My world changed when I realized that it was a possibility to store just about any fruit or vegetable for use over the winter. Not only did I cut back on costs at the supermarket, but local produce became an option year round. The quality of the meals that I was serving changed as well, for the better. I used less canned foods and more local produce AND our CSA shares are now never wasteful. In fact, I often grab seconds (the slightly less ideal produce) to can or freeze.
So, go stock up on any extra local bit of fresh produce that you can find and start blanching away. Keep in mind that the sooner you can prepare and freeze the fruits and veggies that you will be storing, the better! Also keep in mind that there are TONS of techniques out there. In fact, your grandmother probably has a technique called the “your grandmother technique” (totally just kidding), this is just how I do things and it works:)
Some of the techniques I use:
Fruits and Vegetables:
Asparagus: I freeze these (though we usually don’t have much left over) to use as side dishes.
– Cut the tough bottom ends off (you can use these in a soup or use right away). Water blanch remaining pieces for 4 minutes (for a medium sized spear), dry, then flash freeze before transferring to another container.
Corn: Side dishes, soups, stews, chilies, or infinite other possibilities.
– Shuck, remove silk, and cook corn on the cob as you normally would (we boil ours). Cut corn off of the cob and store in plastic storage bags. Here is a good article about freezing corn.
Zucchini: I love storing this veggie for breads, muffins, and cakes.
-Wash, then shred the zucchini and freeze in freezer safe storage bags.
*It is a good idea to look at your recipe and freeze in the quantities needed for that particular recipe.