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Freezing Guide: Summer Vegetables

Prepping

Corn

Cut kernels from cobs. Blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes and drain. Chill in a bowl of ice water, drain and pat dry.

Okra

Choose 2- to 3-inch okra. Blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes and drain. Chillin a bowl of ice water, drain and pat dry.

String, Flat and Shell Beans

Remove strings and stems or pods. Blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes; drain. Chill in a bowl of ice water, drain and pat dry. Cut string and flat beans into 2-inch lengths.

Tomatoes

Peel, halve lengthwise and seed. Bake in a 300° oven, cut side down, on a baking sheet for 30 minutes. Turn over and bake 30 minutes longer. Let cool.

Zucchini

Choose 4- to 6-ounce zucchini. Cut crosswise 1/2 inch thick. Sprinkle with salt (2 teaspoons per pound of zucchini) and drain in a colander for 2 hours. Rinse and squeeze dry, then pat dry.

Freezing

Freeze in single layers on a baking sheet between sheets of wax paper until solid. Transfer the vegetables to small resealable plastic bags, press out air and seal.

Storing

According to the National Food Safety Database, you can keep frozen vegetables for up to a year—as long as your freezer maintains 0°. At higher temperatures, the Database recommends freezing vegetables for only 1 to 2 weeks.

Cooking

Use in soups, stews, sauces, casseroles, sautés. No need to thaw beforehand.

Published August 2000
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