Posts Tagged Peas

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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Happy First Day of Spring

Tomatoes in jiffy pellets (click to enlarge)

Today marks the first day of spring. Happy spring!!! The weather has definitely been nice with the start of spring. I have a little issue with my Bok choi though. One day they look fine and healthy and the next day, I find it with holes and gooey stuff around the holes! I couldn’t find any caterpillars or snails or slugs. I moved my pots to a different place and this morning there were no new holes. I guess you win some and you lose some. Gardening has involved watering with fish emulsion every other watering. I transplanted my tomato seedlings to individual Styrofoam cups. I will probably give these away to friends/family and people at work. I put them outside so they can get some good sun.

I plan on buying some purple podded pole beans this year. My coworker, who is an avid gardener, told me about this bean that grows purple but when cooked, it turns green. I was fascinated and am going to go in with her to buy some things from Nichols’ Garden Seeds. They’re only $2.45 for a 2 oz packet which probably comes with 100-150 seeds. These are a heat tolerant, French heirloom. I also plan on getting some bean inoculant as well. Inoculant is useful because it helps beans and peas for that matter develop root nodules which in turn increase production of beans and peas. I think I might order more seeds/supplies since we’re probably going to go in on the shipping which is only $3.45. Not bad…

Today, I bought some Bok choi seeds from Home Depot and got a rosemary plant from Target. I plan on growing Bok choi inside under my grow lights. That way, I will have some control on bugs like slugs and snails. I think they’ll be fine inside if I give them sunlight on occasion. I also planted some more sugar snap and sweet peas in the garden. I hope to grow tons of fragrant sweet peas this year and possibly collect the seeds to trade or plant next year! Well, that’s all for now. Happy gardening!

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