Posts Tagged Beans

What Vegetables are Good for Freezing? Handling and Storage Ideas

The plan this growing season for me is to can, freeze, preserve, and dehydrate fruits and vegetables we do not consume and have an abundance of (i.e. peak of tomato season where we have lots of tomatoes). This is a big endeavor for me since it will be my first time preserving what I grow. I have gotten a lot of books detailing how to  preserve vegetables from your garden. I have been busily reading and noting what techniques to use. A great reference book I would recommend is Ball’s Complete Book of Home Preserving. It details every vegetable you can grow and how to preserve them. It’s an invaluable resource to any gardener who wants to pursue this adventure.

I have read a lot about preserving vegetables by blanching and freezing. Freezing is a great way to lock in nutrients. Blanching is the process of dropping your desired vegetable in boiling water for a set time (typically for 30 seconds to 3 minutes). After blanching, you will take the veggies out and place them in an ice bath consisting of water and ice cubes. After they have cooled, you can freeze them flat on a tray in the freezer before packaging. Since, you’re not completely cooking the vegetables you keep the nutrients and texture of the vegetables. Happy gardening everyone!

What you’ll need to freeze vegetables is simple:

-desired vegetable you want to preserve
-pot
-water
-bowl
-ice water
-bags (sandwhich or freezer) and/or small containers (1 quart)
-freezer

Here’s a chart of vegetables that will do well freezing, when to freeze, and how to handle and store them:

What to Freeze

Time to Freeze

How to Freeze

Berries Spring to Fall Wash your produce, air dry and freeze
Broccoli Spring and Fall Cut into bite-size pieces, blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute, cool in ice bath for 2 minutes, drain and freeze
Chard Spring, Summer, and Fall Blanch until wilted (several minutes) It will look like wilted spinach. Cool in ice bath, drain, and freeze in small batches
Edamame (soybeans) Summer to Fall Simmer pods in salted water for approximately 5 minutes. Cool in ice bath for 2 minutes, drain, and freeze
Peas Spring to Fall Blanch in boiling water for a minute. Cool in ice bath for 2 minutes, drain and freeze
Peppers Summer to Fall Slice, blanch in boiling water for 1 minute, cool in ice bath for 2 minutes, drain and freeze
Snap beans Summer to Fall Blanch in boiling water for a minute. Cool in ice bath for 2 minutes, drain and freeze
Spinach Spring to Fall Blanch until wilted (several minutes) Cool in ice bath, drain, and freeze in small batches
Sweet corn Summer Cut kernels from cobs, simmer in hot water for 2-3 minutes. Cool in ice bath, drain, and freeze in small batches
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More seed starting…04-25-08

Seedlings (click to enlarge)

I can’t believe we’re in the middle of spring already. During winter, I couldn’t wait for it to come and now it’s already here. I finally realized it was spring when I was walking around our campus with a couple of my coworkers as part of an “Active for Life” program. The weather was wonderfully nice: not too warm and with a slight breeze. Our campus is wonderful. It has the best scenery and landscape. My coworker showed me that the school has rosemary growing crazy at one of our buildings. I had to make sure it was rosemary and once I picked it up and smelled it, it was definitely rosemary. She said that if I ever need it to just take a handful. It would be doing the landscapers a favor. The rosemary bushes were growing like crazy all over the place and I could “prune” some for them. It was wonderful to see herbs being used in a great way.

Today, I planted several more seeds in my attempt at succession planting this spring. I started some more

  • watermelon radishes
  • cherry belle radishes
  • romaine/cos lettuce
  • fish pepper
  • Nardello sweet pepper
  • ornamental corn
  • snapdragons-apricot
  • watermelon sugar baby (pre-germinating in a bag)
  • spinach-giant noble (pre-germinating in a bag)

Tomorrow, I plan on planting out some more seedlings I have indoors: mainly beans and some stocks, zinnia, chicory, oriental and shirley poppies, and nasturtiums. Wish me luck and as always happy gardening!

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Gardening: 04-23-08

Ladybug tomato 72 days 04-12-08

Today was just a simple day of gardening: watering all the veggies and flowers, walking around looking at the bok choy seed pods, and…urgh picking snails off my precious peas! I hate snails with a vegence! They’re annoying little buggers. I’ve tried about everything to get rid of them: coffee, coffee grounds, copper, etc etc etc. Today, I crushed a bunch of egg shells and put them in front of my peas and the other stuff they like to munch on. The crushed egg shells are suppose to hurt their bellies and deter them. I hope this will prevent them from crawling all over my peas and eating them to the nubs.

On another note, my scarlett runner beans, sequioa beans, swiss chard, radish and lime basil I planted a couple of days ago have sprouted and are doing well. I planted out the scarlett runner and sequioa beans this afternoon. I put some in the ground and some in pots, just in case we move too soon, I want some beans to come with me. This morning, I also staked my tomatoes I have in containers. I have a supersweet, gardener’s delight and ladybug hybrid tomatoes in pots. I noticed that I have flowers forming on my squash seedlings. Eek. so exciting. I’ve had tomato flowers for awhile now (probably in the past 2-3 weeks) and I can’t wait to have tomatoes. Yummy!

Yesterday, I visited my parents and little brother and came home with tons of Asian groceries, Bento boxes, and some gardening pots and a garden hose. I have a neat blue pot that they gave me since they weren’t using it. It’s a rectangular pot that sits 4 inches tall and probably 6 inches wide. I’ll take a picture tomorrow and post it. I think I’ll put some low growing plants in it. I don’t want something that will take away from its pretty “pot” beauty.

My co-worker gave me two apricot seedling and a lilac plant. It was a nice gesture from her. I had given her some tomatoes, peppers, bok choi, and squash seedlings I had extra of and she came back and gave me some plants. She’s so nice and very kind. Tomorrow, I plan on continuing the acts of kindness by giving her an avocado plant I had started from a pit and some seeds I know she’ll enjoy (bok choi, sunflowers-tall, catnip-for her cats, basil, and California poppies).

Tomorrow, I plan on giving everyone a good soaking with fish emulsion. Hopefully the cats don’t get wind of it or else it’s going to be a full house. I also want to plant some of the bean seedlings I started indoors. For errands, I have to bike over to the Library and pay our electricity bill. Gee how fun uhh? Well, it kind of is since I’m biking. I love biking! Happy gardening everyone.

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