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Freezing helps preserve your favorite vegetables, assuring that you have healthy, fresh produce available even in the middle of winter. For best results, always choose vegetables that are fresh and ripe–preferably straight from the garden if possible.
- Blanch chopped vegetables in boiling water for 2 minutes. This not only destroys any bacteria, it preserves the color, nutrients, flavor, and texture of the vegetables. It also softens the vegetables slightly, which make them easier to pack into freezer containers.
- Drain the vegetables and allow them to cool completely.
- Place vegetables in a single layer on a pan or shallow tray and freeze until firm. This helps prevent vegetables from clumping together as they freeze.
- Remove the vegetables from the freezer and package them in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag. Leave at least 1/2 inch of headspace at the top of the container to allow room for expansion.
- Label each package with the name of the vegetable and the date.
- Store frozen vegetables in the freezer for up to 18 months.
- There is no need to thaw vegetables before cooking them. Simply drop them in a 1/2 cup of boiling water and steam for a few minutes.