Michigan State University Extension
Preserving Food Safely - 01600513


  The  best  vegetables for freezing  are fresh, tender  and
straight from the garden.  The fresher  the  vegetables  are
when frozen, the more satisfactory the frozen product.      

FIRST STEPS                                                 
  Wash  vegetables thoroughly in cold water.  Lift them  out
of the water as grit settles to the bottom of the pan.      

  Sort vegetables according to size for heating and  packing
unless they are to be cut into pieces of uniform size.      

  Peel, trim  and cut  into  pieces,  as  directed  for each

HEATING BEFORE PACKING                                      
  An important step in preparing vegetables for freezing  is
heating  or "blanching" before packing.    Practically   all
vegetables,  except  green peppers,  maintain better quality
in frozen storage if blanched before packing.               

  The  reason  for blanching vegetables before  freezing  is
that  it stops the action of enzymes.   Up until  the   time
vegetables  are  ready to pick, enzymes help them  grow  and
mature.   After that they cause overripening, loss of flavor
and  color  changes.   If  vegetables are  not  sufficiently
blanched,  the enzymes continue to be active  during  frozen
storage.  The vegetables may develop off-flavors,  discolor,
or  toughen so that they  may  be  unappetizing  after a few
weeks of freezer storage.                                   

  Blanching also wilts  and  softens  vegetables which makes
them  easier  to  pack.  Blanching  time   varies  with  the
vegetable and size of pieces.                               

  To blanch                                                 
  For home  freezing, the most  satisfactory  way to  blanch
blanch  vegetables is in  boiling water.  A blancher,  which
has a blanching basket and cover will make the  job easy.  A
wire  basket  fitted  into  a  large  kettle (and  lid) will
substitute for a blancher.                                  

  For  each  pound of prepared vegetables, use  at  least  1
gallon  of  boiling water in the blancher  or  kettle.   Put
vegetables in a blanching basket or wire basket and lower it
into the boiling water.  A wire cover for the basket can  be
used to keep the vegetables down in the boiling water.      

  Put  the lid on the blancher or kettle and start  counting
blanching time  immediately.    Keep  heat  high  for   time
given   in directions  for vegetable you are freezing.      

  After vegetables are heated they should be cooled  quickly
and thoroughly to stop the cooking.                         

  To   cool   blanched  vegetables, plunge  the   basket  of
vegetables immediately into  a  large quantity  of  ice cold
water.   Change water  frequently so that is stays ice cold.
It will take about as long to cool  the food  as  it did  to
blanch it.  When the vegetable  is  cool, remove it from the
water and drain thoroughly.                                 

Go To Top of File        MSU Extension Home Page        Main Page for this Data Base

This information is for educational purposes only. References to commercial products or trade names does not imply endorsement by MSU Extension or bias against those not mentioned. This information becomes public property upon publication and may be printed verbatim with credit to MSU Extension. Reprinting cannot be used to endorse or advertise a commercial product or company. This file was generated from data base 01 on 03/09/98. Data base 01 was last revised on 10/13/97. For more information about this data base or its contents please contact . Please read our disclaimer for important information about using our site.