Preserving Organic Vegetables
If you grow organic vegetables then chances are you do some sort of canning to preserve all those vegetables you are harvesting from your garden at the end of the summer.
Organic fruits and vegetables, in the vein of staying organic, require a different way to preserve your harvest rather than canning.
After all the trouble we go through to make sure our seeds, plants, fertilizers and insect control are organic it seems like it would be a shame to go through the trouble of preserving organic vegetables and then ruin all that hard work by packing it all in salt, after all of the extra effort.
Don’t get me wrong, canning has it’s place, there’s no doubt, I mean who doesn’t love a good homemade pickle?!? Or the worlds best homemade salsa?? If you are going to keep these or anything like them for the longer than a week or so, you’ve got to can them, no question.
But for these 17 vegetables you can forgo canning, keep the organic goodness and enjoy them all winter long without losing much of the fresh organic delicious taste!
Here is the list of 17 for Preserving Organic Vegetables
- Green beans
- Squash (winter and summer)
The Basics of Freezing Garden Produce
First, before you begin preserving organic vegetables, I want to point out that you should only use vegetables that are in really excellent condition and that are thoroughly cleaned. The vegetables you are planning to freeze will need to be blanched first.
Blanching is a process of heating up the vegetables for around 2 to 5 minutes with boiling water or steam if you prefer. Next you cool them down immediately by plunging them into ice cold water. When you plunge you produce into ice cold water it stops the enzymes, keeps them from losing nutrients and stops the texture from changing anymore than it may have.
Once you have blanched your vegetables you can place them in bags, jars or other containers that are freezer safe.
For anything that you wish to keep from clumping together, like okra, carrots, broccoli etc., you’ll want to freeze them on a cookie sheet or some other type of tray before you put them in their long term container.
If you are using glass jars to freeze you produce in, unless you have liquid which requires room for expansion, get as much air out of the jar as you can.
Getting as much air out as you can is just as true for zippered bags and plastic containers. This is necessary to stop or at least reduce any freezer burn.
The vegetables you have frozen ought to keep in the freezer from around 8 to 12 months. You can expect them to last even longer if you have access to a vacuum sealer and freeze your produce in a vacuum sealed bag.
Surprisingly, tomatoes can be washed, tossed into a zippered bag and put directly in the freezer. You can make any assortment of sauces and soups like salsa, chili and spaghetti sauce out of these. They’ll practically peel themselves just by running them under some warm water or you can leave the skins on if you want to keep it for nutritional purposes.
The downside to not blanching of course is the loss of nutritional values and a change in texture. Still if you are in a hurry and plan to use them sooner rather than later it is a viable option and the tomatoes are still very tasty.
Are There Any Other Vegetables Can Be Frozen? Fruits?
Potatoes come to mind almost immediately as well as cabbage and brussels sprouts. What about fruits? Yes!, berries, any kind of berry really, can also be frozen fairly easily as well as herbs.
Are there any vegetables you have frozen that I haven’t listed? Have you ever frozen your garden produce rather than can it?