I have a very old refrigerator and some of my produce freezes before I get a chance to use it and instead of throwing it out I use it. Most of the vegetables that end up frozen taste just fine when they are cooked in stews, soups, stirfry. Most fruits can be frozen. I then use them to make sauces and smoothies. I don’t blanch or prepare any of my vegetables or fruits, I learnt this from my dad. My dad when he would harvest his garden he would cut up his vegetables and throw them in an ice cream pail, he would put some wax paper between about an inch layer of veggies or fruit. Another thing he would do is when he cooked his vegetables he would cook just a little more and then throw the extras in that ice cream pail. I do use freezer bags instead of ice cream pails but otherwise if it has worked for more dad for the last 25 or so years, it can work for me.
List of Freezable Foods
Vegetables and Fruits:
Cabbage ~ This I found out by mistake. I had thrown my washed cabbage in the fridge and it was a couple months later that I even looked at it.. Well it frozen solid and I was going to throw it away. The outside of the cabbage was brown, so I started cutting it. The inside looked great and after cooking it, it tasted like fresh cabbage. When cooked it tastes like fresh cabbage. Now I wash the cabbage, put it in a freezer bag and through them in the freezer or the back of my fridge :). You could also blanch them by cutting the cabbage in wedges and putting them in hot boiling water for 3 minutes, cool in a sink full of water, drain and pack in freezer bags.
Carrots ~ I wash, shred and place in freezer bags. To do it properly, you can blanch sliced carrots in hot boiling water for 2 minutes, whole carrots for 5 minutes. Cool in iced water, drain, bag and freeze.
Spinach ~ wash, dry and place in freezer bags.
Mushrooms ~ wash, place in freezer bags. In all the articles I have read, everyone says to cook the mushrooms before freezing as the mushrooms will be soggy when you use them. I have never had this problem. I do not thaw out the mushrooms before using them.
Peppers ~ wash, cut in strips, place in freezer bags. You can also blanch them by putting strips or rings in hot boiling water for 2 minutes, halves for 3 minutes. Cool in ice water, drain and place in freezer bags.
Tomatoes ~ wash, I have froze whole and also sliced them and froze them
Zucchini ~ shred and freeze in 1 or 2 cup sizes in freezer bags
Strawberries ~ wash, slice and place in freezer bags.
Berries ~ blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, saskatoon berries ~ wash, place in freezer bag
Mangos ~ wash skin and dice or you can peel first if you want, place in freezer bag
Bananas ~ peel and either leave whole or slice depending what you are planning on using for
Lemon and Limes ~ freeze whole, to juice I cut them in half and place them in the microwave first for 20 -30 seconds
*** All the vegetables and fruits except lemon and limes would be better if you freeze on cookie sheet and then place in freezer bags but I am lazy and freeze them in the bag and when I take them out the first time I put them in the microwave and then bang the bag on the countertop to loosen them up. The berries I usually freeze first in plastic containers and for a day or so and then place them in freezer bags, they don’t seem to clump together that way.
Cream Cheese ~ Freeze whole. It will be slightly lumpy but works great in just about everything except frosting – unless you like lumpy frosting. I have used it in cheesecakes and find it works good. I let it thaw first.
Milk ~ freeze in container in amounts you would need for cooking. I usually freeze mine in 1/2 cup containers. Egg nog is great to freeze at the end of the season and you can then use it all year long.
Yogurt ~ freeze whole. When ready to use take out of freeze for a while and then you have some great frozen yogurt. This is good to do if it is getting close to the expiry date.
Block Cheese ~ shred or slice first before freezing otherwise it crumbles.
Chocolate ~ I freeze it whole
Nuts ~ freeze them so that the oil doesn’t get rancid.
Flour and Sugar ~ I freeze both and that way no bugs can get into them either. I freeze them in the bags they come in.
Pasta Sauce ~ You always have leftover pasta sauce, just place in a freezer container until the next time you use it.
Baking ~ most baking can be frozen, cookies, cakes, muffins, bread, rolls. You might want to double bag it with your freezer bag so that it doesn’t get freezer burnt. I often will wrap my breads first in plastic wrap before putting them in them in freezer bags. Pies can also be frozen but they are better if you freeze them before you bake them.
** When freezing anything make sure most to all of the air is out, this will prevent whatever you freeze becoming freezer burnt.
I am no expert on freezing but these are a few things that I have frozen and used. Most of my experiences with freezing has come from my food freezing in my refrigerator and I am to cheap to throw it away, so I use as much as possible. I have never paid attention to how long I keep them in the freezer. I do know that my carrots and cabbages stayed in my crisper frozen ~ remember my fridge freezes thing for all winter so probably 5 -6 months and they tasted good in the stews, soups, casseroles and anything else I decided to throw them in. I have not eaten any of my vegetables raw, I cook them all after freezing them.
Sarah from the Ease to Freeze has some great tips on freezing on her blog and has graciously given me permission to use her site. She also has some freezer printables that may help you if you are starting to think about freezing things. On the first printable on page 2 she has a length time for storage of quality food.