Chill Out: 8 Unexpected Fruits & Veggies You Can Freeze
We’re big on not letting anything go to waste in our kitchens. Our secret weapon? Taking full advantage of our freezers.
We’ve talked about freezing obvious things like fruits for smoothies and blanched veggies for later use. We’ve even talked about freezing our scraps for stock. But there are a few unexpected fruits and veggies that you may not realize can be frozen as well. The key is to be honest with yourself about how likely you will or won’t use something and then get a jump on saving it before it’s too late.
A wonderful outcome of this is that in freezing many of these items now, it will eventually save you time in the future, because you’ll have ingredients that are already prepped and ready to be used when you do have time to cook.
Unless you regularly cook with ginger, that one piece you bought for that one dish can have a tendency to sit and shrivel up. Before you know it, you’re left with a moldy piece ready for the bin. Instead, toss the whole thing, peeled or unpeeled, into the freezer. The next time you need to use it, simply start grating, there’s no need to thaw it out.
Prepping onions ahead of time can make cooking a quick, weeknight dinner even easier. Simply peel, chop and store them until your ready to throw them into your next dish.
Pro tip: If storing in a freezer bag, use a chopstick or the dull side of a knife to press indentations into the bag midway through the freezing process to create estimated portions. These will act as score lines later when it is time to cook so that you can easily break off how much you need for your recipe.
Before your garlic starts to dry out or begin to grow green shoots, you can freeze it in any of its forms – as individual cloves, whole bulbs, chopped or minced. It will last for several months when stored properly.
Make fresh herbs last longer by chopping them up into ice cube trays and then covering each cube with a little water, stock or oil to help hold it together. Pop a frozen cube into dressings, marinades, soups or sauces whenever you want a little added flavor.
Corn on the Cob
When corn on the cob is picked fresh, you can throw the whole ear (husk and silk intact) into a container in the freezer. If you suspect the corn has been sitting for a while, you should peel and blanch it first prior to freezing. The blanching process should take anywhere between 7 - 11 minutes depending on the size.
Frozen grapes are the perfect summer snack, and make great substitutions for ice cubes in drinks. To freeze, after washing and drying them, spread them out evenly on a baking sheet then store them in your preferred container after about 3 - 4 hours.
Freeze portions of lemon or lime juice in ice cube trays for future marinades, dressings and sauces. Peel strips of citrus rinds with a vegetable peeler or freeze grated peels for the next time you want to add a little zest to a dish.
Frozen mashed avocado works great in guacamole or smoothies. Be sure to add a little lemon or lime juice before freezing to help prevent it from browning and pack it in an airtight container.