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How to Freeze Produce At Home

How to Freeze Fruits and Veggies Before They Spoil

In the morning I always make a breakfast smoothie using fresh produce. But sometimes our household goes a little overboard in the amount of produce we buy. Instead of throwing out spoiled fruits and veggies, we freeze our produce to preserve its nutritional content and halt the ripening process. Freezing produce is also a good way to stock up on fruits and veggies that are on sale or going out of season.

If there's an abundant amount of produce in our house, we estimate how much we'll need to last the rest of the week and then freeze the rest. Produce is best frozen when it's perfectly ripe, and it can last in the freezer for up to a year.

When it comes to fruit, wash, peel, and dice before freezing. Put the fruit slices onto a cookie sheet and freeze overnight, then transfer the frozen fruit pieces into moisture proof containers. By freezing fruit on a cookie sheet first, you avoid ending up with a massive block of frozen fruit later. Although I freeze fresh fruit as is, you can use sugar to maintain a fruit's flavor, color, and texture if you won't be using it soon after freezing. Lemon juice can also be used to preserve the color of fruits that would normally brown when exposed to air, like apples or pears.

Before freezing vegetables, it's highly recommended that you blanch them first. Blanching halts the action of vegetable enzymes which cause veggies to lose their color, flavor, and texture. Keep in mind that blanching time varies depending on the vegetable, and you want to make sure that veggies are cooled before you freeze them. Frozen veggies can be used in the same way you would use frozen vegetables from the grocery store.

If freezing produce is not for you, find other ways to use ripe fruits and veggies before they spoil like making sauces, stocks, or jams. In the end, we're all better for limiting our waste.

Source: Flickr User Chiot's Run

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