Can You Freeze Vegetables?

The easiest and quickest way to preserve vegetables fresh from your garden is to freeze them. This method requires very little preparation and offers a much lower risk of food poisoning than other methods. The list below outlines many vegetables you can freeze, the instructions for how to freeze them properly and the recommended freezer times for the vegetables.

 

What Vegetables Can Be Frozen?

Vegetables

Notes

Asparagus

Wash the asparagus and cut off the woody part of the stem. Cut each stem in half and blanch them by placing them in boiling water for 3 minutes and then placing them in ice water for three minutes. Lay the asparagus out on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and freeze them for half an hour before packing into freezer bags for storage.

Beans Lima

Shell the beans, wash them, blanch using the method outlined above and drain the beans before freezing.

Beans

Wash the beans and remove the ends. You can leave the beans whole or slice them into 1.5 inch pieces. Blanch them, cool the beans and drain before freezing.

Beets

Wash them and remove the tops, leaving half an inch of the stem. Boil them until they are tender, cool and peel before cutting the beets into cubes and freezing.

Blueberries

Place a layer of dry blueberries on a cookie sheet and freeze them until they are solid. Do not wash the berries beforehand because it can make the skin tough and damage the texture of the flesh. Place the frozen berries into freezer bags for more convenient storage. Blueberries can be kept frozen for up to a year.

Broad Beans

Shell and wash the beans. Blanch them for 1.5 minutes and keep them in ice water for 1-2. Lay the beans out on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper, then place into freezer bags, making sure to remove all of the air.

Broccoli

Wash the stalks and heads but not the flowers. Split the heads into 1.5 inch pieces. Blanch the broccoli for 3 minutes then blanch for 3 minutes. Drain and lay the broccoli out on a cookie sheet and freeze for 30 minutes before packing into freezer bags.

Brussels Sprouts

Trim the sprouts and remove any outer leaves. Blanch until they are cooked through, cool in ice water and drain before freezing.

Cabbage

Remove the outer leaves and wash the remaining cabbage. Shred or cut the cabbage into strips and blanch for 1.5 minutes. Lay the cabbage out on a cookie sheet and freeze before packing into freezer bags. Remove as much air from the bag as possible before returning to the freezer.

Carrots

Scrub the carrots and chop large pieces into smaller chunks. Blanch the vegetables for 3 minutes and place in ice water for 3 minutes. Lay the carrots out on a cookie sheet and freeze before packing into freezer bags with the air removed.

Cauliflower

Use the same freezing method as broccoli.

Celery

Wash tender stalks and cut them into inch long pieces. Blanch the celery for 2 minutes and place in ice water for two minutes. Lay the celery out on a cookie sheet and freeze before placing into freezer bags with the air removed.

Cucumber

Chop the cucumber in a food processer. You can choose to remove the peels if desired. Pack the cucumber into an air-tight container or bag with a good seal before freezing.

Eggplant

Wash the eggplant, peel and slice it. Blanch it until cooked, cool in ice water, drain and freeze.

Mushrooms

Clean the mushrooms and pack them into freezer bags with the air removed before freezing.

Onions

Peel and chop the onions as desired. Wrap the onions in layers of clear plastic wrap and place into a freezer bag or airtight container. These can be kept in the freezer for up to three months.

Parsnips

Remove the tops of the parsnips, wash, peel and chop them into slices or half inch cubes. Blanch the parsnips, cool them in ice water and drain before freezing.

Peas

Shell the peas, wash them, blanch for a minute and chill them in ice water for one minute. Lay the peas out in a single layer on a cookie sheet, freeze and pack them into freezer bags.

Peppers

Was the peppers, remove any seeds and slice them into strips. Blanch the peppers and cool them in ice water, then lay the peppers out on a cookie sheet and freeze before packing them into freezer bags.

Potatoes

New potatoes can be scrubbed and boiled until they are almost cooked. Drain the water, allow the potatoes to cool and then place them in freezer bags. Mashed potatoes can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.

Pumpkin or Squash

Wash the vegetables, remove the seeds and cut them into small pieces. Cook the squash in boiling water until it is soft, remove the skin and mash. Place the cooled, mashed squash in an airtight container and freeze.

Sweet Corn

Clean the corn well and remove any silk. Cut of the top of the cob before washing it again. Blanch corn for 5-7 minutes based on the size of the corn, then place in ice water for 5-7 minutes. Drain and wrap individual cobs in plastic wrap before placing them all into a freezer bag.

Tomatoes

Wash the tomatoes and remove their stems. Cut as desired or leave the tomatoes whole. Dry them and pack them into freezer bags before storing them.

Turnips

Wash them, peel the turnips and cut them into ½ inch cubes. Blanch the turnips, cool them in ice water and drain before freezing.

7 Steps to Freeze Vegetables

  1. Select tender, young vegetables that are slightly under-ripe for freezing instead of those that are fully ripe. You should also avoid trying to freeze overripe, bruised or damaged vegetables.
  2. Start with preparing all of your materials for blanching before you start the freezing process. This will help keep the nutrition, freshness and taste of the vegetables intact.
  3. Make sure that your vegetables have been thoroughly cleaned and cut into the sized pieces you plan to use before you start freezing them.
  4. Blanch your vegetables immediately and make sure the water is boiling before you add the vegetables. Use at least a gallon of water for every pound of vegetables. If you will be steaming the vegetables, place a wire-mesh holder in an 8 quart pot over an inch of boiling water.
  5. When the blanching time for the vegetable is completed, immediately place them in ice water to stop the cooking process.
  6. Pat the vegetables dry gently before placing them in the containers or bags you will use for frozen storage. Remove as much air as possible from these containers.
  7. Make sure the containers are sealed well and labeled before they go into the freezer.

The following video provides a demo for how to freeze vegetables properly:

 
 
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