Can You Freeze Cucumbers?
When cucumber vines yield abundantly, what are your options? Learn how to freeze cucumbers for summer-fresh fare in any season.
Cucumber vines sometimes yield so much fruit that you feel overwhelmed. Consider freezing cucumbers when you extra on hand. The result offers delicious cucumber flavor that can stir memories of summer—even in the depth of winter. Learn how to freeze cucumbers and simple ways to use that frozen fare.
The reason most people doubt that you can freeze cucumbers is due to their high water content. How does a frozen cucumber not turn to total mush? The secret lies in the preparation. To freeze this garden item, you don’t use a typical blanching process with boiling and ice water. Instead, you prepare the cucumbers in a brine solution, just like when you make pickles. In fact, frozen cucumbers in brine are often referred to as freezer pickles. The thawed product offers snap and crunch.
For best results, start with homegrown or locally raised cucumbers. If you’re not growing your own cucumbers and your family loves this garden item, consider asking farmers’ market vendors if you can buy a large quantity. Choose smaller cucumbers—roughly four to six inches long and only one to 1.5 inches in diameter. Smaller cukes work better in the freezing process.
Fresh Broccoli Beats Store-Bought Every Time
Want to enjoy fresh-from-the-garden broccoli all year long? It's a snap to freeze this fiber-rich veggie to use in stir fries, soup and more. Learn the process for how to freeze broccoli in this article by Julie A. Martens.
Overwhelmed with Cucumbers?
Cucumber vines can be prolific producers of the treasured summertime veggie. Don't think it's possible to freeze cucumbers? Well, the secret lies in the preparation. Learn how to freeze cucumbers for summer-fresh fare in any season.
Never Have Too Many Cherry Tomatoes
While frozen cherry tomatoes are no longer fit to be used in tossed salads, you can blend them with herbs or use in soups and stew. In this article, Julie A. Martens offers several great uses for frozen cherry tomatoes and describes the best way to preserve them.
Freeze Spinach for Soups and More
While you won't want to serve frozen spinach in fresh salads, the leaves will work nicely in soup, casseroles and stir fries. You'll just want to freeze young leaves. Avoid the older or yellowing leaves as they'll produce a nasty taste and rubbery texture. Ever tried making frozen spinach cubes? Get more tips on how to freeze spinach in this article on how to freeze spinach.
Can You Freeze Kale?
Yes, you can freeze kale. Frozen kale works well in smoothies and blends well into quiches, crock pot stews and soups. Find more uses for frozen kale and how to best preserve this nutrient-packed green.
Put Your Onions in the Deep Freeze
Too many onions to eat right away? Not a problem. They freeze easily, and can be used in a variety of ways. Learn how to prep onions for safe storage in the deep freeze, how to keep the onion odor low and when to use frozen onions in your dishes.
Freeze Asparagus for Great Flavor
While frozen asparagus spears won't be as crisp as garden-fresh stems, they can still be used in many dishes. Here are the steps to preserving this nutrient-dense vegetable and some ideas on how to use frozen asparagus to add flavor to your meals.
Can You Freeze Garlic Cloves?
You definitely can freeze garlic. In fact, you can freeze garlic in many ways. While frozen garlic lacks the crunchy texture of fresh, the flavor remains strong—and definitely won't have the chemical taste that sometimes accompanies jarred garlic. Learn several ways to freeze garlic and how to use it to add flavor to food.
How Do You Freeze Eggplant?
Eggplant doesn't keep very long, and you won't be able to can it without pulverizing it beyond recognition. So, how do you preserve your delicious eggplant? Forget your canner and learn how to freeze eggplant. Here are several freezing methods you can try.
Enjoy a Summertime Favorite All Year
Learn how to freeze corn and you'll be able to enjoy this summertime treat all year—even with your holiday turkey. Freezing corn is simple, and it's a great way to introduce kids to food preservation. Learn the steps to freezing corn in this article by Julie A. Martens.
How to Freeze Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts bring more than taste to the table. This cabbage cousin boasts vitamins and is high in protein, so you'll want to make your locally-grown Brussels sprouts last. Learn the two ways to freeze Brussels sprouts and ways to include this frozen super veggie on your table.
Steps to Freezing Cabbage
Want to enjoy the nutrition offered by cabbage all year? This unsung hero of the vegatable garden adapts well to the freezing process. Start with dense, solid heads that feel weighty for their size. Learn more about the steps to freezing cabbage in this article from Julie A. Martens.
Freeze Celery for Soups
Celery is mostly water, and the freezing process ruptures cell walls, resulting in a limp, mushy product. But frozen celery works fabulously in casseroles, sauces, stock, and other hot concoctions. You can also use it as an aromatic with soups, broths for cooking rice, or roasts, tossing after cooking. Learn the steps to freezing celery in this article.
Overstocked on Mushrooms?
Mushrooms might last about a week in the refrigerator, which might not be enough time to enjoy the bounty you may have grown or foraged. Consider freezing mushrooms. Learn which method of freezing mushrooms works best, and get some ideas for how to use them in recipes.
If you use store-bought cucumbers, they’ll likely have a wax coating. Remove this with a gentle detergent and soft brush. Wash homegrown or local farm-raised cucumbers in water. Peeling is optional. Slice cucumbers uniformly. A mandolin makes quick work of this job, but you can also do it with a knife if you have a steady hand and good eye.
Slice onions to add to your frozen cucumbers. Most recipes recommend one onion per 2 quarts of sliced cucumbers. In a large plastic bowl, layer sliced cucumbers and onions with 1 to 2 tablespoons of salt. Sprinkle the salt onto layers as you create them. Portion out the salt so it lasts to the end of your layers. Cover this mixture with plastic wrap and let it sit for roughly 2 hours (longer is fine). Dump the cucumbers and onions into a colander and rinse with cold water to remove all traces of salt. Transfer the cucumbers back to the large plastic container.
Combine one-half cup white vinegar and 1.5 cups of sugar in a separate bowl. Pour this mixture over the cucumbers and stir well, so sugar is evenly dispersed throughout the cucumbers. Some people like to add celery seed to the mixture at this point.
Ladle cucumbers into freezer containers, bags, or can-or-freeze Mason jars. Be sure to leave at least one-half-inch of head space for expansion. Label containers and freeze. Wait at least a week before eating. Frozen cucumber pickles will last up to 12 months. Thaw containers overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
Eat these freezer pickles like traditional pickles, or add to salads or dips. You can also chop them to use as relish or blend the chopped cukes with mayonnaise to make your own tartar sauce. Cucumbers retain a nice crunch when frozen this way. Research freezer pickle recipes for other seasoning options and sugar and vinegar ratios.
You can also freeze cucumbers by juicing or pureeing them with a little water. Freeze the mixture in ice cube trays. Store frozen cubes in a freezer bag. Cucumber cubes make a wonderful addition to green smoothies. You can also use them to chill water or juice.
- How to Freeze Green Beans
- How to Freeze Corn
- Freezing Zucchini: A Great Way to Chill Out
- How to Freeze Broccoli
- How to Freeze Okra
- Can You Freeze Mushrooms?
- Freezing Eggplant
- Can You Freeze Celery?
- Freezing Onions
- Freezing Cabbage