Taking Advantage Of Seasonal Produce By Pre-Freezing Meals

A freezer full of perfectly

Taking Advantage Of Seasonal Produce

Ah, the feeling of stepping out of a grocery store with arms full of perfectly ripe summer produce! The colors alone are enough to make anyone excited for home-cooked meals full of flavor.

But what happens when that special season has come and gone and you’re left with way too much food? Don’t panic – you don’t have to deal with an insane amount attempted meal prepping in one day or heading back to the store every other night.

Pre-freezing seasonal produce helps keep your tasty ingredients on hand while also making preparing wholesome meals effortless. Let’s dive into ways you can preserve seasonal groceries, so dinner never goes stale.

An Easy Way to Take Advantage of Seasonal Produce

One of the biggest challenges of cooking with seasonal produce is finding a way to keep your ingredients fresh and flavorful. Meal prepping can be daunting, and heading back to the store every other night isn’t always feasible.

But never fear! There’s an easy solution that you can take advantage of–pre-freezing meals! Let’s dive into how pre-freezing meals helps you make the most out of seasonal produce.

Pre-freezing meals

Pre-freezing meals gives you the freedom to create delicious dishes with seasonal ingredients without having to worry about them going bad before you can use them. By pre-freezing fruits and vegetables at peak ripeness, you will ensure that they retain their flavor and nutrients for months on end. You can also freeze meats, sauces, and other ingredients so dinner is as simple as defrosting one meal a day.

Soups are great

Not sure what recipes are best for freezing? Not a problem! Soups are great for freezing because they often contain several different kinds of produce that lend themselves well to freezing. Lasagnas are also excellent options because they freeze well and make great leftovers. Chili is another favorite; it freezes well and reheats quickly when it comes time for dinner!

Cool Completely Before Sealing

When it comes to actually freezing your meals, there are a few tips that will help you get the best results possible. First of all, let your cooked food cool completely before sealing in an airtight container or freezer bag–this ensures that moisture won’t build up inside during storage which can cause freezer burn.

When reheating frozen food, make sure not to overheat it–this can ruin the texture and flavor. And finally, label each container with its contents as well as the date so you know what was frozen when!

Peas: Blanch in boiling water before freezing.

Corn: Boil in lightly salted water before freezing.

Green Beans: Blanch in boiling water for a few minutes before freezing.

Broccoli: Blanch for 3 minutes then plunge into ice cold water before freezing.

Carrots: Peel, boil and then chill in icy water before freezing.

Spinach: Boil or steam briefly until just wilted, cool in ice cold water and drain before freezing.

Asparagus: Trim off woody ends, blanch and immediately cool in cold water before freezing.

Cauliflower: Cut into florets, blanch for 2 to 3 minutes, cool quickly then freeze each piece separately on a baking tray before transferring frozen pieces to freezer bag or container for storage.

Sweet Potatoes: Boil until partially cooked; plunge into ice-cold water until slightly cooled; peel, cut into cubes and freeze before transferring to containers or freezer bags once frozen solid .

Blueberries, Raspberries: Rinse gently with cold water, dry completely with clean kitchen towel and spread on a greased baking sheet lined with parchment paper; put the baking sheet into the freezer for about two hours; transfer the frozen berries to an airtight container that can be stored in the freezer up to one year .

Mango: Peel, slice, and place flat on waxed paper-lined baking sheets; freeze flat until solid then move to containers for storage up to a year .

Bananas: Peel bananas and dip them quickly into a bowl of lemon juice so they don’t turn dark; arrange a single layer on parchment- or waxed paper-lined trays – once frozen transfer them to plastic zipper seal bags; store up to 6 months .

Pineapple Chunks: Cut fresh pineapple into chunks or slices (with or without skins) spread out single layer on greased/oiled cookie sheet/tray – freeze until solidly frozen & store chunks up to 6 months (in an airtight container) in the freezer rather than fridge as it will taste fresher & sweeter when defrosted & served!

Apples: Slice apples thinly; coat with lemon juice (or other suitable preservative), spread apples out onto oiled cookie sheet/tray – when fully frozen – move /transfer apple slices from cookie sheet/tray into airtight bags/containers || store up to 8 months

Grapes: Wash grapes well and spread-out single layer on greased cookie sheets/trays – freeze till solidly frozen then move /transfer grapes from cookie sheet/tray into airtight bags/containers || store up to 8 months

Cherries: Rinse cherries under cold running tap water – remove stems if present; Spread cherries out onto greased cookie sheet/tray – when fully frozen – move /transfer cherries from cookie sheet/tray into airtight bags/containers || store up to 8 months

Kiwis : Peel kiwifruit ; Cut kiwifruit slices into 1 cm thick pieces ; Spread kiwi slices onto greased cookie sheet – once solidly frozen – move / transfer fruit from cookie sheet to airtight bags / containers ; Store up to 6 months

Oranges: Peel oranges thoroughly including white pith; Chuck oranges effectively cutting sections away from membranes; Spread orange sections onto greased cookie sheet– once solidly frozen, move / transfer sections of fruits from cookie sheet to airtight bags / containers; Store up to 6 months

Lemons: Slice thin lemons discs removing any seeds as you go along, spread thinly sliced lemon discs out onto oiled cookie sheet–once solidly frozen move /transfer lemon discs from cookie sheet to airtight bags / containers||  Store up to 6 months

Strawberries: Hull strawberries carefully by removing their tops leaving caps intact, spread strawberries out on to oiled cookie sheet—once solidly frozen move / transfer strawberries from cookie sheet into a tight bag so contain Store up to 6 months

Taking advantage of seasonal produce by pre-freezing meals is an easy way to save time and money in the kitchen while still enjoying tasty dinners made from fresh ingredients. With just a little bit of planning and preparation, you can have delicious frozen meals ready whenever you need them!

Now go forth into your kitchen with confidence; pre-freezing meals has never been easier or tastier. Bon appetit!

By Chef Vanda

After more than two decades of experience as The Organic Personal Chef, I am now ready to share my knowledge with the new generation of personal chefs.

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