Did you know you can freeze most produce? We want you to get the best value from your WinterFix deliveries but appreciate that some weeks it may be hard to use up all the fresh local produce or you just can't eat another onion!
Some vegetables require blanching before freezing. Raw fruit, on the other hand, freezes just fine. Blanching vegetables, or dunking them into boiling water, stops the enzymes that cause discoloration and turn frozen produce mushy.
Read on for a tips and techniques for preserving your winter fruits and veggies.
With the exception of spaghetti squash, winter squashes hold really well frozen. However, you can't freeze squash whole. A little prep work goes a long way toward preserving these versatile vegetables.
When cooked, the best way to freeze winter squash is as a purée, which holds up well once thawed. Portion the puréed squash, then freeze for later. Once frozen, the purée can be transferred and stored in a resealable freezer bag for up to three months.
Butternut squash, in particular, freezes like a champ! It does fine whether frozen raw or cooked. Freeze raw butternut squash pieces in the same way you would freeze berries: Place them on a baking sheet, spaced out so they don’t touch each other, and freeze until very firm. Then gather them in a freezer container, leaving room for possible expansion. Freeze until needed.
You can freeze most herbs and they do not need to be blanched first. Just rinse, remove the leaves from the stems and let them dry on a flat tray. You can then put a bunch of these leaves together in a bag and freeze them. Freeze chopped herbs in olive oil, use an ice cub tray, for a lovely flavored oil that works great in a stir-fry or a soup.
Mushrooms should be cooked or steam blanched before freezing. Cut the mushroom into 1 inch pieces. To blanch your mushrooms, bring a pot of water to a boil and place a steamer basket inside. Add the mushrooms to the basket and let them steam for 3–5 minutes. Then, remove the mushrooms and place them immediately into a bath of ice water for the same amount of time that you steamed them. Strain the water, place the mushrooms in airtight, freezer-safe bags, and store them in the freezer.
Frozen mushrooms are great for soups, pasta, rice, quinoa, stir fry or quiches. You can also make a mushroom soup and freeze it for up to three months. Check out our recipe page for a simple and delicious Cream of Mushroom Soup.
When you have a surplus of onions or notice them starting to sprout, dice or slice onions into strips (depending on how you want to use them later) and place them on a cookie sheet. Put the cookie sheet into the freezer and allow them to flash freeze for a couple of hours. This will prevent them from sticking together. Once the onions are frozen, place them into a dated and labeled freezer bag. You'll have diced onions on hand for soup, rice, omelets or any recipe that calls for cooked onions.
Apples last a long time but freezing them will extend their shelf life even longer. To freeze apples, peel, core and cut into slices. Soak the apples in a lemon juice bath for 5 minutes. Drain and dry. Then arrange on a large baking sheet and freeze for at least 4 hours. Transfer to a freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to one year. Cooked apples such as in apple crisp and applesauce also freeze well.