How To Quick Freeze Veggies Without Blanching
When your garden is overflowing, and the farmers’ market tables are groaning, it’s a great time to think of new ways to freeze vegetables. Most vegetables can be quick-frozen without blanching and stored safely in your freezer until you are ready to use them!
We love to eat soup when the days get shorter and cooler! What if you could grab a bag of veggies from your freezer and get a jump start on a comforting bowl of soup or stew? Well, you can; it’s easy, and here’s how!
When my crisper gets full or when I’m going to be away, I use this process to freeze vegetables and keep my precious produce from going to waste. Today, I cleaned and chopped celery, onions, and cabbage and peeled and sliced carrots. I prepared everything just as though I was going to use it for soup.
I covered a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper and spread out the veggies to pop in the freezer. Yes, I could just have piled everything on the pan, but I love pretty food, and I couldn’t resist a little artistry on the way to the freezer. Can you blame me? 😉
I popped the pan into the freezer for about four hours, and since the veggies were not piled too thickly, everything was frozen solid. Then, it simply scooped them off the pan into a freezer bag. Everything stayed separated, and when some pieces were stuck together, it was easy to separate them.
Next, I squeezed out as much air as possible and used a straw to suck out all the air I could without a food sealing system. These veggies can be scooped out in any amount I need for soup, a casserole, or stir-fry.
Stored this way, the vegetables will keep well in my deep freeze at a below-zero deep freeze for about three months. They will be safe to use longer, but the vegetables will lose some quality.
Please note there is no “recipe” because all you need to freeze vegetables are the veggies and good quality freezer bags or containers. You can do up a small batch when the produce gets ahead of you! “Waste not, want not” never went out of style!
Let’s Have A Word Or Two About Suitable Freezer Containers
If you are a person who cans or freezes food, it’s a good chance you are thrifty, and that’s a very good thing! Many of us grew up with people who had survived the Depression and saved every margarine tub, cool whip bowl, and cottage cheese container.
I do a lot of that myself, and I use them to send food home with kids or grandkids, knowing they will never be “re-reused.” However, none of those are good choices for freezing your valuable food.
Here is a wonderful article about the best freezer containers from The Spruce Eats, one of my favorite sources of food knowledge. As usual, it is in-depth and extremely informative. Please invest in actual freezer containers and spend a little extra to get genuine freezer bags, not sandwich bags or food storage bags.
This Is The Extra Step To Freeze Vegetables For Longer Storage
Some foods, like cabbage, carrots, and cabbage, will last longer in the freezer if you blanch them briefly in boiling water. After that, you simply drain them and put them on the sheet pan to quick freeze in the same way and transfer them to high-quality freezer bags or storage containers.
Here’s a good article from The University Of Minnesota Extension office that gives you loads of information about how long to blanch each type of veggie. I have had excellent success freezing spinach and onions without blanching them, and they have held up well in my deep freeze for the entire winter.
Like me, are you a gardener or a frequent flyer at your local farmers’ market? Do you freeze, can, dry, or otherwise “put up” produce for the winter? We love it! Here are some of our most popular posts about freezing, but you’ll find loads more if you use the search bar on our home page.
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