Once upon a time, our grandmothers and great-grandmothers prepared for winter, stocking up on jams and pickles. There were no refrigerators in those days, and in the cellar, except for canned food and potatoes, you will not save anything. Today, housewives solve the problem of preparing for the winter with the help of a freezer (although, of course, no one canceled jams and pickles).
So, how to properly store in the freezer, and what to consider?
The content of the article:
- The main rules for freezing vegetables, fruits and herbs
- Freezing greens recipes
- Freeze berries and fruits
- Freezing vegetables and mushrooms at home
- Recipes for frozen semi-finished products
The main rules for freezing vegetables, fruits and herbs – how to prepare for freezing?
The most primitive and easiest way to prepare “pantries” for winter is to freeze them. Thanks to her, all vitamins are preserved in products, their taste is not lost, money is saved (in the summer we take for a penny, and in the winter we eat with pleasure).
Another advantage is no need to add sugar, salt etc. (as with pickles and preserves).
Well, special skills are not required. In addition, stocks can be stored in this form for a long time – up to a year…
The main thing is to properly freeze food without disrupting the technology:
- Temperature. For long-term storage of your supplies, the temperature in the freezer should be minus 18-23 grams. If your freezer is capable of more, it’s generally great (in this case, you can store supplies for more than a year). At a temperature of about minus 8 degrees, storage periods are reduced to 3 months.
- Container: what to freeze in? With a small freezer volume, the best freezing option is the simplest cellophane or vacuum bags. As well as mini containers with airtight lids or even wide-mouth plastic bottles / jars. It is important to remove air from the storage container so that the food does not have a rancid taste later on.
- Volumes. It is not recommended to put 1-2 kg of berries or mushrooms in a bag into the freezer. Remember that you can defrost them only once, so immediately lay out the stocks in portions – exactly as much as you will need later for cooking.
- What to freeze? It all depends only on the preferences of your family. The range of products for freezing is limited only by the size of the freezer. Exceptions: raw potatoes, watery vegetables like cucumbers, salad greens, cheeses, and mayonnaise dishes. It does not make sense to freeze these products, as they will completely lose their appearance, taste and texture.
- Allocate space in the chamber separately for fruits, vegetables, semi-finished productsso that odors do not mix.
- Prepare food thoroughly for freezing, removing garbage, sorting, etc.
- Be sure to dry stocks before freezing.so that after they do not turn into a large block of ice.
- Include the date on each pack of frost, don’t rely on your memory.
- Before sending stocks to the freezer, turn on the “turbo freeze” button, or unscrew the regulator of household appliances to the lowest possible temperature.
How do I prepare supplies for freezing?
So, having chosen stocks and their quantity, we do the following:
- We select quality productsremoving all debris, leaves, tails, spoiled berries or vegetables.
- We thoroughly launder stocks (approx. – after freezing it will not be possible to wash them) and dry them on a towel ALWAYS. How to properly wash fruits, vegetables and herbs?
- Next, we have 2 options. 1st – preferable: put chopped vegetables (or berries) on a pallet in bulk, cover with foil and hide in the freezer. After freezing stocks, you can already scatter them in containers or packages. 2nd method: immediately sprinkle into bags and containers (minus – the workpieces may stick together).
- Cracked or wrinkled food – immediately into cooking, you cannot freeze them (the shelf life is extremely low).
- The seeds from the selected berries can be left on, but the seeds and stalks of vegetables are a must.
- Blanching will help destroy germs in your inventory and prolong the freshness of the freeze. To do this, bring the water in a saucepan to a boil, then, lowering the heat, lower the colander with the preparations into it for a certain time (approx. – each vegetable has its own blanching time, from 1 to several minutes). Next, cool the workpiece and dry it.
Freezing greens recipes
Almost any greens, except, perhaps, salad, after freezing retains all their vitamins, aroma and color. In summer we buy cheaply, in winter we get fresh (after defrosting) green tea for lunch. Convenient, profitable, useful.
- Parsley (as well as dill and cilantro). We sort it out, soak it in a colander placed in a bowl of cold water, take out the colander after half an hour, rinse the greens under the tap, remove all unnecessary things, including the roots, dry them on a towel for a couple of hours, periodically shaking the bunches. Next, we cut the greens and pour them into bags, remove the air from it, hide it in the freezer. Can be folded in whole bundles.
- Salad. It is better not to freeze it in the usual way (read above), but there is a method in which the shape and taste will not be lost. After washing and drying the salad, it should be wrapped in foil before the freezer.
- Black Eyed Peas. We take only young shoots, wash, cut off the stalks, cut into pieces. Further – according to the scheme of freezing parsley.
- Rhubarb. We take juicy young stems, remove the leaves, wash thoroughly, remove coarse fibers, cut. Further – according to the scheme.
- Basil. Choose a fresh plant with soft stems, wash, remove the stems, dry, grind in a blender (not to dust – into pieces), sprinkle with olive oil, put in containers.
- Sorrel. We take good leaves, wash, cut and blanch for 1 minute. Next, cool in a colander, dry and then follow the scheme.
Can be done assorted greens (in winter it will be very pleasant to throw it into borsch).
- In addition to blanks from finely chopped greens in bags, there is another method: we take ice molds, finely-finely chop the greens, tamp it into molds, fill the free areas with olive oil or water on top. After freezing, we take out our green cubes and pack them according to the usual scheme – in bags or boxes. Ideal for soups and sauces (added at the end of cooking).
