11 Fruits and Veggies You Can Freeze for Later
Whether your garden produced a bountiful harvest or you scored a great deal at the farmer’s market, don’t let any of that good food go to waste.
If your fruit or vegetable garden flourished this summer (or if you’ve made frequent trips to the farmer’s market), you might have more tomatoes, zucchini or strawberries than you know what to do with. But come winter, those seasonal flavors could be a welcome change to your regular menu. If you want to save some of your summer bounty for later, try freezing! It’s one of the best ways to preserve your produce’s flavor and nutritional value, and it’s typically easier than canning. To get started, read our primers on freezing fruit and freezing vegetables. Then, find tips on freezing 11 types of fruits and veggies below.
Yes, you can freeze tomatoes. They will not be suitable for salads once defrosted, but they will be good for soups and sauces. There's no need to peel the tomatoes first. Just slice into chunks and lay on a cookie sheet to freeze. Once frozen, place into a plastic zip bag or container to store in the freezer.
Frozen tomatoes aren't suitable for salads or sandwiches, but they're perfect for soups, sauces and salsas. Slice, dice or crush them before freezing to make them easier to work with when thawed.
2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited
Unblanched frozen kale will last four to six weeks before developing a bitter flavor, while blanched frozen kale will be good for eight to 12 months. Freeze in serving-size portions to add to smoothies, soups, quiches and stews.
2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited
Freestone peaches are your best bet for freezing, since the flesh of clingstone peaches is difficult to separate from the pit. Skin, slice and dry pack the peaches for the most versatility when thawed.
You can freeze corn either on or off the cob with the same basic process. If you freeze off the cob, use an electric knife to make easy work of removing the kernels.
The best way to retain color and flavor when freezing strawberries is to slice them and pack them in dry sugar. They'll last for up to a year, although they'll taste best in the first six months.
It's easy to get overwhelmed with too much zucchini over the summer, but luckily it freezes well sliced, chopped or grated. Blanche the vegetables before freezing to preserve them longer.
Avocados freeze best in puree form. You can pour the puree into an ice cube tray to create perfect portions for smoothies, sandwich spreads or baby food. Or, freeze larger portions in freezer-safe bags for homemade guacamole. Don't forget to add a little lemon or lime juice to prevent browning.
Drying is probably the best-known method for preserving summer herb surpluses, but freezing can more effectively retain their flavor. We've got four strategies for freezing fresh herbs.
Instead of blanching cucumbers (like you would most veggies before freezing), prepare them in a brine solution to keep their crunch. Small, homegrown cukes work best for this process, but if you use store-bought cucumbers, remove their wax coating first with a gentle detergent and soft brush.
The flavor of fresh frozen spinach is leagues above most offerings in the supermarket. Retain as much nutrition as possible by steaming the leaves in a steamer basket, rather than blanching them.
2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited
Keep a stash of this superfood around all year long. Frozen blueberries will last for up to a year with minimal loss of flavor or texture deterioration.