How to Freeze Vegetables

by Marcy on August 4, 2013 · 2 comments

how to freeze vegetables tips and tricks

How to Freeze Vegetables

Has your garden been producing in abundance this year and you are ready to put some of the food away for the winter? Are you wondering how to freeze vegetables? Freezing vegetables takes a little more time than freezing fruit, but it will still save you plenty of money this winter when most vegetables aren’t in season.

Here are some common vegetables and how to freeze them properly.

  • Green Beans – Wash your green beans well and then blanch them in boiling water for 2 minutes on the stove top. Cool the beans in a bowl of ice water – this won’t take long. Remove from the water and let them dry on a kitchen or paper towel until most of the water has drained off (you can use your towel to soak up any excess water). Place in a zippered freezer bag and label with the date packaged. Green beans will last for 4 months in the freezer.
  • Bell Peppers – Wash and slice or dice peppers before placing in a zippered freezer bag. Peppers will last for about 4 months in the freezer but they will lose their “crisp” when they are frozen. Frozen bell peppers are best in baked dishes or slow cooker dishes. (Check out my Chop Once, Eat Later tips for Bell Peppers post – including a tip to combine bell peppers and onions in a freezer bag to have on hand for fajitas.)
  • Broccoli – Soak broccoli heads in a light salt water solution first to remove any bugs. Rinse and wash. Blanch in a hot water bath just like the green beans above, cool in a bowl of ice water and dry well before freezing in a zippered freezer bag. Broccoli will last for 6 months in the freezer but it may get somewhat rubbery if left in the freezer for a longer amount of time.
  • Corn – Husk the corn and remove any stray silk. Boil the corn for 4-5 minutes. Immediately place the corn in a bowl of ice water. Cut the corn off the cob with a sharp knife. Place in a zippered freezer bag with the date. Corn will last for 5 months in the freezer.
  • Onions – Peel and dice (or slice!) your onions as normal. Place in a zippered freezer bag and freeze for up to a year.

How to Freeze Vegetables

If you want to get crazy, you can make up all sorts of variety bags as well. If you know that you use carrots, onions and celery frequently, make up mixes of those veggies and freeze in one bag. Fajita vegetable bags are super convenient (bell peppers and onions), various veggie bags for omelets would also be fun! The combinations are endless!

How to Freeze vegetables

Some general tips that I have for freezing any types of food are:

  • Remove as much air as possible from your freezer bags before freezing. I like to lay the bag flat, press the food that I’m freezing flat (if solid), zip the bag until just a small opening remains, and use a straw to suck out any remaining air (this looks crazy, but it works!). Air is your enemy when freezer because it will promote freezer burn.
  • Freeze the bags flat! Like the image above, I like to press my veggies out flat and freeze to save room in my freezer! This also helps eliminate air, as I mentioned above.
  • Use the highest quality bags that you can find and/or afford. I do tend to lean toward Ziploc brand when it comes to my freezer bags because I want them to be super durable in the freezer. However, I am totally fine with using store brand bags if they are on sale or my choices are limited.
  • For the best success, be sure to buy FREEZER bags and not just regular zipper bags. Freezer bags are thicker and help to prevent freezer burn.

What are your favorite vegetables to freeze? What vegetables do you have an abundance of this year?

Check out these Freezer Tips for the Frugal Shopper for more practical tips on stretching your grocery budget by making good use of your freezer.

View my Freezer and Bulk Cooking Pinterest Board HERE.

Find more Frugal Living Tips & Tricks here.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ashley August 5, 2013 at 8:53 AM

We froze green beans last year in the exact way you mention above – when we went to eat them they were very rubbery and not good at all. We ended up throwing away about 5 bags of green beans. This year I canned them, but I would prefer to freeze (less stressful!) Any tips on how to cook them once they have been frozen?

2 Marcy August 5, 2013 at 9:40 AM

@Ashley – did you cool the beans in a bowl of ice water after boiling? I just realized that I forgot that step above (it was there for the corn but not the beans!). I just edited the post to add that. You should be able to cook the beans just like you do any other frozen vegetable from the store – in a pot on the stove (with some water and/or butter) or in the microwave in a covered dish.

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