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What Kinds Of Vegetables Can You Freeze Without Blanching?
How Did The Early Settlers Preserve Their Vegetables?
Let’s go back in time when the early settlers grew their own vegetables. Now these people did not have a grocery store to go and buy their vegetables whenever they needed them. So, they had to grow their vegetables and when it came time to harvest them, the early settlers would eat fresh raw vegetables and also cook them. But what did they do when they had an abundance of fresh vegetables? How did they keep them from getting spoiled? And how would they store them so they would have enough vegetables to last them till the next harvest? I guess the answer to those questions would be the word……….. CANNING!!
How Did People Today Perserve Vegetables?
Now let’s take a look at our society today. It is a more convenient for us to go to the grocery store to buy our vegetables. But now, with the economy the way it is, many people today are starting to grow their own vegetables. And those that don’t have a place to grow their own in their yards are going to places that have these community gardens, that they will be able to grow their own vegetables. This is a very good idea for people to start getting involved and to get to know their neighbors. By growing your own vegetables is better and healthier for you and your family, and is cheaper on your budget!!
To preserve our vegetables today, We CAN them just like the settlers. But, there is a better way to preserve and store our vegetables. And that is, besides canning, we can freeze and dehydrate vegetables.
When freezing vegetables, usually you have to blanch them first before putting them in the freezer.But did you know that certain vegetables don’t need blanching? I will show you what vegetables those are and what you can use them for when it comes to cooking.
Vegetables that don’t need blanching:
Tomatoes - Use these for cooking only. (ie: make spaghetti sauce and other tomato sauces) If you made too much sauce, you can freeze the sauce once it is cooked. When you take the tomatoes out of the freezer, thaw them just enough for the skin to start to peel off nicely with your fingers. Then start cooking them.
Yellow, Orange, Red, Green (Sweet Peppers) - Use these for cooking only.(ie: putting them in cream sauces, tomato sauces, etc.) The peppers will be soft but you will still get the flavor of the peppers when cooked in the sauces. Before freezing them, cut your peppers in quarters. This is what I do; I remove the core, and then cut the pepper in half lengthwise. Clean out the seeds what’s left inside, and then take the 2 halves, cut those in half again giving you 4 pieces. Put all of the pieces in a plastic bag and store in freezer. You don’t have to separate them. Then whenever you need peppers for cooking take whatever you need and put the rest back in the freezer. When you are ready to use them in cooking, cut them up in cubes when they are still frozen, they are easier to cut.
Beets and there greens with stems - Use only for cooking. This is a great way for slicing, shredding and even cutting for pickled beets. Before you freeze the beets, cut the stems off, and wash the beets good. Then just put them all in one plastic bag and freeze. I love doing the beets this way because they don’t bleed as much as if they were fresh. When you take the beets out of the freezer, just take what you need and while they are partly frozen, this is the time to cut them up. To make picked beets you would have to peel them. But when you are making soup, don’t peel the beets. All you do is shred them up in your shredder and put them to cook in your broth when ready. And it is okay if the beets thaw out once they are shredded.
Beet greens and Stems - Use these in soups or any other cooking dish. Just rinse them and put them in a plastic bag. Then put in freezer. When ready to use, cut with scissors while still frozen.
Green and Red (Cabbage) - Use only for cooking. If you make cabbage rolls you will love this!! Make sure your cabbage stays in the freezer for at least two weeks before you use it. And I freeze them whole and put them in plastic bags. I use grocery bags. When you are ready to make your cabbage rolls, take out your cabbage and thaw them while still in the bag overnight. I put mine in the sink so while they are thawing the water goes down the drain. Then the next day the cabbage will be soft. Cut the core out and peel the leaves off. The cabbage will be so nice and soft that you can roll the leaves, that sure beats slaving away at a stemming pot of hot water trying to soften the leaves. Also frozen cabbage is great for making cabbage soup or whatever kind of meal you cook with cabbage.
Now there are still some other vegetables that do still need blanching before freezing. I will show you those too. If you still prefer canning, then that is still ok, but buy freezing, is better because you are not losing all the vitamins and minerals that your body needs to be strong.
Vegetables that need blanching:
Peas, Carrots, Kohlrabi, Corn, Broccoli, Cauliflower,
Brussel Sprouts, Pea Pods, Squash, Yellow String Beans,
Green String Beans and Artichokes
Dehydrating vegetables, fruit and herbs
Dehydrating your vegetables is another way to store vegetables in containers or in bags giving you that extra space in your freezer. You can put your dehydrated veggies in your shelves pantry. You can also freeze and dehydrate your herbs and fresh fruit too. When foods are dehydrated they will restore the moisture back into themselves when cooking. Also this is another way to use your creativity with children when it comes to crafts. It is amazing what you can do with sliced dehydrated fruits and vegetables. Here is a list of those fruits and vegetables make sure you slice them first before you dehydrate them.
Fruits and Vegetables dehydrated:
Mushrooms, Onions, Potatoes, Strawberries, Bananas, Apples, these are just a few fruits and vegetables. You can also dehydrate your Herbs too.
Now that you have some information about freezing vegetables, I hope this Hub will help you.