Freezing produce is an easy way to make your groceries (and budget) go further and here we will share 5 tips to make produce last longer. So, when you see a great sale on berries or broccoli you should buy because buying and freezing can give you delicious produce no matter what time of year without having to follow Mother Nature’s schedule.
You always want to eat a rainbow of colors from the produce section so take advantage of the sales when you can!
Freezing should happen at the peak of freshness in order to guarantee the highest quality and best flavor after thawing.
Remove as much oxygen from the container as possible when storing your frozen goods.
Label your frozen foods. Don’t forget to include the date, type of food, number of servings and any additional identifying information.
When freezing delicate, high-moisture fruits, try completely freezing them in a single layer before moving them to an airtight container.
Before heading to the freezer, blanch veggies quickly in boiling water, followed by a dip in an ice bath.
Here is a delicious, simple way to use your frozen fruit:
Strawberry Banana Popsicles
- 1 large banana frozen
- 12 strawberries fresh or frozen
- ½ cup almond milk
- Put all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour the mixture into popsicle molds and put in the freezer until frozen, about 8 hours.
Tips for roasted or air fryer frozen vegetables:
Making roasted or air fryer frozen vegetables is a great way to turn what could be a soft and mushy vegetable into something delicious and healthy. Make your favorite vegetables like broccoli, carrots, green beans, asparagus, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. Since frozen vegetables have more moisture, they won’t get as brown, crispy and caramelized as fresh but they will definitely be tasty. They will also be slightly softer but will still taste so much better than cooking them in the microwave, steamer or boiling water.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F: This key to get crispy frozen vegetables. You will need a really hot oven and you also want to preheat the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet right in the oven as the oven preheats so it gets nice and hot. This will help to roast the frozen vegetables immediately as they hit the pan. The high temperature helps the liquid evaporate more quickly, helping the vegetables to brown.
- Preheat the air fryer to 400°: Be sure the unit is preheated before beginning so your basket is well heated.
- Toss the vegetables with oil and seasoning: You will need to use oil to make sure the frozen vegetables can roast. Make sure they are well coated in oil and then add any seasoning you like. Cooking spray is helpful, but you also want to use actual oil – be sure it’s a healthy oil like olive, coconut, avocado or sesame.
- Spread out on baking sheet or basket: One of the most important steps is spreading the vegetables out in a single layer on the baking sheet or air fryer basket with some space. If they are overcrowded or on top of each other, they won’t roast or brown.
- Roast until browned and cooked: Roast for anywhere from about 12 minutes for a quick-cooking vegetable like zucchini to around 30 minutes for butternut squash, flipping the vegetables a couple of times while they cook. In general, frozen vegetables take about 20 minutes to roast in an air fryer. Some air fryers require longer or shorter cooking times, so adjust this general guideline as needed. If the vegetables stick to the pan or basket, they aren’t ready to be flipped. They are ready when they are browned on the edges and cooked through. Finish with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar for some extra flavor.
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