Freezing Tips for Michigan Fresh Vegetables

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March 8, 2017 - Author:

General Tips for Freezing Frozen Food: 

  • Use appropriate freezer bags or containers.
  • Label all frozen items with name and date of freezing.
  • Maintain at 0 degrees as measured by freezer thermometer.
  • Maintain a rotating system of frozen foods.

Tomatoes

Seasoning of tomatoes should take place just before serving, not as part of the freezing process.

TO PREPARE

1. Whole with skins: Wash tomatoes, cut out stems and scars. Place whole tomatoes on a tray in the freezer; once frozen, transfer to freezer bags and seal tightly. To peel, run frozen tomato under warm water and skin will slip off easily.

2. Peeled tomatoes: Wash tomatoes. Dip into boiling water for 1 minute or until skin splits, dip into ice-cold water, and skin from the tomatoes will slip off easily. Tomatoes can then be frozen whole, chopped or pureed in freezer bags or container.

3. Use all frozen tomatoes within eight months for best quality.

Onions

TO PREPARE

1. Wash, peel and chop raw onions into half-inch pieces.

2. Place onions flat into freezer bags. Squeeze as much air as possible out of the bags before sealing. Place bags in single layers until frozen. Then restack bags in freezer.

3. Use in cooked products since the onions will not retain their original crispness. For most dishes, frozen onions may be used with little or no thawing. Use within three to six months for best quality.

Peppers (Bell, Sweet or Hot)

TO PREPARE

1. Wash peppers, cut out the stems and membranes and slice or dice to a size appropriate for their planned use.

2. Freeze peppers in a single layer on a sided cookie sheet for about an hour or until they’re frozen (also called tray freezing).

3. Transfer the frozen peppers to freezer bags and squeeze out as much air as possible.

4. Use within eight months for best quality.

5. Hot peppers don’t have to be sliced, simply wash and stem them and place into bags with no headspace, seal and freeze.

Zucchini (grated for baking)

TO PREPARE

1. Wash and grate young, tender zucchini.

2. Steam blanch for one to two minutes, until translucent.

3. Pack in measured amounts into freezer containers, leaving a half-inch headspace.

4. Cool by placing freezer containers in cold water.

5. Seal and freeze. Thaw in the refrigerator; if watery, discard liquid before using.

6. Use within eight months for best quality.

Additional Resources:

Source: This document was extracted from “So Easy to Preserve,” 6th ed. 2014. Bulletin 989, Cooperative Extension Service, The University of Georgia, Athens. Revised by Elizabeth L. Andress, Ph.D., and Judy A. Harrison, Ph.D., Extension Foods Specialists. Information came from the National Center for Home Food Preservation website, http://nchfp.uga.edu

 

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