Freezing Eggplant

Homegrown eggplant is delicious and then some. When you have more than you can eat, learn how to freeze eggplant for later use.

Ripe Eggplant

Ripe Eggplant

Purple eggplants have a shiny skin and should be cut at the stem when ready for harvesting.

©2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Fresh eggplant is fabulously tasty and so versatile in the kitchen. The only problem is that it keeps just a few days before it turns bitter. Freezing eggplant is really the only option for preserving this colorful favorite. The flesh is too dense to can safely—even for pressure canning—without pulverizing it beyond recognition. So forget your canner, and learn how to freeze eggplant using several different methods.

The secret to freezing eggplant successfully is starting with the freshest fruits you can find. For homegrown crops, pick eggplants before seeds mature (as seeds mature, the fruit turns bitter). You can also watch for fresh eggplant at your local farmers' market. Always choose eggplants with a uniform color.

While all eggplants become more watery after freezing, some types freeze better than others. Black varieties usually hold up better after freezing than Chinese and Thai eggplants. Think about the final use before becoming overly concerned that you've grown or purchased the wrong type. Thawed, watery eggplant works fine in dips, pasta sauces, soups, or Indian spiced eggplant (baingan bharta). If you intend to fry the eggplant later or layer it into vegetable lasagna, you can bread it before freezing.

Freeze Vegetables From Your Garden

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.  

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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.

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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.

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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.

©2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

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.

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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.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

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.

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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.

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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.

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Can you freeze eggplant using traditional blanching methods? Yes—begin the process with washing and peeling the fruits. Slice peeled eggplants into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Peel and slice enough eggplants for one blanching batch at a time. Work quickly; eggplant starts to turn brown if the slices are exposed to air for more than about 30 minutes. For blanching, add one-half cup of lemon juice to one gallon of water, and bring it to a boil. Blanch the eggplant slices for 4 minutes, cool, and package in freezer bags. Remove as much air as possible before sealing bags.

If you plan to use the frozen slices for making vegetable lasagna or eggplant parmesan, you can batter and bread the slices after blanching, wrap in wax paper, and freeze. Simply use your favorite batter and breading recipe. To fry or bake slices later, pack them in layers separated by wax paper before loading into freezer bags.

You can also tackle freezing eggplant by cooking it prior to freezing. Cooking methods to use include grilling eggplant slices or roasting whole eggplants. Oven-roasting is easy. Prick whole eggplants multiple times with a fork, and roast them at 400ºF until they collapse. Cool, then scoop out the flesh and stash it in freezer bags or containers. Use this eggplant in stews, chili, dips, or ratatouille.

If time and freezer space permit, go ahead and prepare your favorite eggplant dishes, such as caponata, moussaka, eggplant-infused tomato sauce, roasted eggplant soup, or ratatouille. Freeze appropriate serving-size portions of these items in air-tight containers. For best flavor, use frozen eggplant within nine to 14 months.

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It’s easy and prolific, but what’s a gardener to do with all those green onions? Discover a few easy ways to freeze scallions.

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Home-grown celery has a bold flavor that’s tough to beat. Preserve that tangy flavor by freezing celery—we’ll explain how.