Freezing Without Blanching

The following was extracted from here.


Freezing Fresh Vegetables WITHOUT BLANCHING…
Added by Bea L. who said “My 82-year-old friend, Susie, gave me a tip on how to freeze veggies WITHOUT BLANCHING them. She’s been doing this for well over 20 years now.”

Ingredients

  • ziplock freezer bags
  • water
  • fresh vegetables such as peas, butterbeans, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, okra, and corn.
  • BLANCHING IS NOT NECESSARY!!!

Directions

  1. PEAS & BUTTERBEANS: No blanching and do not add salt…just wash vegetables and place into ziplock bags. ***See tomatoes, okra & corn in step 6.
  2. Fill with water to barely cover veggies. Zip shut, burp out as much air as possible and place flat in the freezer.
  3. THAWING: Be sure to let them thaw in fridge or on countertop and never thaw in the microwave, boil or steam. Simply place the frozen bag into a bowl first and place either in fridge or on countertop.
  4. COOKING: Once thawed, pour in strainer then use fresh water in pot you’ll be cooking them in. Proceed to cook as usual. ***Also read step 6.
  5. TOMATOES: Peel and core. Place into ziplock bags either whole or cut up to your liking. Do NOT add water; just get the air out and zip up. Also read step #8.
  6. OKRA: Wash, slice and bag. Do NOT add water. Also read step #8.
  7. CORN ON THE COB: Shuck and remove silks. Wash then place ears of corn onto clean kitchen towel(s) and let them dry. Finish drying them with a paper towel and wrap each individual ear in plastic wrap. Now you can store several ears in either gallon ziplock bags or plastic grocery bags and place in the freezer.
  8. CORN ON THE COB…GRILL READY: Shuck and remove silks. Wash then place ears of corn onto clean kitchen towel(s) and let them dry. Finish drying them with a paper towel. Salt & pepper then rub with butter each ear of corn. Tightly wrap in aluminum foil. Place in either gallon ziplock or plastic grocery bags. Before grilling, let them thaw for a bit and place them on your hot grill. Once done, be careful removing the foil.
  9. CORN “OFF” THE COB: Shuck, silk and wash ears of corn. In a large bowl, hold the ear of corn at an angle and using a really sharp knife cut kernels only in half all the way down. Now use the back of the knife blade and scrape the cob. This will allow you to get the corn milk. Spoon into ziplock bags and do NOT add water. Place into freezer.
  10. SWEET POTATOES: Wash and tightly wrap each individual potato in foil. Bake as many as you possibly can in a 450-degree oven until tender. Cool completely. Do not unwrap and store in a plastic grocery bag in the freezer. When ready to use, take out ever how many you need and thaw either in the fridge overnight or on the countertop. Once thawed, heat up (still in the same original foil) in the oven (or toaster oven) until heated through. Remove foil and prepare as if you freshly baked them. They are good for eating as a baked sweet potato, in pies, fritters or casseroles, etc at this point.
  11. According to Susie: When you’re planning on freezing peas, butterbeans, corn, squash and zucchini you don’t need to blanch them first. She said that you pour out all the goodness when you drain them. She also said that she doesn’t thaw hers when she’s ready to cook them. She just puts them in the pot on medium-low and once they’ve thawed some she adds more water if needed and seasons them and cooks until done.
  12. NOTE: Sometimes I slice up my squash, zucchini, and okra and batter them then place them in single layers on cookie sheets lined with waxed paper and put them in the freezer. Once they are frozen solid I then bag them up in a ziplock bag & place back into the freezer. Now they’re ready for the fryer with only 5 to 10 minutes of thawing.
  13. TIP: Here’s a tip from another JAP member, Jewel Hall: Hello Bea, this “Flash Freezing” and I have been doing it several years.
    1. My tomatoes I just wipe off with a paper towel, line a cookie sheet with paper towels & do not peel. I lay them single file on the cookie sheet and freeze three hours, then bag in a gallon freezer bag. They don’t stick together; you take out what you need and run tap water over them the peeling will slide off. I like to keep a bowl under them when peeling to catch the juice.
    2. I DO NOT wash okra; okra out of my garden is not dirty, so I wipe it with paper towels, coat with cornmeal, flash freeze on cookie sheets then place in bags, they do not stick together.

Blanching [why?]

This document was extracted from the National Center for Home Food Preservation web site. They credit it as an extract of “So Easy to Preserve”, 6th ed. 2014. Bulletin 989, Cooperative Extension Service, The University of Georgia, Athens. Revised by Elizabeth L. Andress. Ph.D. and Judy A. Harrison, Ph.D., Extension Foods Specialists.

Blanching (scalding vegetables in boiling water or steam for a short time) is a must for almost all vegetables to be frozen. It stops enzyme actions which can cause loss of flavor, color, and texture.

Blanching cleanses the surface of dirt and organisms, brightens the color and helps retard loss of vitamins. It also wilts or softens vegetables and makes them easier to pack.

Blanching time is crucial and varies with the vegetable and size. Underblanching stimulates the activity of enzymes and is worse than no blanching. Overblanching causes loss of flavor, color, vitamins and minerals. Follow recommended blanching times (pages 229-230).

NOTE by me – The three quoted paragraphs above state what others state about the value of blanching. Note the only health-related issue is ” cleanses the surface of dirt and organisms.” As our vegetables are from our garden, washed fresh by us, then the “surfaces” are clean.

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