Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Preserving: Freezing Zucchini & Snow Peas

Before we get on to garden things, I would like to point out it's my Blogiversary! (and post #120)  It's been a crazy year, but i seem to have picked up a handful of followers along the way and I just wanna say thanks for stopping by and i'm glad you're here.  I'd love to say thank you with a giveaway like the big blogs, but this here is a low (aka: no) budget operation.  Deal with it.  In the mean time, feel free to reminisce and check out my first post.  Warning: The refrigerator pickles are a good idea but i really should have followed up on my attempt at fermenting pickles.  It was a moldy mess of fail.  I don't recommend it.

On to garden stuffs.  Food is beginning to roll in from the garden.  Mainly snow peas and zucchini at the moment, but also a few bush beans and raspberries.  (I think the birds are getting to them before we can tho, more on that later).  Anyways, it's about time to kick my resolution to try and preserve a year's worth of veggies from our garden into action.  It's no doubt a lofty goal, but shoot for the moon, even if you miss you'll land among the stars.

This past weekend, when I set about to freeze some zucchini & snow peas, I started cleaning ends and such off of what I had and Nick checked the garden for more while I was working.  He came back with this:  

Good thing he checked before I got started.  On the whole, I want to can as many veggies as I can, but some things just don't lend themselves to it.  These two fall under that category (unless you wanna make zucchini pickles, more on that another day).  Thankfully, the method to freeze just about anything is about the same:

1.  Clean and prep veggies accordingly.  For me this time, that meant rinsing everything, trimming both end tips off of the peas and trimming the ends off of the zucchini, slicing in half length-wise and slicing into discs (made much easier by my food processor)

2. Blanche & Shock veggies.  aka: boil for a short period of time and immediately immerse in very cold or ice water to arrest cooking.  Technically, every veggie has a different blanche time an you can look them up online, but I use 3 minutes as my go-to "I don't feel like looking it up" time.  

3.  Put in a sturdy freezer-proof bag or container with as little air as possible and mark with the date.  For some things like berries or pod peas, you may want to dry thoroughly and place on sheets to dry individually before putting in sed containers.  I'd like to take this moment to say I really love my vacuum-sealer.  It makes freezing much easier.  

4. Freeze!

Thankfully, this is easy enough that it can simply be done as veggies come in, while they're still fresh.  

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