The Ins and Outs Freezing Raw Produce {Stockpiling Fresh Produce Part 2}

One of our readers, Bernice (an 80 year old widow who occassionally shares delicious recipes and bits of wisom with us) sent these tips into us.  I thought they were so fantastic and wanted to share wtih all of our readers!  Here is part one in case you missed it! Thanks Bernice!

________________________________________________

You can freeze all the following RAW.
When you have a good supply on hand it will be easy to add variety to meals!

  • AVOCADOS: Best already made into guacamole. (Wholly Guacamole freezes well. I separate the two envelopes, freeze.  Cut each little packet in half, and repackage all in a larger bag. If cut in half before you freeze, they ooze all over.)
  • CELERY: This is best diced or cut into “stew” size before freezing.
  • PEPPERS: Any color bell or jalapenos and other “hot” peppers. They will also peel easily after frozen. I cut the bell peppers into strips. Great for all kinds of cooked dishes, and work in salads.
  • CUCUMBERS: I keep some diced, frozen to use with yogurt or sour cream in sauces for fish or lamb, and in some salads.
  • MUSHROOMS: Those already sliced (spread out in single layer to freeze) or whole ( wipe well, remove and slice stems) great in all cooked things, not satisfactory in salads.
  • GINGER ROOT: Can be grated still frozen.
  • POMEGRANATE “ARILS”:  Before pomegranate season is over, (about Jan. 1) peel under water, pulling loose all the little “seeds”.  Dry on towel, freeze in single layer, then package. Snack size bags are about right. Use in salads, fruit cup, add a great touch of color and crunch. One pomegranate will be enough for several months.
  • ZUCCHINI: Pureed, ready to make Zucchini Bread, or cut into coins, or julienned (matchsticks), or for little ones, split lengthwise ( to parboil a few minutes, then drizzle with olive oil, garlic powder, parmesan and broil until golden.) The coins or juliennes are great in soups, stews, pasta sauce, stir fry, or your own veggie mix, say with corn, onion, and red or green peppers, or ratatouille.
  • PEA PODS: Great for Stir Fry, and you only need a few. Do take off the ends and any strings. Can blanch 1 minute, then cool, but will freeze OK without blanching.
  • PINEAPPLE: That free Dole pineapple recently at Albertsons? First let it ripen to the point you can SMELL a pineapple aroma.  Cut off top, Cut it lengthwise into quarters. Remove core on each, peel. Cut lengthwise into spears, and halve each crosswise.  Freeze in single layer, package.
  • BANANAS: Freeze puree for banana bread or banana cake; freeze in chunks or halves or quarters (after peeling) to use in smoothies; put on “popsicle”sticks, dip in melted chocolate, cool, freeze.
  • GRAPES: Any “table grapes” (Concords not). Take off stem, freeze in single layer, freeze. Great eaten still frozen OR thawed.
  • BERRIES: Any of the summer berries freeze well; again single layer, take out a few, they defrost easier. Pureed berries are great,too.
  • KIWI: Peel, slice crosswise, freeze, package.Use in fruit salad. Puree, freeze to use in banana type bread, or with bananas in a bread.
  • CRANBERRIES: Buy them EARLY in the season and buy as many as you think you will use all year All are harvested in a very short period, and deteriorate the longer they are in the bag. Recommend you put each bag in an additional freezer bag. You can’t find much after Christmas and if you like them in muffins or breads you need them in the freezer. CRANBERRY SAUCE can also be frozen, but it keeps well in fridge.
  • MELONS:  Puree WATERMELON, CANTALOUPE, HONEYDEW, Etc. You can try freezing cubes, but that is “iffy”. The purees make great sorbet.
  • TOMATOES: All sizes…Cherry and grape tomatoes can be used in salads. Others in cooked things. They peel EASILY after being frozen. Take off any green stem, but DO NOT CORE OR CUT INTO THEM BEFORE FREEZING. Wintertime tomatoes from the grocery are not worth doing this.

I (Cathy talking now) learned as a newly wed that you can’t freeze lettuce.  Ha ha!  I had been married for about 2 months and there was a buy 1 get 1 free sale at Albertsons on bagged salad.  I knew my hubby and I would take awhile to eat just one bag of salad, but I wanted to get the 2nd free since that was the promo.  So I bought 2 and put one in the freezer.  A few weeks later I pulled it out to thaw and later found a bag of soggy green mush.  Yes.  It was gross and hilarious all at the same time!  I laugh about it to this day!

Comments

  • Debra

    Thank you SOOOOO much for sharing all of this great info! It’s extremely helpful!! 🙂

  • Andrea

    What about strawberries? 🙂

    • Debra

      I think strawberries can be included in “berries” , since it says “any summer berries” in the section. 🙂

      • Andrea

        I guess I was wondering if they needed sugar or anything done to them first?

        • Becky

          Strawberries freeze well-I just wash them and remove stems and freeze in a single layer and then transfer to a freezer bag (as I do with other berries/fruit). The texture changes a little-won’t be as firm when the defrost, but they work great for smoothies, pies, etc!

  • Heidi

    hahaha – i had a similar experience with trying to freeze lettuce! must be something about the 20-something generation! 😀

    • Jessica B

      LOL. I tried to freeze RAW potatoes (I was about 18 at the time) they emitted some disgusting blackish juice when they thawed (all over my fridge)

      Thank you so much Bernice for sharing this info, and thank you Cathy for posting it for everyone! 🙂

    • Hailey

      You must’ve never had your fridge set too cold. This 20 something would never put lettuce in a freezer.

  • Meghan

    Watermelon can be cut into THINK strips and frozen flat. Then eat it while still frozen and it’s like little yummy popcicles. 🙂

    • Brooke

      Did you mean thin or thick? (Not being a jerk, I’m trying to figure out if you accidentally added an extra letter to “thin” or if the “N” is supposed to be a “C”.) 🙂 Great idea!

  • Michele

    I love this list – thank you so much!

    Had no idea you could freeze whole tomatoes…what a way to savor those little beauties in the winter

    Love the sliced watermellon idea!!!!!!!!!

  • Bernice Kadel

    I wrote this, but I find I forgot something important RIGHT NOW. You can freeze CHERRIES, with the pits in, eat them like you do grapes…still frozen or just barely thawed. I have even
    left the stems on. Important again to freeze them individually so you can get out just a few
    without needing to thaw them all.

  • Thomas

    I have some cherry’s that I would like to freeze,so are u saying that I can leave the pits in them and then,lay them on a cookie sheet and freeze,then bag them? I am making cherry jam with them right now,but I ran out of jar’s. I want too come back later too make more jam down the road with the frozen cherry’s.
    1.would it be better too pit them all.
    2.does the fruit juice say in the fruit better when u freeze whole.

  • Thomas

    Do u lady’s have a canning section? I wonder if the Mormon church provides class on canning.

  • Ramona

    I have been wondering about yams or sweet potatoes. Could these be cut up into fries and then baked later to make sweet potato fries?

Leave a Reply

Want to see your picture by your comment? Get your custom avatar by registering for free at Gravatar.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *