Is the garden producing more vegetables than you can use right now, or have you been tempted by the beautiful produce at the farmers market? Here is a quick “how to” on blanching vegetables for the freezer.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a small amount of produce (typically a quart or less) to the pot. When the water returns to a boil, set your timer. If you use a colander or metal basket you can place the vegetables into the boiling water easily and remove them quickly when the timer rings. Next, plunge the vegetables into cold or ice water for at least as long as the blanching time. This step will stop the cooking process. Drain the vegetables, package them, and freeze. Remember to use freezer containers or bags and not storage bags. The freezer bags and containers are not permeable to the air in the freezer and will protect your vegetables until you are ready to eat them.
Hint: If you want to have “free flowing” vegetables like those you buy at the store, freeze the vegetables on a tray or cookie sheet overnight and then place them in the freezer bags.
Blanching time for vegetables varies with the type of vegetable. This link will take you to the University of Georgia’s website—The National Center for Home Food Preservation. This page has a lengthy list of vegetables and the appropriate blanching time for each.