Freezing fruit and vegetables is a great way to enjoy them all year round. Frozen fruit and vegetables make a convenient, nutritious and cheap substitute to fresh.
Some fruit and vegetables are perfect for freezing whole e.g. berries, bananas, beans, chillies, asparagus and corn. Others are better peeled, sliced and cored before freezing e.g. avocados, peppers, carrot, pineapple, cauliflower, apples and stone fruit (e.g. plums, peaches).
Follow these simple steps to freeze fruit and vegetables:
- Gather the materials you will need: a marker pen, re-sealable bags and/or air- tight plastic containers and trays.
- Give the fruit and vegetables a good wash (especially if they don’t need peeling).
- Blanch vegetables by putting them in boiling water for a maximum of two minutes, letting them cook briefly. Blanching helps keep the quality, colour and nutrients of frozen vegetables. Fruit does not require blanching.
- Transfer blanched vegetables to ice or cold water to stop the cooking process and then pat dry to remove as much water as possible.
- If you don’t want the fruit and vegetables clumping together when frozen, freeze them in single layers in containers or on trays.
- Remove excess air from storage bags (a straw can be used to do this) then name and date all items before putting them in the freezer.
- Cook vegetables straight from frozen and use fruit before it is completely thawed (some fruit tends to lose its shape and goes mushy when completely thawed).