This article, entitled "Save Year Round on Summer Fruits and Veggies," comes from SavingsAngel.com.
When fruits and vegetables are in season, it’s the time to stock up. But how do you take care so perishables will last? Freezing is the obvious answer. And freezing well becomes critical. Produce frozen well can last 8 months or longer.
For fruits, pack them first in a sugar solution, either dry or syrup, to prolong life and sweetness. Just follow sugar solution directions for best results. They can be adjusted to fit dietary needs. For some fruits, such as blueberries, sugar solutions are not necessary. Simply pick through them (as you need to do with all fruits), removing bruised, split, or partially spoiled berries. Also remove any stems or leaves. Do not wash fruits such as blueberries when freezing without sugar. Simply pack (leaving a little room for expansion), label, and freeze. If using a sugar solution, stuff waxed paper in the top to keep fruits down into the solution.
For vegetables, blanching in boiling water or steam first is key. Take care not to over-blanch vegetables or they will not retain the same flavor or texture. Drain thoroughly, pack, label and freeze. For blanching times, do
a search online. All vegetables are different. And don’t skimp on the ice shock time, either. Doing it right will result in delicious produce later on. Skipping steps, or not giving the right amount of time will result in mushy or tasteless veggies later.
When ready to pack, it’s paramount to use quality containers. Be sure to choose containers or wrap made for freezing. They are designed to be both moisture retentive inside and vapor-resistant outside. When choosing wraps, use freezer-grade tape for an air-tight seal that lasts.
Interested in learning the specifics of freezing produce? Many online resources offer step-by-step instructions. Freezing saves money in the long run; shopping sales for produce saves money right now. May all your deals be sweet and healthy!
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