We love veggies. We love greens. That’s a fact. But even when we are in our healthiest eating mode we can’t always make it through all the veggies and greens that come in our AHO boxes. So here are some tips on how to preserve your veggies through freezing, that way you can enjoy them year round and eat them on your schedule.
No, this isn’t about binging on Golden Girls reruns (just us? anyone?), this is about quick cooking your veggies so they retain their color, flavor, and nutrients for longer after being frozen.
Here’s how to do it:
Quickly cook your veggies in boiling water for the recommended cooking time, covered. The best ratio is one gallon of water to one pound of veggies.
Remove the veggies from the boiling water and quickly plunge them into cold water, the colder the better.
Then drain and dry your veggies to remove excess moisture. Moisture will affect the quality of your frozen veggies, so to get crisper, more flavorful veggies make sure they are dry before freezing.
So you can easily remember when your fresh veggies were packed, be sure to grab some plastic freezer bags with labels and record the date with a marker before you pack them up. And if you don’t have a vacuum sealer, all you need is a handy drink straw to preserve your veggies for longer.
Remove the air.
To easily remove the air, place your blanched veggies in the plastic bag. Roll it to remove as much air as possible. Place the straw all the way to one side in the bag, and seal up to the straw. Suck out the remaining air with the straw and quickly (and at the same time), remove the straw from the bag and seal.
This part is simple. Just place your labelled bags of veggies in the freezer and enjoy veggies when you are ready!
What kind of veggies work well for freezing? Here is a handy list to help you get started.
Green Smoothies just got easier.
Love Kale? Is Basil pesto your favorite? Do you regularly add Spinach to your morning smoothie? Hearty greens are definitely best when fresh, but we can still make great use out of them when frozen.
The ice cube technique works well for simple blended veggies for smoothies, and also for freezing herbs and pesto. Need a good greens pesto recipe? Head here to see our favorite recipes.
All you need is a blender, an ice cube tray, and some freezer bags.
Simply add your favorite blended greens (greens + water) to the ice cube tray. Cover and freeze. Remove the cubes and place them in a single layer in your freezer bags. Remove the necessary cubes when you need a shot of greens in your morning smoothie.
For pesto and herb preservation, some chefs insist it’s best to freeze them in oil rather than water to help retain their flavor and make defrosting easier. See some more tips here.
The jury is still out whether frozen or dried herbs are the best method for preservation. Want tips on how to dry your herbs? We’ve got you covered See our post here on drying and pairing herbs.