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Freezing Vegetables

For the Best in Frozen Vegetables:

  1. Choose vegetables of top quality to freeze. Frozen vegetables are no better than the initial product.
  2. Wash vegetables in cold running water.  If submerged in cold water, lift carefully from water.  Drain thoroughly in wire basket.  Do not let vegetables stand in water.
  3. Blanch or scald vegetables.
  4. Chill in cold running water or ice water.
  5. Drain and package at once in freezer containers or freezer bags. Leave 1/2 inch headspace.
  6. Seal securely, label and date.
  7. Freeze at 0º F. Place packages in single layer until frozen.
  8. Store at 0ºF. Properly frozen vegetables should retain high quality for 9 to 12 months.

To Blanch:

  1. Equipment: large kettle or blancher with cover (container should hold at least one gallon of water); blanching basket or strainer to fit kettle.
  2. Heat water to boiling - (at least one gallon per pound of prepared vegetable).
  3. Place prepared vegetable in basket and lower into boiling water. Cover kettle.
  4. Start to count blanching time immediately. Do not wait for water to return to boiling.
  5. Remove vegetables from water at end of blanching time. Cool quickly in cold running water or in ice water. Vegetables cool in about the same length of time required for blanching.
Vegetable Preparation Blanching time/minutes Headspace/inches

Asparagus

 

Wash, sort by size, cut in 2-inch lengths  Small stalks-2     Medium stalks-3 Large stalks-4      None 
Beans, snap, green or wax  Wash, remove ends, cut in 1- or 2-inch pieces.       3      1/2 
Broccoli  Wash & trim. If insects are present, soak 1/2 hour in solution of 4 teaspoons salt to 1 gallon of cold water. Separate stalks so flowerets are no more than 1-1/2 inches across.       3      None 
Corn on cob  Husk ears, remove silk, wash corn, sort according to size.  Small ears (1-1/4 inches or less in diameter)-7 Medium ears (1-1/4 – 1-1/2  inches in diameter)-9 Large ears (over 1-1/2 inches in diameter) 11         None 
Corn, whole kernel or cream style.  Same as on cob. Blanch. Cut kernels from cob. Whole kernel - cut at about center of kernel. Scrape cob with back of knife to remove juice.  4 (before cutting kernels from cob)         1/2 

 

Eggplant  Peel, slice in 1/4 to 1/3-inch slices or dice. To prevent darkening, place in solution of 1/4 cup salt to 1 gallon cold water.  4-1/2  None -- separate layers of eggplant by sheets of freezer paper. 
Greens (beet, chard, collards, kale, spinach, turnip, etc.)  Wash thoroughly, remove tough stems and bruised leaves, cut chard leaves in pieces.  Beet greens, kale, chard, mustard & turnip greens-2 Collards-3,Spinach-2,  Very tender leaves 1-1/2         1/2 
Mushrooms  Sort by size, wash thoroughly in cold water, trim stem ends. Slice or quarter mushrooms larger than 1 inch in diameter.  Pan fry until almost done or steam (to prevent darkening, soak 5 minutes in solution of 1 teaspoon lemon juice to a pint of water). Then steam whole (not over 1" across) 5 quarters or buttons 3-1/2 Slices 3         1/2 
Peas, green  Shell  1-1/2         1/2 
Peppers, sweet  Wash, remove stems, cut in half or in slices, remove seeds.  Halves 3 Slices 2 For use in uncooked foods--blanching not necessary  1/2 for blanched     peppers No headspace, if not blanched 
Summer Squash or Zucchini  Wash, cut in 1/2 inch slices.         1/2 

 

Prepared by: Sue Snider, Ph.D.

Professor/Food and Nutrition Specialist



Original Publication Date:

Cooperative Extension Education in Agriculture and Home Economics, University of Delaware, Delaware State University and the United States Department of Agriculture cooperating. Distributed in furtherance of Acts of Congress of May 8 and June 30, 1914. It is the policy of the Delaware Cooperative Extension System that no person shall be subjected to discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex, disability, age, or national origin.

Disclaimer: Reference to commercial products or trade names does not imply endorsement by University of Delaware Cooperative Extension or bias against those not mentioned.

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