Freezing Produce

Always have the flavor of fresh-picked produce handy by freezing the best of the season. Get great results with these easy tips.

Hi, I'm Laurie from the Better Homes and Gardens Test Kitchen. Everybody loves the flavor of fresh produce. And today, I'm gonna show you a quick, easy way that you can prepare vegetables to have that fresh flavor all year round. So I'm gonna start with my fresh corn. I've already cleaned the corn, and what you're gonna do with all these vegetables is just blanche them. Blanching is simply putting them into boiling water, and then we'll cover it and cook approximately 4 minutes. Okay, so I got my corn out of the boiling water and I'd let it cool a few minutes. But just take a sharp knife, and then you wanna just cut the corn right off the cob at about 2/3 of the depth. So I'd just like to fill the bags and make sure you don't fill the bags too full. You want to leave room for a little expansion during freezing. It's nice to label your bags with the date that you've prepared it. That way, you will know how fresh it is when you go to use it. And this should keep fresh in your freezer for about, oh, up to 6 months or so. Okay, so I got my fresh green beans, and you're gonna do basically the same process. I've already kind of trimmed off the ends. Now what you wanna do is just take your beans once again with your boiling water. We wanna cover this, and we wanna cook these, blanche these for about 3 minutes. What I'm gonna do is I'm gonna plunge them right away into some ice water. This stops the cooking process and it really locks in that fresh flavor. We'll just drain them and then we're going to put them into our freezer bags, label them, and these should freeze again up to about 6 months. So our last vegetables, we have our tomatoes. Basically, the same thing with the corn and the beans. We're just gonna put these into boiling water just for 30 seconds. All we wanna do here is just let the skins loosen on the tomatoes. We don't wanna cook them too much. Okay, so our 30 seconds is up. So we're gonna remove those from the heat or turn off your heat, and what I wanna do is I wanna put these, once again, I like to use ice water. It will just cool them faster. This also will stop the cooking process and lock in that fresh flavor and color. My tomatoes have been removed from the ice water, and I'm just going to cut around the core. You can see our skin is already starting to slip off. You wanna discard your core and then just remove the peel from these. Now what I'll do is just take my tomatoes, and I like to just coarsely chop them up. So we're simply just gonna take our chopped up tomatoes, add them to our freezer bag, and you wanna make sure to label those too. And then they're ready to go in the freezer, and these will stay in the freezer for up to 6 months. So you've got your fresh packed veggies already in your freezer that you can pull out any time and enjoy.