Conventional wisdom is that fresh vegetables must be blanched to keep their garden fresh taste.
Yet, there are exceptions.
Here is a list of several vegetables that don’t require blanching – or scalding vegetables in boiling water – before they are stored in the freezer (especially if they will not be frozen for extensive periods of time).
- Bell Peppers and Chili Peppers-Rinse and cut into halves. Remove seeds. Whole bell peppers with the caps removed and cored can be frozen for future stuffing recipes. Bags of diced peppers can be frozen for future use in chili, casseroles, quiches and omelets.
- Leeks —Rinse leeks. Remove tops, base and outer leaves. Slice and freeze in storage bags.
- Onions —Peel onions first. Onions can be frozen in freezer bags, whole, sliced or diced for future convenience.
- Tomatoes —Whole tomatoes of any size can be frozen without peeling or slicing. Lay tomatoes on a baking sheet and place into the freezer until frozen solid. Transfer frozen tomatoes to freezer bags until ready to use in cooking.
- Zucchini — Shredded zucchini does not require blanching. Pick zucchini before it grows too large, rinse and grate with the skins on. Measure the amount and note on the freezer bag label. Grated zucchini can be used to make zucchini bread and squash puppies.
Deborah Tukua is a natural living, healthy lifestyle writer and author of 7 non-fiction books, including Pearls of Garden Wisdom: Time-Saving Tips and Techniques from a Country Home, Pearls of Country Wisdom: Hints from a Small Town on Keeping Garden and Home, and Naturally Sweet Blender Treats. Tukua has been a writer for the Farmers' Almanac since 2004.