Remember portions! Divide the greens into packages so that you do not have to defrost the entire large package. That is, in portions.
By the way, a very convenient way – finely chop the greens and pack them in polyethylene with a narrow tube (it does not take up much space, and 1 tube is enough for 1 dish).
Freeze berries and fruits
To create these blanks, we also have our own regulations:
- We use plastic containers instead of bags.
- We put the blanks as tightly as possible so that less air remains in the container.
- Be sure to wash and thoroughly dry the blanks before freezing, spreading them in 1 row on a towel (not in a bunch!).
- If you plan to take out the bones after defrosting, then do it right away – you will save yourself time, and increase the volume.
- Sprinkle individual fruits with lemon juice to prolong their freshness.
- We select only ripe fruits, removing leaves, as well as products with rot, damage, overripe and unripe conditions.
- If the berries and fruits are from your site, then it is ideal to pick from 2 hours before freezing.
- Loose. First, we sprinkle the berries on a pallet, freeze, and after 2 hours we pour them into bags or containers in portions. Ideal for juicing berries.
- Massively. We just put it in packages in portions and freeze (approx. – cherries, gooseberries, cranberries, currants, etc.).
- Sugar. Pour berries into a container, add sugar, then another layer of berries, another layer of sand, etc. Next, put in the freezer.
- In syrup. Scheme – as in the previous paragraph, only instead of sand we take syrup. The recipe is simple: 1 to 2 (sugar / water). Or fill it with juice (natural – from berries or fruits).
- In the form of puree or juice. We cook in the usual way (grind in a blender or use a juicer), add sugar / sand, mix thoroughly, pour into containers in portions.
- Convenient freezing method – in briquettes (to save space and in the absence of containers). We put the berries in a bag, then lower them into a mold (a cut-off juice box, for example), and after freezing we take them out and put them in the freezer without a mold.
Freezing vegetables and mushrooms at home
Highly recommended before freezing blanch your workpieces… At least a couple of minutes so that the inside of the vegetables remains moist.
- Zucchini, eggplant. Wash, dry, cut into cubes, put in bags. If the blanks for frying: cut into circles, put on a pallet, on top – polyethylene and 1 more layer, then again polyethylene and 1 more layer. After freezing, you can fold them in portions in bags.
- Broccoli. We make this blank in the middle of summer. We choose dense and bright inflorescences without spots and yellowness. Soak in salt solution for half an hour (approx. – to drive out insects), wash, remove tough stems and leaves, divide into inflorescences, blanch for 3 minutes, dry and then follow the usual scheme. We cook cauliflower in the same way.
- Peas. It is frozen as quickly as possible immediately after collection. We clean from the pods, blanch for 2 minutes, dry, freeze in portions.
- Bulgarian pepper. Wash, clean from seeds, dry, put in bags in portions.
- Tomatoes. You can cut them into slices (like zucchini) or, if it’s cherry, freeze them whole. Be sure to remove the peel.
- Carrot. These root vegetables can be frozen in 2 ways. Wash, clean, blanch for 3 minutes, then cut or grate.
- Mushrooms. Soak for 2 hours, rinse, cut off the excess, cut (approx. – if the mushrooms are large), dry, pack in portions. You can also fry the chopped mushrooms in grow / oil and then freeze (the cooking time will be shorter).
- Vegetable mix. When assembling such a set for freezing, first check which vegetables need blanching and which do not. After washing, drying and slicing, mix them in bags.
Recipes for frozen semi-finished products
Such simple techniques as freezing semi-finished products will be extremely useful in moments of sudden visits from guests, or when you do not have time for 2 hours of standing at the stove.
Semi-finished products can be anything (it all depends on preferences and imagination):
- Meat. We cut it as it is later needed for cooking (into strips, cubes, pieces), and put it in bags in portions.
- Ground meat. We make it ourselves, lay it out in portions (into meatballs, cutlets, etc.), remove. You can immediately form meatballs or cutlets, freeze on a film (on a pallet), and then hide in bags (roll in breading after defrosting!). Dumplings / manti can also be made right away.
- A fish. We clean its scales, gut it, cut it into fillets or steaks, put it in containers.
- Boiled vegetables. Boil, cut, dry, put in containers. Convenient when you need to quickly make a salad in the evening – you just need to defrost ready-made food in the microwave. You can also fry them and put them in a glass jar with a lid (soup dressing, for example).
- Pancakes. Favorite dish of many. We bake pancakes, stuff to taste (with meat, cottage cheese or liver), freeze in a container.
- Side dishes. Yes, they can be frozen too! It is very convenient when there is no time or when all the burners are busy, and the family is waiting for dinner. Cook rice (pearl barley, buckwheat), cool, put in a container.
- Fruit and vegetable puree etc.
No one will argue that blanks make our life much easier. We spend several Saturday hours preparing supplies – and then we don’t worry about what to cook and where to get so much free time.
Perhaps the only problem is the small freezers. Even large “harsh” refrigerators usually have a maximum of 3 compartments per freezer. And stocking up for the winter with such a meager space, of course, is very difficult. How to choose the right refrigerator for your home?
A separate large freezer is ideal. A very useful thing in the house when you have a large family and you spend most of your time at work.
Bologny.ru website thanks you for your attention to the article! We will be very pleased if you share your recipes for homemade frozen and semi-finished products in the comments below.
Must share this useful content with your loved one's
Visit Bologny for more useful and informative articles!