Step Three: Steam blanch the vegetables by filling the wire mesh basket of a steamer with prepared produce. Set it over 1 to 2 inches of boiling water and cover the pot. Begin timing.
- Steam for 3-4 minutes: Asparagus, beans, cabbage, peas, bell peppers, summer squash, and zucchini.
- Steam 5-6 minutes: Broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, corn, eggplant, and okra.
- Steam 8-10 minutes: artichokes
- No steam necessary for onions, leeks, and garlic.
There are two ways to freeze fruit - a dry pack or floated in a sweet syrup. Since I use most of my frozen fruit for smoothies, I prefer to just wash the fruit and freeze it immediately in a plastic bag. If you are thawing your fruit and serving it or using it in a recipe, experts recommend floating your fruit in a syrup and then freezing it. This method will preserve the taste and appearance of your fruit. An easy syrup to make is 1 cup of honey or agave to 4 cups of hot water. Let the syrup cool to room temperature. As you pack your fruit in bags or glass jars, fill to just cover the fruit with the honey/agave syrup.
- Vegetables will last about 10 months
- Fruits will last about 8-12 months
- Citrus Fruits will last about 4-6 months
For more information on freezing foods and how to avoid nutrient loss see Tuesday's post by clicking here.