Preserving

Freezing Specific Vegetables

Specific Directions for Freezing Vegetables

Asparagus

Select young, tender spears.

Trim off scales and tough ends. Cut, if desired.

Water blanch:

  • Small spears - 2 minute
  • Medium spears - 3 minute
  • Large spears - 4 minutes

 

Beans (broad)

Wash, shell, sort by size and rinse.

Water blanch:

  • Small - 2 minutes
  • Medium - 3 minutes

 

Beans (green or wax)

Wash and snip ends. Cut, if desired.

Water blanch:

  • Cut - 2 minutes
  • Whole - 3 minutes

 

Beans (lima)

Harvest while seed is green.

Wash, shell, sort by size and rinse.

Water blanch:

  • Small - 2 minutes
  • Medium - 3 minutes

 

Beets

Select young, tender beets.

Wash and trim tops, leaving 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) of stems and tap roots to prevent bleeding of colour during cooking.

Cook in boiling water until tender:

  • Small - 25 -- 30 minutes
  • Medium - 45 -- 50 minutes

Cool quickly in ice water. Peel; remove stems and tap roots. Cut into slices or cubes or grate coarsely.

 

Broccoli

Select firm, tender stalks with compact heads.

Wash; remove leaves and woody portions.

Cut into 1 1/2 inch (3.75 cm) pieces.

If insects are present, soak broccoli in solution of 4 tsp (20 mL) salt to 4 quarts (4 L) water for 30 minutes before blanching.

Water blanch: 3 minutes

Steam blanch: 5 minutes

 

Brussels Sprouts

Select green, firm, compact, insect-free heads.

Wash thoroughly; trim and remove outer leaves.Sort by size.

Water blanch:

  • Small - 3 minutes
  • Medium - 4 minutes
  • Large - 5 minutes

 

Cabbage

Wash; discard tough outer leaves.

Cut into thin wedges, coarsely shred, or separate into leaves.

Water blanch: 1 1/2 minutes

Suitable for cooked dishes only.

 

Carrots

Raw carrots will keep for several months if left unwashed and stored in a cold storage room or washed, placed in paper towel-lined perforated plastic bags in refrigerator.

If freezing, select young carrots of a coreless

variety.

Wash; peel or scrape.

Water blanch:

  • Small, whole - 5 minutes
  • Diced, sliced or julienned - 2 minutes

 

Cauliflower

Select compact heads.

Wash and trim off leaves.

Cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) florets.

If insects are present, soak florets in solution of 4 tsp (20 mL) salt to 4 quarts (4 L) water for 30 minutes before blanching.

Water blanch: 3 minutes in water containing 4 tsp salt (20 mL) to 4 quarts (4 L) water

 

Celery

Wash and cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces.

Water blanch: 3 minutes

Suitable for cooked dishes only.

 

Chard Stems

Wash.

Water blanch: 2 minutes

 

Corn (cream-style)

Remove husk and silk. Wash and trim cobs.

Water blanch: 4 minutes

Cool very quickly in ice water.

Cut kernels from cob halfway through kernel.

Scrape cob to remove juice

 

Corn on the Cob

Remove husk and silk. Wash and trim cobs.

Water blanch:

  • Small cobs 7 minutes (1 1/4 inches/3 cm or less in diameter)
  • Medium cobs 9 minutes (1 1/4 - 1 1/2 inches/3 - 3.75 cm in diameter)
  • Large cobs 11 minutes (over 1 1/2 inches/3.75 cm in diameter)

These times include blanching of the cobs and kernels. Under blanching may cause a grass-like taste.

Cool very quickly in ice water.

 

Corn (whole kernel)

Remove husk and silk. Wash and trim cobs.

Water blanch: 4 minutes

Cool very quickly in ice water.

Cut kernels off close to cob.

 

Garlic

Freezing not recommended due to flavour changes and strong odour in freezer.

 

Greens

(beet, chard, kohlrabi, spinach, turnip)

Select tender leaves.

Wash; trim off stems.

Water or steam blanch: 30 seconds or just wilted

 

Herbs

Wash, drain and pat dry with paper towels.

Chop, if desired. Do not blanch.

