Summer is a season that is filled with my favorite things! From working in my small garden, to watching my kids swim in the pool. To auction season where I scout for furniture to refinish and the Farmer's Market! With so many things going on, I am always looking for ways to speed the work parts up to make the fun parts last longer.
A lot of my work time in the summer is spent in my kitchen, where someone has to clean, chop and prep vegetables and fruits for the freezer. From July to late September, I make a daily harvest of peppers, and I buy about 30 pounds of fresh food each week for my freezer. It is always my personal mission to not buy overpriced, out of season produce in the cold months. My kids will groan and tell you about the ice cream our freezer lacks these days, to make room for beautiful vacuum sealed bags of mixed veggies!
This post has been sponsored by Arm & Hammer. Thank you for helping keep my veggies clean and fresh!
Preserving food for the future is a lot of work. Some of my earliest summer memories involve 'garden work' with my grandparents, we shelled beans, shucked corn, peeled tomatoes, and made pickles for weeks. I always loved the experience of hard work and the fruits of my labors later.
I don't can at home, but I am the freezer queen. Let me tell you a few tips and tricks to help you master the art of freezing veggies at home while they are in season and ready for the picking!
While most of the veggies I buy locally and grow are organic, I still find it important to give them all a good cleaning. I trust Arm & Hammer Fruit and Vegetable Wash to help me get my veggies ready. This is the first step to preserving great produce. It is so easy to use and is more effective than water alone at removing wax, dirt and residues from pesticides. Simply spray it on, rub the fruit and rinse. It is so easy!
Next, I start chopping! I use large sheet pan to keep my veggies separated for easy access. Some people prefer to blanche first, but for me, I like everything pre-chopped, so I deal with that and get it out of the way.
After my veggies are chopped, I start blanching some of them. I simply boil the veggies for about 90 seconds, then pull them out of the water and into a cool bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.
Next, transfer the veggies to a towel and pat them dry.
Then, you are ready to begin sealing. I like to use a vacuum sealer system to remove the air and avoid freezer burn.
Label your bags of fruits and veggies.
Freeze for later.
Arm & Hammer is made with simple ingredients to provide an effective and safe product that keeps your fruits and veggies fresher. It is perfect for the home gardener, a market shopper, or anyone who wants to make their fresh foods cleaner before consumption.
If you have any tips or tricks for freezing fresh foods, I hope you will leave a comment to share!