Who is ready for fresh vegetables, soups and salads? I for one am, after all of the rich holiday eating. It is time for a lighter menu.
We have a grower nearby that plants some of the best tasting and most tender vegetables. Every chance we get we load up on them for such a great price. He almost gives it away! It's true he loves growing things. We love eating them so that works out very well! Today I'm just sharing as a go to for myself as well as others that have asked me question about blanching and freezing these things.
GENERAL BLANCHING INSTRUCTIONS
- FILL A LARGE STOCK POT 2/3 FULL WITH WATER
- HEAT ON STOVE TOP TO BOILING
- FILL A LARGE BOWL WITH COLD WATER AND ICE FOR THE ICE BATH. PLACE IN SINK.
- HAVE A COLANDER OR STRAINER READY ALONG WITH BOWL AND A SPIDER AND TONGS IF NEEDED.
- YOU NEED A TIMER.
- THE WATER SHOULD BE BOILING BEFORE ADDING ANY VEGETABLE.
- HAVE TOOLS READY TO REMOVE VEGETABLES FROM WATER WHEN TIME IS UP.
- SIMPLY BOIL VEGETABLES FOR THE APPROPRIATE TIME, REMOVE QUICKLY, PLACE IN COLD WATER BATH TO STOP COOKING, DRAIN AND PLACE ON PAPER TOWEL LINED PAN TO CONTINUE COOLING AND DRAINING WELL.
- OPTIONAL** IF YOU WISH YOU MAY, WHEN PRESERVING BROCCOLI, FREEZE ON COOKIE SHEET TO PREVENT CLUMPING OR STICKING TOGETHER IN FREEZER. **
- LABEL WITH NAME AND DATE THE FREEZER CONTAINERS OR BAGS AND FILL LEAVING EXPANSION SPACE AT TOP OF CONTAINER OR BAG OF AT LEAST AN INCH.
PROCESSING KALE FOR THE FREEZER
I am going to add this Kale to Zuppa Toscana Soup and know the amount needed to each recipe. I chopped, measured, blanched and froze accordingly
WASH AND CUT KALE TO THE SIZE NEEDED.
FOLLOW GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR BLANCHING AS NOTED ABOVE.
KALE NEEDS TO BLANCH FOR 2 MINUTES
KALE CAN LAST IN THE FREEZER FOR 6-8 MONTHS
PROCESSING MUSTARD GREENS
ALSO SPINACH, CHARD, TURNIP GREENS
You can see above that I sliced the mustard thinly, blanched, cooled quickly, squeezed gently in the palms of my hands and then laid them out to drain on paper towels until bagging them for freezer. Greens can hold a great amount of water and I didn't want that in them.
WASH AND CUT YOU GREENS TO DESIRED SIZE
FOLLOW GENERAL BLANCHING INSTRUCTIONS AS NOTED ABOVE
MUSTARD GREENS NEED TO BLANCH FOR 2 MINUTES
IT CAN BE FROZEN FOR UP TO 12 MONTHS
COLLARD GREENS NEED TO BLANCH FOR 3 MINUTES, & CAN LAST IN FREEZER FOR UP TO 12 MONTHS AS WELL.
***Note I have, as my mother in law before me in the past, cooked, seasoned my greens and frozen them in that manner. It is an alternative but I don't recommend keeping them in the freezer for a long period of time. It is helpful if you have a bountiful amount and know you will be serving them very soon.***
PROCESSING CABBAGE FOR FREEZING
This locally grown cabbage is so wonderfully tender I can't wait to get more, and freezing will enable me to have some on hand after the growing seasons.
CUT THE CABBAGE INTO QUARTERS KEEPING THE CORE IN. THIS WILL HOLD THE LEAVES TOGETHER WHEN BLANCHING.
FOLLOW GENERAL BLANCHING INSTRUCTIONS ABOVE.
CABBAGE FROZEN IN THIS WAY WILL BE GOOD STEAMED FOR 3-4 MINUTES OR ADDED TO OTHER RECIPES. KEEP IN MIND IT WILL NOT HAVE THE TEXTURE OF FRESH CABBAGE, BUT WILL STILL TASTE GOOD.
CABBAGE CAN LAST UP TO 9 MONTHS IN THE FREEZER
PROCESSING BROCCOLI FOR THE FREEZER
PREPARE AND BLANCH BROCCOLI FOR 3 MINUTES IN BOILING WATER.
FOLLOW GENERAL BLANCHING INSTRUCTIONS NOTED ABOVE.
BROCCOLI LASTS 6 - 8 MONTHS IN FREEZER.
I think there is nothing prettier than fresh product!
A little work and preparation can save you time and money in the long run.
I'll just tell you with all of the recalls in our food industry it pays to grow or know a local grower for healthy, vitamin filled produce!
You can do it!
PROCESSING TIME CHART FOR EASY REFERENCING
- MUSTARD GREENS, SPINACH, CHARD, TURNIP GREENS, KALE TIME = 2 MINUTES. FREEZER LIFE 12 MONTHS.
- COLLARD GREENS = 3 MINUTES. FREEZER LIFE 12 MONTHS
- CABBAGE = 90 SECONDS, THAT'S RIGHT 1 1/2 MINUTES. FREEZER LIFE 9 MONTHS.
- BROCCOLI = 3 MINUTES. 6 - 8 MONTHS IN FREEZER
- CAULIFLOWER = 3 MINUTES FOR 1 INCH ACROSS PIECES. FREEZER LIFE 12 MONTHS.
has more ways to preserve including steam blanching.