Vegetables on Ice

Here I was, minding my own business, and suddenly fall happened. Or, more accurately, a string of tropical storms has turned the East Coast into a limp, soggy mess. Either way, my gardens are protesting—summer’s definitely over. But yet I feel like I’ve just gotten started on filling up the freezer for winter. The good news is that many of the best vegetables for freezing are either currently at their peak or are just starting to come in. I’m talking about the basics here, folks: green beans, corn, and fresh lima beans right now; kale, collards, spinach, and broccoli about a month or two from now.

You can imagine, then, how thrilled I was when I got a call from Therese Madden, a reporter for WHYY in Philadelphia, who wanted to do a radio piece on freezing vegetables. The piece aired this morning, but you can also catch a listen here. What excites me about freezing vegetables is how utterly easy is it. In most cases, you blanch the vegetables, cool them off, stick them in a bag, and toss them in the freezer. Some vegetables, like peppers and corn, don’t even really need to be blanched. If you’re feeling fastidious (and I encourage this), you’ll keep a list of what you’ve got in there so you’ll remember to eat it later. And that’s it.

There are only so many ways to say “blanch, cool, bag, freeze,” so rather than repeat myself, I’ll link back to some older posts where I give this same advice, but with pictures. (oooh! ahhh! Oh, wait. They’re just pictures of freezer bags. Still: Illustrations!)

Beet greens, turnip greens, and greens in general (the last with a discussion of canning and dehydrating, too)
How to Freeze Pesto
Green Beans
Applesauce vs. Applesauce (hint: applesauce wins)

Enjoy, and happy harvesting!


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