How To: Freeze vegetables

Freeze vegetables

The USDA recommends that adults eat 2 to 3 cups of vegetables a day. Make it easier to enjoy the taste of fresh garden vegetables year round by freezing them.
You Will Need:
* A vegetable blanching timetable
* A large kettle
* A wire basket or mesh bag
* Ice water
* A colander
* Freezer bags or containers
* Bottled or distilled water (optional)
* A tray or cookie sheet (optional)

Step 1: Consult a vegetable blanching timetable
Check a vegetable blanching timetable for the best way to prepare your vegetables; they should be blanched before freezing to help retain flavor and nutrients.

Step 2: Wash and trim vegetables
Wash your vegetables thoroughly, making sure they are free of dirt and other deposits. Trim or chop the vegetables according to your preparation table.

Step 3: Boil water
Boil 1 gallon of water for every pound of vegetables you plan to blanch. For steam blanching, use a large pot with a few inches of water, to suspend a single layer of vegetables three inches above it.

Step 4: Blanch vegetables
Put your vegetables in a wire basket or mesh bag and put it carefully into your boiling water or above your steam. Cover with a lid and begin timing immediately.

Step 5: Cool and drain vegetables
Take your vegetables out of the boiling water and submerse them in ice water. Keep them submerged for the same amount of time as they were blanched and drain using a colander.

Step 6: Place vegetables in container
Put your drained vegetables in a tightly packed freezer bag or container. With solid containers, leave one-half inch of clearance at the top; for freezer bags, remove excess air before sealing.

Step 7: Label and freeze vegetables
Write the date on your container and freeze at the lowest freezer setting. For best quality, only freeze 2 to 3 pounds of vegetables per cubic foot of freezer space. Enjoy fresh garden taste for the next year!

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