need any sophisticated equipment or jars.

Corn

 

Freezing your vegetables is easier than canning. You can freeze all kinds of vegetables. If you want to freeze corn, first blanch the ears by boiling them in water for about 2-4 minutes. After that, you plunge them into cold water and when cooled scrape the kernels off the cob. Freeze them in plastic freezer bags.

If you would rather freeze your corn on the cob, all you have to do is boil for 6 minutes then plunge in cold water and freeze. That is the way I prefer, it is so easy and eating corn on the cob in winter gives us a taste of summer.

Peppers

We always freeze our peppers because we have such an abundance. Peppers are so easy to freeze, because you do not need to blanch them. Just wash, cut, remove seeds and freeze. You can cut them in slices, halves or pieces. Spread them out on a cookie sheet or tray and freeze first and then transfer them to to plastic bags or freezer containers.

Beans

If you have a bounty of beans, you will want to freeze them fast. Freezing them quickly preserves their vitamin content. When your water is boiling add just enough beans to still allow the water to continue boiling. Watch your timer carefully, you want them to boil for exactly three minutes, remove them immediately and put them in ice cold water. After they have cooled, dry them and pack them up into plastic freezer bags or containers.

Peas

Peas are very similar to freezing beans and should be frozen as quickly as possible. Shelled peas should be blanched for 1.5 minutes and sugar snap or snow peas for 2.5 minutes. Submerge them in ice water after blanching and when cool, dry and freeze in freezer bags or containers.

Carrots

Carrots should be sliced or diced and then blanched for 2 minutes, remove them and submerge in cold water, dry and freeze in bags.

Zucchini

Zucchini does not freeze well, so you can freeze the puree instead. Use your blender or food processor to puree zucchini and summer squash. Freeze the puree to use in soups, cakes and breads.

Berries

Blueberries can be rinsed and frozen in freezer containers for use all winter long in muffins, cakes, smoothies or as a topping on cereal, ice cream and more.

Strawberries should have the stems and leaves removed and then wash and dry them and freeze them on a cookie sheet or tray. Once frozen transfer them to plastic freezer bags or containers.

Melons

Freeze chunks of watermelon, cantaloupe or honeydew to use in smoothies. Just cut and freeze on trays and then transfer to freezer bags or freezer containers.

You will find freezing much of your garden harvest does not take a lot of time and you will reap the rewards of your labor all winter long. You can pick up freezer bags and freezer containers at Target or Walmart.