Wrap small portions in plastic wrap and place in freezer bag. May darken on thawing.

 

Kohlrabi

Select tender kohlrabi.

Wash and cut off tops and roots. Peel.

Tiny kohlrabi may be left whole.

Cut larger kohlrabi into 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) cubes.

Water blanch:

  • Cubed 1 minute
  • Tiny whole 3 minutes

 

Leeks

Trim and split lengthwise; wash thoroughly to remove grit.

Do not blanch.

Slice; package in small amounts.

Double wrap to prevent odours in freezer.

 

Mixed Vegetables

Blanch each vegetable as recommended.

Combine as desired.

 

Mushrooms

Select mushrooms with tightly closed caps.

Wash and trim. Do not soak.

To prevent darkening, dip in solution of 1 tsp (5 mL) lemon juice to 2 cups (500 mL) water.

Sauté small batches in butter for 4 minutes, chill in

refrigerator and freeze.

 

Onions

Freezing not recommended except in cooked dishes. Blanching and freezing result in a poor texture and a very strong odour in freezer.

Bulb onions store best in a cool dry place.

 

Parsnips

Select tender parsnips. Wash.

Peel; cut into 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) slices or cubes.

Water blanch: 2 minutes

Parsnips keep well in the ground until the ground freezes; store in a cold storage room.

 

Peas (edible pods: Chinese, snow, sugar)

Select bright green, flat, tender pods. Wash.

Remove stems, blossom ends and any strings.

Water blanch:

  • Small pods 1 1/2 minutes
  • Large pods 2 minutes

 

Peas (green)

Select young, tender peas.

Wash, shell and rinse.

Water blanch: 1 1/2 minutes

 

Peppers (bell, hot)

Wash, halve and remove seeds.

Do not blanch.

Finely chop or slice in thin rings.

Suitable for cooked dishes only.

Hot Pepper Caution: Hot peppers cause severe skin and eye irritation. Wear rubber gloves when handling hot peppers and avoid touching any exposed skin.

 

Potatoes

Freezing not recommended due to poor texture and flavour.

Cooked mashed potatoes may be frozen for short periods of time. Expect significant flavour and texture changes.

 

Potatoes (french fries)

Select mature potatoes; store for 30 days.

Wash, peel and cut into strips.

Rinse; dry thoroughly. Deep fry small quantities in hot oil for about 5 minutes or until tender but not brown.

Drain on paper towels; cool and freeze.

To serve, bake on cookie sheet at 475 F (240 C) until browned.

 

Pumpkin

Wash, halve and remove seeds.

Steam or bake until tender.

Scoop out pulp; mash or puree.

Simmer to desired consistency.

Cool quickly. Package in desired amounts.

 

Spaghetti Squash

Prepare and cook as winter squash.

Remove strands of squash using a fork.

 

Squash, Summer

(chayote, pattypan, vegetable marrow)

Wash and cut into 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) slices.

Steam blanch: 3 minutes

Cool on paper towel-lined trays in refrigerator.

 

Squash, Winter

(acorn, butternut, hubbard)

Wash, halve and remove seeds.

Steam or bake until tender.

Scoop out pulp; mash or puree.

Cool quickly. Package in desired amounts.

 

Sweet Potatoes

Wash and cook until tender.

Cool and peel. Leave whole or slice. May also be mashed while hot; cool and freeze.

 

Tomatoes

Select firm, ripe tomatoes.

Wash. To remove skins, dip in boiling water 30 seconds and ice water 30 seconds. Peel and core. Freeze whole or cut into pieces.

Suitable for cooked dishes only.

May also be stewed; cooled, packaged and frozen.

For more information on freezing tomatoes visit our Preserving Tomatoes page.

 

Tomatoes (green)

Select firm, green tomatoes. Wash.

Core and slice 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick.

Layer slices, separating layers with wax paper.

Darkening may occur.

 

Turnips

Wash, peel and cut into 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) cubes.

Water blanch: 2 minutes

 

Zucchini

May be blanched as for Summer Squash.

May also be grated and frozen unblanched for baking. Measure and label quantity. Use when barely thawed to minimize moisture loss. Do not drain before using.