If you are so lucky, there comes a point in the farming season, where you are overrun with one type of produce, or many!
Recently it was snap peas that needed to go into the freezer. So I turned on the oven and got to work. Wait. The OVEN?!?
You bet! We’ve found that a blast of heat – 475 for 5 minutes – does the same job as blanching, and the results are so much better!
Traditionally, vegetables destined for the freezer are blanched (dropped for a minute or two in boiling water) transferred to an ice bath and then the freezer. This is to kill bacteria on the outside that could lead to spoilage. Only thing is, the veggies are so waterlogged by the process that they have no snap left once you dig them out of the freezer to eat them. And they also lose their nutritional value. Yuck.
The oven blasted veggies, by comparison are still crisp when thawed. And it works for most any vegetable!
Prep your veggies, toss with a little olive oil, spread one layer thick on your cookie sheets, and bake at 475 for 5 minutes. Let cool to room temp, throw them in freezer bags (marked so you don’t grab peas when you wanted beans!), and put them in your freezer. It really is that simple!
Really appreciate the tip on oven blanching. I’ve got to try this in 2020. If I recall correctly, blanching prior to freezing also disables certain plant enzymes which lead to product degradation.
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