Freezing Food at Home
Freezing Food Advantages and Disadvantages
Advantages of Freezing Food:
Freezing better preserves the nutritional value of food than canning or drying. Frozen food is more like fresh food in color, flavor and nutrients than food preserved by other methods. Freezing food is also easy and less time consuming than canning and drying.
Disadvantages of Freezing Food:
The disadvantages of freezing food is that it requires freezer space and constant electricity to maintain the frozen foods. Unlike canning or drying, which require no electricity to maintain them after preserving.
What Can Go Wrong?
Problems Encountered When Freezing Food
Freezing food works because extreme cold slows the growth of microorganisms, enzyme activity and oxidation. Freezing will not make old food fresh again. Avoid putting anything in the freezer that you are not sure about. Beginning the freezing process with fresh, high-quality foods will produce the best result.
Enzymes and Freezing Food
Raw food naturally contains enzymes that change the food over time. Some of these changes are beneficial. Beef, for example, becomes more tender as enzymes work on the meat. Enzymes can change the color and texture of vegetables. Blanching, a short heat treatment prior to freezing can control enzymes in fruits and vegetables. It is important to note, that blanching destroys some of the nutritional value of the fruit or vegetable and also destroys the enzymes, which are good for your health.
Freezer Burn & Oxidation
Freezer burn and oxidation occur when frozen food is improperly wrapped. Consider purchasing containers or wrap specifically for freezing food.
Ice Crystals When Freezing Food
Ice crystals form when food is frozen slowly. If ice crystals are forming on your food, turn down the temperature of your freezer at the time food is being frozen to help it freeze faster.
When freezing foods, vacuum packing keeps food fresher for up to 3 to 5 months longer than other methods.
Recipes for Freezing Fruits
Fruit - Freezing Food
In general, all foods, including fruits should be kept for no longer than 1 year in the freezer. Citrus fruits can be frozen, but should only be stored for 4 months. You can freeze fruits by covering them in a light syrup prior to freezing to prevent oxidation. Another way to preserve fruits by freezing is to flash freeze them which involves freezing the fruit on a flat sheet in the freezer and then placing the frozen fruits together in a freezer safe container. Flash freezing discourages the fruit from sticking together after freezing.
Vegetables and Freezing Food
Vegetables are amazingly easy to freeze. Some require blanching to preserve them properly, but most are suitable for stews, casseroles, or soups without blanching. Always choose firm, quality vegetables to freeze. The container you use will also influence the finished product. Make sure it is airtight and protects the food from frostbite.
Supplies for Freezing Food - from Amazon.com
According to the "Ball Book of Preserving," vacuum-sealed food will last twice as long in the freezer as food that isn't vacuum-sealed. The extended storage life in the freezer is due to vacuum-packings ability to prevent air from reaching the food and avoiding oxidation. For superior quality frozen food, invest in this inexpensive vacuum-sealing system.
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