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Tips on Freezing the Harvest

| 9/4/2018 9:53:00 AM

blancher with insert 

Blanching in a pot with a removable insert makes the freezing process faster and more energy-efficient.

It’s that time of year—the garden is bulging with fresh produce and you’re spending lots of time in a steaming kitchen preserving it all. I find freezing preferable to canning for a number of reasons. For one, when it’s time to prepare a meal with my preserved garden goodness, frozen foods tend to be brighter, fresher, and all-around tastier. And relatively speaking, it’s fast and easy. Over the years, I’ve come up with a few tips to make freezing even easier. Use these freezing hacks to help the environment, too.

Time Savers

Use an index card to make a cheat sheet of blanching times for the vegetables you typically freeze, remembering that chilling time needs to be at least as long. Keep your cheat sheet in an easy-to-reach spot in the kitchen so all you have to do is open a drawer or cabinet and pull it out when you’re ready to use it. For extra durability, laminate your card.

When blanching, use a blancher or other deep pot with a lid and steamer or pasta insert. Lifting the veggies out instead of chasing them around with a slotted spoon or tongs is quicker and less messy. You won’t need to remove the pot from the burner so water stays hot for the next batch.

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