Saturday, July 31, 2010

Preserving the Harvest: Freezer Methods

The freezer is an easy way to keep what is fresh now for a later date.  This week, I found green peppers for a great deal and some blueberries.  Both of these things are freezer friendly with only a few steps, so I thought I would share.

Blueberries can be frozen after a good washing and inspection for stems or gross berries.  I like to fill my freezer bag just enough so the contents can be frozen flat in my freezer, like this. It saves space and allows me to remove whatever amount I need for a recipe as they are not all clumped together.  Frozen blueberries are nice, because they can be used in most recipes interchangeably with fresh berries straight from the freezer.  This is a general method that can be applied to all the berries I know of.

Green peppers just get washed, stems, seeds and veins removed and then sliced thin.  I like to freeze my peppers in wide mouth canning jars, this keeps the odor of the peppers from permeating other freezer items.  When you are ready to use these, you can pull out the amount of slices you need.  They can be added as is to sweet and sour or "diced" by using a knife or just breaking them up with your hands for anything else.

These two items and most fruits are ready for the freezer without blanching.  They require only cleaning and any desired preparations like slicing or sweetening beforehand.  Both of these should keep well in the freezer for up to 3 months.  Another post will discuss freezing vegetables that require blanching.
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If you are visiting, welcome! I am in the process of a Vulcan Mind Meld with my computer to put all of my right hand recipes for feeding my family on here as fast as possible. Please come back often and stay awhile. There are so many exciting things to come!

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