Cooking Techniques

Freezing

Kitchen Notes

Freezing fruits and vegetables at their peak locks in the flavor for a bright, fresh taste in sauces and other culinary creations all year long.

Basic Ingredients

Freeze whole tomatoes; cherry tomatoes work particularly well. Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are terrific too. You can also freeze green beans, okra, asparagus, carrots, cauliflower and broccoli, but it requires a couple of extra steps first: blanching followed by an ice water bath. Blanching destroys the enzymes that cause the vegetables to decay and an ice water bath preserves their color and texture.

Easy Steps

The best way to freeze fruits and vegetables is with the Individual Quick Frozen (IQF) process. It may sound daunting, but it’s super easy. Pull out every cookie sheet you have in the cupboard, line them with wax or parchment paper and lay out your fruit or vegetables in a single layer. Once the produce is frozen, you can transfer it to a plastic freezer bag or however you like to store your food in the freezer. Using the IQF process, you won’t end up with a big, frozen chunk of fruit or vegetables so you can take out as much as you need for a meal and don’t have to thaw the whole package.

Tasty Combinations

  • Toss a handful of frozen cherry tomatoes into any pasta dish
  • Add a bag of frozen broccoli to a stir fry
  • Add okra to jambalaya or gumbo on a cold wintery night
  • Roast a few berries in the oven and serve them over ice cream

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