Frozen vegetables not only are convenient, but they are also budget-friendly and can taste as good as fresh vegetables. You may be thinking you can only buy frozen vegetables in the frozen aisles in the supermarket, but here are some useful tips to transform your fresh vegetables to frozen vegetables. We’ll also outline the best way to cook frozen vegetables to retain the crunchy texture: no more soggy frozen vegetables!
For making frozen Green vegetables: (such as green bean, spinach and broccoli):
1. Wash your vegetables and cut or chop them into small pieces.
2. Boil 2 quarts of water in a sauce pot, add ½ teaspoon of white vinegar (helpful to keep the green color of the vegetable).
3. When water boils, add all the vegetables and let them boil for 30 seconds (this prevents freezer burn or bruise)
4. Transfer them to an ice bath. This will stop the vegetables from continuing to cook. Let them sit until it becomes cool.
5. Use kitchen cloth to pat dry or salad spinner to remove excess water.
6. Scatter them loosely on a clean cookie sheet and freeze them for 30 minutes.
7. Take them out, separate and transfer them into containers or re-used zip-lock bags. Label with the date. You can use them for up to 6 months.
*Cooking tips: For dishes such as smoothies, soups, and stir-fry, add the frozen veggies directly without reheating them first. For dishes such as spinach dip, dumpling or lasagna filling, heat them up in the microwave and remove excess water.
For making frozen white vegetables: (such as turnip and cauliflower)
Follow the above directions, except Step 2: add salt instead of white vinegar. (vinegar may turn white vegetable to yellowish)
For making frozen Red and Yellow vegetables (veggies with thin skin, such as colorful bell pepper or tomato):
With these types of veggies, you can just chop them up to your desired size and put in an airtight container in the freezer!
For making frozen Corn:
1. Husk the corn
2. Blanch the corn on the cob by putting it in a pot of boiling water for 1 minute
3. Once the cobs are cool enough to handle, cut the kernels off, and put in airtight baggies or containers in the freezer.
Preserve the tastes of summer bounty and add to chili, stir-fries, and stews all winter long!
The best way to cook frozen vegetables:
1. Leave the frozen vegetables frozen until you are ready to cook with them. There is no need to defrost frozen vegetables in the refrigerator overnight or leave them under running water to thaw (thawing may result in sogginess).
2. Treat them like fresh vegetables. No need to add extra water while cooking your frozen vegetables (extra water would allow the water-soluble vitamins to leach out into the water and will make your frozen vegetables soggy). Just directly toss them into your stir-fry dishes; add right before simmering sauce; steam in the microwave oven; or, simply add to a roasting or grilling dish.