Quick tips for pickling & freezing vegetables

July 28, 2015

Here's a little advice on maximizing your freezer space and making delicious pickled vegetables.

Quick tips for pickling & freezing vegetables

Pick freezer-friendly vegetables

  • Use only carefully selected, peak condition, young and tender vegetables. Freeze them as soon as possible after harvesting.
  • As a rule, vegetables that you would cook before serving are best for freezing.
  • Salad vegetables are not freezer-friendly as they lose their crispness.
  • Peas and corn need to be removed from shells or cobs before being blanched and sealed in containers. More on blanching below.

Blanche to seal in the flavours

  • Before being frozen, vegetables must be blanched in boiling water. This will destroy decay-causing enzymes and will also help preserve the colour, flavour and texture of the vegetable.
  • Pack vegetables in meal-sized portions in strong freezer wrap or freezer bags. Expel as much air as possible, label and freeze.
  • Cook vegetables directly from the frozen state. Remember that they're already partially cooked from the blanching process and will need a shorter time than usual.

Try pickling for added flavour

  • Pickling not only preserves, it can also add delicious flavours with pickling spice mixtures. Most mixes have black pepper and some combination of mustard seed, dried chili, dill seed, allspice berries, whole cloves, mace and coriander seed.
  • Put pickling spices in a spice bag or tie in a square of cheesecloth so they can be removed after pickling.
  • There are pickling recipes to suit every taste. All kinds of fruits and vegetables can be combined, and vinegar, salt, sugar and spices can be adjusted in a variety of ways.
  • The results are often piquant relishes, chutneys and sauces, as well as pickles with sweet or sour or combined sweet-and-sour flavours.

Pickle to save space

  • Pickling will prolong shelf life by only a few weeks.
  • Pickling can also simplify long-term storage, since pickled produce has a sufficiently high acid content to be processed by the boiling-water bath method.

There's lots of ways to keep your produce from going to waste. With the right methods, you'll make the most of your fridge

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