Saving unused produce

I get a lot of vegetables from my CSA and there are times when I just don’t use them in time.  Instead of letting them spoil, here is a quick and easy way to save them for future use.  Nothing is worse than having to throw away organic vegetables.  (See below for instructions on fruit) 

Although fresh and raw or lightly steamed is best, this technique will help with freezing.  Blanching vegetables only takes a few minutes in boiling water.  Blanching helps kill the bacteria and stops the enzymes that cause the food to go bad.  By cooking them quickly and immediately freezing them, most of the nutrients are preserved. 

Just prep the vegetables by cutting or trimming them.  You want everything in “ready to cook” mode.  The best thing to do is to blanch the item, then spread them out on a baking dish for freezing.  When frozen, you can transfer them to a parchment lined bag or other container (don’t put food right next to the plastic).  Freezing on a tray first prevents the entire contents from sticking together thus allowing you to take out only what you need when you are ready to reheat them. 

Most vegetables take 2-3 minutes of blanching time only.  It is a quick and easy way to preserve your fresh veggies for future use.  They are great when you have to pull together a quick meal. 

To reheat, simply sautee them or steam them for a few minutes. 

For fruits, there is no need to blanch first.  You can freeze any kind of berry and stone fruits like peaches and plumbs – just remove the pit and cut in fourths or sixths.  Frozen berries are great for smoothies later on.

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