How to freeze fruits and vegetables | Food | What you can do | David Suzuki Foundation
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How to freeze strawberries

Generally speaking, all fruits and vegetables can be frozen in a single layer on a parchment-paper-lined cookie sheet, and then transferred to a glass container for storage. This prevents them from sticking together when freezing.

How to freeze purée

Some fruits and vegetables are best frozen puréed (like pumpkin and apple). These can either be frozen directly in the glass jar for storage, or portioned in parchment-lined muffin tins for freezing and then transferred in "pucks" to a larger container for storage.

How to store frozen food

Freezer bags provide a nice, tight seal to keep food fresh, but reusing glass is greener!

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How to blanch produce

Some produce requires blanching before freezing. This inactivates the enzymes that lead to deterioration and destroys micro-organisms on the surface of the fruit.

To blanch, boil the produce for a couple of minutes, then immediately submerge in ice water for the same amount of time it was boiled, to stop the cooking. Two minutes is average — you want to kill the enzymes but not overcook the food. Where applicable, dry well before freezing.

Apples
Homemade applesauce is sweet, delicious and nutritious -and freezes well to be enjoyed year-round.
1. Peel and core apples
2. Steam until tender (3-4 minutes)
3. Purée with a dash of cinnamon
4. Freeze in individual glass jars or in parchment-lined muffin tins to be transferred to large glass jars

Berries
All berries are easy to freeze and freeze well.
1. Freeze flat immediately after picking
2. Transfer to glass jar for storage

Broccoli
Fresh broccoli is available in the super market year-round, but frozen local broccoli may have more nutritional value and better flavour. Soaking in brine removes any insects hiding in the florets.
1. Separate into florets and remove leaves
2. Soak in brine for five minutes — 5 ml (4 tsp) salt to 4.5 l (1 gallon) water, rinse
3. Blanch for three minutes
4. Freeze flat and transfer for storage

Cherries
Cherry pitting is a simple (but messy) job that kids love. Pit cherries into a bucket outside for easier clean up!
1. Pit cherries (a $5 cherry pitter is a worthwhile investment)
2. Freeze flat and transfer for storage

Green beans
Freshly frozen green beans are almost as good as fresh. Almost.
1. Snap and string beans
2. Blanch for one minute
3. Freeze flat and transfer for storage

Kale
Freezing puréed kale or other leafy greens makes it easy to toss a few tablespoons into pasta sauce, soup and other recipes.
1. Pull leafy greens away from the centre stem
2. Purée with a splash of olive oil
3. Transfer to ice cube trays, freeze
4. Transfer to glass jar for storage

Peaches
Frozen peaches can be used in baking, smoothies or as a kid-pleasing treat with yogurt and honey year-round.
1. Cut an "X" in the top of each peach (makes peeling simple)
2. Blanch whole for two minutes
3. Peel, slice, freeze flat and store
4. Alternatively, peaches can be frozen in white grape juice

Pumpkin
When preparing pumpkin puree for fall pie, freeze an additional portion for muffins or pie over the winter.
1. Roast pumpkin at 175°C (350° F) for one hour
2. Purée
3. Freeze 225-ml (one-cup) portions in lined muffin tin

Snow Peas
Great for stir-fry's and other wok dishes.
1. Snap and string peas
2. Blanch for one minute
3. Freeze flat and transfer for storage

Summer squash (cubed)
Summer squashes are soft skin squashes like zucchini, pattypan and yellow squash.
1. Dice, de-seed, cube
2. Blanch cubed squash for two minutes
3. Freeze flat and transfer for storage

Summer squash (shredded)
Shredding before freezing makes it easy to incorporate squash into baking and other recipes year-round.
1. De-seed and shred
2. Steam for 1-2 minutes
3. Freeze 115-ml (½-cup) patties in parchment-paper-lined muffin tin
4. Transfer for storage

Tomatoes
Freezing tomatoes is a little more time-consuming than other fruits and vegetables, but worth it! Sweet summer tomatoes make amazing tomato sauce mid-winter.
1. Blanch tomatoes for one minute only
2. Peel — skins will practically fall off after blanching
3. Halve, remove seeds and squeeze out juice
4. Freeze in individual glass containers

Winter squash
Hard-skin winter squashes include varieties like butternut, acorn and spaghetti.
1. Cut in half and bake in the oven at 175°C (350°F) for one hour
2. Peel and cube, or purée with butter, as appropriate
3. Freeze cubes flat or purée in a lined muffin tray
4. Transfer to glass jar for storage

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