14 May How To Freeze Fruits and Vegetables
It’s no secret that frozen fruits and vegetables offer a wide range of benefits over fresh produce. They provide exceptional nutritional value and taste from being picked at the peak of their ripeness, and because freezing them preserves them (for up to 1 year for some produce), they are an extremely convenient way to make sure that you always have something nutritious to make.
FREEZING FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
It’s easy to find pre-packaged produce in the frozen aisle – companies have made it easy by pre-slicing them and separating them into individual serving sizes – but what if you have fresh produce lying around that you want to freeze yourself?
You could have bought more fruits and vegetables than you thought you needed and want to keep them from going bad. Or maybe you bought produce in bulk to meal prep for the next week or two. Maybe you just want to limit your trips to the grocery store for the next month. Whatever the case, have no fear – you’ll be glad to know that you can absolutely freeze fruits and vegetables yourself!
WASH & BLANCH
Make sure your produce is washed thoroughly before anything else. For vegetables, you are going to want to blanch and shock them. Not only does this process guarantee optimal taste and texture, it’s also an extra measure to ensure cleanliness.
CHOP AND PRE-MEASURE
The next thing you’ll want to do once your produce is disinfected is chop and pre-measure them. Fortunately for fruits like blueberries and raspberries, nature does the job for us. But for the majority of other fruits and vegetables, you have free range to chop, shape, and cut them into whatever you desire! Not only will chopping up those pineapple and cauliflower heads save space in your freezer, but it will make it easier to create pre-measured packs for smoothies or soups.
Once blanched (if necessary) and pre-cut to your preference, it’s time to freeze your produce. Line up your fruits or vegetables on a baking sheet in a single layer and let them freeze overnight. Don’t worry if this takes up space in your freezer, we’ll be cutting down on space in the next step.
STORING FROZEN FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Once your produce has frozen overnight, transfer to an airtight container. Keeping air away from your frozen vegetables is crucial in maintaining texture and taste when thawed or reheated. Exposure to air can cause freezer burn in your produce and decrease the overall time the produce will keep in the freezer.
Glass Tupperware or heavy-duty freezer bags are great for storing frozen produce, but if you don’t have access to these, zip-lock bags or aluminum foil are good alternatives. These are also convenient for separating them into pre-measured serving sizes (fruit packs are great for smoothies, oatmeal and yogurt toppings and veggie packs are great for sauces, soups and stir-fries). And let’s be honest, having pre-measured packs offers one less excuse not to have your serving of fruits or vegetables at every meal!
TIPS/MISTAKES TO AVOID
- Don’t overload the freezer during the initial overnight freezing process. This will increase the time it takes for the produce to freeze.
- Remove as much air as you can from the containers you are storing your produce in.
- Label your containers to navigate easily through your frozen vegetables, especially if some of them are wrapped in foil or in something else that is not transparent. Make sure to write what they are and the date that they were frozen.
READY TO TRY MIC FOOD?
At MIC Food, we help chefs, restaurants, industrial kitchens, retail brands, delis, and others in the food industry rethink their menus and increase appeal among ethnic and mainstream consumers alike. We provide variety of tropical fruits and vegetables that come peeled and cut, ready-to-heat and serve, saving you hours of prep time so you can focus on what matters the most: making every meal memorable.