Bulletin #4384, Freezing Vegetables
Canning & Freezing Quick-Guides
Prepared by Extension Professor Catherine Violette, PhD, RD, LD, University of New Hampshire; reproduced with permission.
- Select packaging material that is moisture and vapor resistant, and easy to seal and label.
- Select young, tender, high-quality produce.
- Work quickly in small batches. Keep working surfaces, utensils and hands clean.
- Blanching is recommended for most vegetables. Use 1 gallon of water per pound of vegetables. Place vegetables in a blanching basket and lower into boiling water. Work in small batch sizes so that water returns to a boil within 1 minute. Begin blanching time when water resumes boiling. To cool food quickly, plunge blanched vegetables into a large quantity of cold water.
- Freeze foods at 0°F or lower. Don’t overload freezer: add no more than 2 to 3 pounds per cubic foot of storage space in a 24-hour period.
|Vegetables||Preparation||Blanching Time (minutes)|
|Asparagus||Wash. Sort according to thickness. Discard tough part of stalk. Cut into even lengths to fit container. Water-blanch, cool, drain, and package, leaving no head space.||Small 2, Medium 3, Large 4|
|Beans, Snap, Green or Wax||Wash. Remove ends. Snip or cut into 2- to 4-inch lengths. Water-blanch, cool, drain, and package, leaving 1/2 inch head space.||3|
|Beets||Wash and sort according to size. Trim tops, leaving 1/2 inch of stem and root. Cook in boiling water until tender. Cool in cold water, peel, remove stem and root, and cut into slices or cubes. Package, leaving 1/2inch head space.||Cook until tender|
|Broccoli or Cauliflower||Wash. If desired, soak 30 minutes in brine (4 teaspoons salt to 1 gallon water) to remove insects. Trim flowerets to 1 to 1 1/2 inch across. Blanch, cool, drain, and package, leaving no head space.||Water 3, Steam 5|
|Brussels Sprouts||Select green, firm, compact heads. Trim, wash, and sort according to size. Water-blanch, cool, drain, and package, leaving no head space.||Small 3, Medium 4, Large 5|
|Carrots||Remove tops, wash, and peel. Cut as desired. Leave small carrots whole. Water-blanch, cool, drain, and package, leaving 1/2 inch head space.||Whole 5, Cut 2|
|Corn: on the cob||Husk, trim, remove silk, and wash. Water-blanch, cool quickly and completely, drain, and package, leaving no head space.||Small 7, Medium 9, Large 11|
|Corn: whole kernel||Water-blanch corn on cob. Cool, drain, and cut off about two-thirds of the depth of the kernels. Package leaving 1/2inch head space.||4|
|Corn: cream style||Water-blanch corn on cob. Cool and drain. Cut kernel tips from cobs; then scrape cobs with the back of a knife to remove kernel hearts and juice. Package, leaving 1/2inch head space.||4|
|Greens (all kinds)||Select young tender leaves. Wash thoroughly. Water-blanch, chill, drain, and package, leaving 1/2 inch head space.||2, Collards 3|
|Herbs||Wash, drain, pat dry. Wrap in freezer wrap and place in freezer bag. Freeze. Use in cooked dishes.||N/A|
|Peas: green||Use young, tender peas. Shell, water-blanch, cool, and drain. Package, leaving 1/2 inch head space.||1 1/2 to 2 1/2|
|Peas: edible pod||Select flat, tender pods. Wash. Remove stems, blossom ends, and strings. Leave whole. Water-blanch, cool, drain, and package, leaving 1/2 inch head space.||Small 2, Large 3|
|Peppers: bell or sweet||Wash, stem, and seed. If desired, cut into 1/2-inch strips or rings.|
|Peppers: heated||Water blanch, cool, drain and package leaving 1/2 inch head space. Use in cooking.||Halves 3, Strips 2|
|Peppers: raw||Spread loosely on a tray, and freeze. Pack, leaving no head space. Use in uncooked foods.|
|Pumpkin or winter squash||Wash. Cut into pieces and remove seeds. Cook until soft. Remove pulp and mash. Cool quickly by placing pan in cold water. Package, leaving 1/2 inch head space.||Cook|
|Summer squash||Wash and cut into 1/2-inch slices. Water-blanch, cool, drain, and package, leaving 1/2 inch head space.||3|
|Zucchini (grated)||Wash and grate young tender zucchini. Steam-blanch small amounts. Package, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Cool by placing containers in cold water. Pack in measured amounts.||Steam 1 to 2|
|Tomatoes||Wash and dip into boiling water for 30 seconds to loosen skin. Peel and core. Freeze whole or in pieces. Package, leaving 1 inch head space. Use for cooking.||N/A|
Adapted from E. Andress, J. Harrison. So Easy to Preserve. Fifth Edition. University of Georgia Cooperative Extension bulletin 989, 2006.
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