Who else wants to enjoy the great taste (and health benefits) of garden fruits and vegetables all year long?
It’s easy to do, if you have a freezer.
Not everything you grow in your garden will retain its flavour, texture and nutrients, though. This short blog will give you some valuable insight into how to make your best choices.
The most important first step is to harvest your young crops and process them quickly. Most fruits and vegetables can be safely stored and eaten weeks later without any further work on your part.
If, however, you hope to enjoy the fruits of your green thumb throughout the dead of winter, you should plan on perfecting your blanching skills (boiling food for a certain amount of time, then plunging it into ice water to stop the cooking process). Blanching will kill bacteria and inactivate enzymes while protecting nutrients, texture and taste. (See link here)
The following list will help you to decide which vegetables to choose for your first foray into fresh food preservation:
- Vegetables members of the brassica family such as broccoli and cauliflower are good choices for freezing.
Blanching broccoli usually takes about 5 min. where cauliflower takes around 3 min. (Note: Add a tiny amount of lemon juices to the cauiflower to keep the colour.)
- Just cook the leaves until they become soft
- squeeze out excess water
Planning on freezing your vegetables? Send us photos and we may feature you on an upcoming vitagardens blog!