There is only one answer to the question of can I freeze fresh vegetables and fruit? YES you can! In fact, one of the easiest things to do when you have more fresh produce than you know what to do with is to freeze it. A surprisingly large variety of fruits and veggies can be frozen “as is” or you can wash and chop them into a form that’s easy to pull out and cook with down the road.
This won’t take long and will make cooking that much easier when it’s time to use these yummy foods. Cutting fruits and vegetables also allows you to pack them in tighter, giving you more space in the freezer.
Simple Tips For Freezing Fresh Fruits & Vegetables
How To Freeze Fruit
Let’s run through a couple of things you may choose to freeze.
Other fruits like peaches, bananas, and pineapple for example freeze really well, but it’s much easier to peel, and chop them first.
* Apples and pears don’t freeze well unless you turn them into pie filling first.
Grapes can be frozen, but don’t thaw well. If you have too many grapes, toss them in the freezer and eat them frozen.
How To Freeze Vegetables
Lots of veggies can also be rinsed, chopped and frozen. Green beans, peas, squash, broccoli, cauliflower and the likes freeze very well. If you see it in the frozen food section at the grocery store, chances are it will freeze well.
Just rinse the produce as it comes out of the garden or from the farmer’s market, chop it and put it in freezer bags. You can even freeze potatoes if you peel and grate them first. Peppers and onions also do well chopped and frozen.
Tomatoes can be a bit tricky. If you don’t have the time to do anything with them right away, chop and freeze them for use them in green smoothies, to make salsa or to make pasta sauce and tomato soup down the road. If you have a bit of extra time on your hands, I find you get much better results cooking the sauce or soup now – and then freezing it. This also makes it much easier to put together a meal down the road.
Grab a container of frozen tomato soup, slowly heat it up on the stove while you make a couple of grilled cheese sandwiches and dinner is done. And there’s nothing more convenient than a batch of tomato sauce to pull together a quick dinner.
Don’t forget to label everything really well-name and date you put in the freezer. Are there any other details you will need to know for future reference? Are some of our berries frozen with sugar and some without? Etc.
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How to Freeze Herbs
Fresh herbs can also be frozen, but they can be a little tricky. The easiest way to do it is to wash and chop your herbs and put them in ice cube trays. Top them with water, vegetable broth, or olive oil and freeze until solid. At that point you can pop them out of the ice cube tray and put them in a freezer bag for longer storage. Rinse and repeat as needed. Throughout the year whenever you want to brighten the flavor of a dish, just add one of the frozen herb cubes to the pot.
Tips for Freezing Meals
Last but not least, try making your favorite freezer friendly meals with the leftover produce. Soups and stews work really well as do pot pies and casseroles. Cook up a big batch of chili or vegetable soup. Serve some for dinner and freeze the rest for a day when you’re just too darned busy to cook!
To the question of “Can I freeze fresh vegetables and fruit?” You most certainly can! Herbs and meals too.