My friend Megan, from NEPA Mom is visiting today. – As a mom of five, I have to be smart when it comes to my food budget, and I am always looking for ways to trim it. However, with growing kids I also have to make sure I feed my family healthy and filling meals on a budget without sacrificing taste. The way I do that is to stock up and prepare food during the late summer and early fall so I can serve them all winter long.
I love the Farmer’s Market and the rows and rows of fresh produce, vegetables, and baked goods. My kids love it too. They enjoy picking out all their favorites – what better way to get your kids to eat fruits and veggies than letting them pick out their own? Plus by purchasing from the Farmer’s Market you know that the produce you are buying was picked at its peak freshness so it is healthy for you.
Here is how to freeze fruits and vegetables:
- Purchase your produce from your Farmer’s Market or grocery store.
- Chop your food to desired size and shape. For instance, I cut my peppers into strips so they the perfect size for stir fry. When buying beans I snap the ends off.
- Many sites recommend washing your produce before freezing, but I don’t wash my produce because I don’t want it to get freezer burn or get soggy. When I am ready to use my produce I wash it in cold water and that helps it also defrost quickly.
- Once you have your produce cut up into desired shape lay it on a cookie sheet in a single layer and place it in the freezer for 15-20 minutes. This will keep the food from sticking together.
- Place items in a Ziploc Bag and place in freezer.
Some of my favorites to freeze are strawberries, blueberries, peppers, green beans, and corn. I stock up on them and then I have farm fresh produce at my fingertips even when they are out of season. I know that I am feeding my family the best I can, it saves me unnecessary trips to the grocery store – that saves me both time and money and I always have the ingredients for a wonderful meal ready to go.
When you chose to freeze fresh produce you know that you will have lots of healthy nutritious meals all winter. Freezing may change the texture of your vegetable slightly but you will find that they work great in cooking and baking with no loss of flavor.
What will you freeze for your family this fall?
**Heather’s Note: Many preserving sites recommend cleaning and blanching your produce before freezing to kill any enzymes that may break down the produce over time, even in the freezer. There are several that I have frozen without following those guidelines without any issue but I do want you to know this is the reasoning behind it.**