The best of the summer vegetables are at the market now, and soon it will be winter. What do these two things have in common? Freezing and preserving your farmers market purchases! I’m not one who loves to can or preserve fruits and vegetables, but I know that I will regret this in the winter. Therefore, I have recently started freezing my fruits and vegetables in less time than it takes to cook a meal! Here are some quick and easy tips for freezing the best of summer’s bounty, bell peppers, corn and tomatoes. All you need are freezer bags and a knife!
These are the easiest to freeze. All you have to do is wash the pepper, remove the core and seeds, dice or cut into strips, place it in a freezer bag, remove as much air as possible and seal it shut. That’s it! Seriously! This winter you can enjoy them in stir fry, chili or soups.
Some people make freezing corn a little more complicated than necessary. I’ve found that my corn does just as well if I don’t blanch it and use one of the following techniques:
ON THE COB: Shuck, wash and remove silks then place ears of corn onto clean kitchen towel(s) and let them dry. Finish drying them with a paper towel and wrap each individual ear in plastic wrap. Now you can store several ears in gallon ziplock bags and pull out one or two ears out at a time this winter.
CORN “OFF” THE COB: Shuck, silk and wash ears of corn. In a large bowl, hold ear of corn at an angle and using a really sharp knife cut kernels only in half all the way down. Now use the back on knife blade and scrape the cob. This will allow you to get the corn milk. Spoon into ziplock bags and do NOT add water. Place into freezer in freezer bags. Make sure the freezer bags are flat.
Peel and core. Place into freezer bags either whole or cut up to your liking. Do NOT add water; just get the air out and zip up. Another way I’ve done it is to blanch the tomatoes whole, remove the peel after blanching and placed them in a freezer bag. These are good for chili and soups in the winter.
Enjoy! It might take you an hour, but you’ll be glad to have corn, tomatoes and bell peppers this winter. Ask one of our farmers for a “canning or freezing” bulk price! We’ll see you at the market!