Many vegetables require blanching to keep well in the freezer:
These vegetables contain natural enzymes which “digest” nutrients in storage, resulting in vitamin loss and a stale taste.
A few vegetables, however, can withstand the freezer treatment without much preparation. These will likely become your favorites for freezing.
Freezing the Easy Keepers
There are three common vegetables that keep well in the freezer without blanching:
If you store these vegetables in Ziplocs or vacuum-sealed bags, they can last through the winter without developing an “off” taste.
Are the enzymes still at work in these vegetables? Probably. A bell pepper with a slightly bitter taste will become unpleasantly strong after a few months in storage, which seems to indicate that some type of transformation is taking place. However, good-quality onions, tomatoes, and peppers do not seem to be significantly affected by their stay in the freezer.
Preparing these vegetables for storage is easy. Just wash, chop, and seal in airtight bags. It couldn’t be simpler!
Using Your Frozen Produce
Frozen onions, tomatoes, and peppers can be used in any of your favorite recipes. Two caveats are in order, however:
- Set your produce out to thaw before you need it.
- Drain your produce before you use it.
These vegetables have a lot of moisture in them, so make sure that you follow these two cautions. There’s nothing more inconvenient than wrestling with a block of solidly frozen diced tomatoes when you’re in a hurry, and undrained onions and peppers can flood a pizza.
But if you miss the taste of homegrown summer produce in the winter, start putting some in the freezer now. You’ll be glad you did!