Food waste alert!
Every year, 1.3 billion tons of food ends up in the garbage. We’re talking about a global crisis. Are you concerned about food waste? Are you tired of losing the vegetables you can’t get through in a week? Today, we’re helping you reduce your food waste by keeping your fresh veggies in the freezer better.
Freezing vegetables 101
When frozen, the water in the food expands before solidifying. The food will keep its appearance while in the freezer, but will spoil when thawed.
Upon reheating, the water will return to its original shape, except that the “damage” caused by the expanding water droplets will remain.
In the case of vegetables, most will need to be cooked before they can be frozen. Cooking will remove some of the water content and staying at -18 °C will affect the structure of the vegetable less.
And that's not all!
There are also enzymes present in many vegetables that will affect the color, texture and flavor of the food if it is frozen without cooking.
The best way to cook your vegetables before freezing them is called blanching. It is a quick and easy technique.
Simply prepare the vegetable of your choice, cut it and boil it in water. Once the blanching time is over, run them under cold water to stop the cooking. Place the vegetables in the freezer in an airtight container or freezer bag. And that’s it. No more complicated than that!
Freezing vs. deep freezing
You can freeze any food right at home. However, unless you have a freezer that goes down to -35 °C, you can’t deep freeze food at home. Deep freezing is a more industrial technique that cools the food very quickly. In this way, small ice crystals form in the food. Since regular freezing is “hotter” at -18 °C, cooling is slower and the crystals are larger.
Frozen vegetables are less nutritious than fresh vegetables… True or False?
Most frozen vegetables that you buy at the supermarket have very comparable vitamin and mineral content to fresh seasonal vegetables. The producers pick the vegetables used for freezing and prepare them in a short time.
Did you know that...
that sometimes frozen vegetables are even fresher than the ones you’ll find in the produce section?
Which vegetables freeze better?
As you might expect, not all vegetables freeze well. Some vegetables are more fickle and fragile, so it’s best to find another way to avoid wasting them.
However, there are several that you’re better off preparing and freezing:
- Various squashes;
- Green and yellow beans;
- Corn kernels;
- Sweet potato;
- Mange-tout peas;
Freeze raw or cooked vegetables?
Because of their enzymatic activity, it is better to freeze cooked vegetables than raw, except for leeks, quartered tomatoes and peppers. For other vegetables, we suggest that you blanch them before freezing or cook them to your liking.
Freezing water-rich vegetables: a bad idea
Ice crystals will multiply the more water the vegetable has. Thawing after freezing will reveal a very soft vegetable, with an unappealing texture. This applies to cucumbers, alfalfa, lettuce and other such vegetables. Better find another way to use them before they expire.
We hear you’re glad you now know what to do with your wilted veggies that are sitting on the edge of the garbage can. And yes, it’s no more complicated to prepare your vegetables for a good and efficient freezing. No more food waste!