Saturday, February 28, 2009

FREEZING VEGETABLES


Even after vegetables are picked, the enzymes in them make them lose flavor and color and sometimes make them tough - even at freezer temperatures. Therefore the enzymes must be stopped in theirtracks by being heated for a few minutes ( how many minutes depends on the size and texture of the vegetable) before the vegetables are cooled quickly and packed. This preheating is necessary for virtually all vegetables; green (sweet) peppers are the notable exception.

Practically all vegetables are safely blanched in boiling water. Use a large kettle which has a wire basket that fits down in it. Put prepared vegetables in the basket - not more than a pound or two at a time - and lower it into the boiling water. Start counting the time at once. Shake the basket to let heat reach all parts of it's load. When the specified time is up, lift out the basket and immediately dunk the vegetables in ice -cold water to cool them fast.

If you live more than 5,000 feet above sea level, preheat vegetables 1 minute longer than the time called for.


BEANS;

Prepare:
Wash, cut or snap the ends off, then cut in 1" or 2" pieces, or in lengthwise strips ( frenching),or leave whole if they're very young and tender.

Blanch:
In boiling water - for 3 minutes. Cool in ice water immediately, drain well.

Pack:
Leave 1/2 inch headroom

Seal: freeze


BROCCOLI:

Prepare:
Peel coarse stalks, trimming off leaves and blemishes; split if necessary. Separate or cut inot reasonable size pieces.

Blanch:
In boiling water- 3 minutes for stalks. ( Reduce blanching time for cut-up or chopped.) Cool immediately in ice water; drain.

Pack:
Leave no headroom for apears or large chunks; arrange long stalks so blossom ends are divided between either end of the container. Leave 1/2 inch headroom for cut-up or chopped( they have less air space.)

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