Winter months, despite their bountiful squash and root harvests (among other delicious treats), sometimes leave us want for items no longer available. Well, want no more.
It’s simple and you will perhaps be surprised to learn that freezing, not canning, is the best way to preserve a wide array of veggies, fruits, even your favorite herb. Beyond the taste and ease of freezing, frozen foods lose fewer nutrients than their dried of canned cousins.
It is simple, but don’t merely toss your picks in a freezer lock bag. The key to preserving flavors is to blanch the produce first. Blanching (or scalding and then immediately cooling) produce destroys the enzymes that cause it to spoil.
You will need a pot, a bowl, and a freezer lock bag.
Directions (using beans as an example)
Thoroughly wash and rinse your beans.
Begin by boiling about 4 cups of water. All beans must be submerged.
Before you submerge the beans, make sure you have a bowl of cold water, standing by. The cold water rapidly cools the beans, which stops the cooking process. This is how you preserve freshness, without cooking all the way.
Once the water has come to a boil, submerge your beans for 3 minutes. The blanch time varies by item based on weight. This is an easy google.
After 3 minutes, remove your beans. Place them in cold water. Once they are cool (approximately 1 minute) strain and put them in the plastic bag. Place them in the freezer as quickly as possible.
Now, when the hankering comes mid-snow storm, you have the option available to indulge.