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Vast subject. Methods vary for different veg. Some are not sucessful. Much, much better in my experience to eat all you can fresh and leave freezing veg to to the professionals. I know lots on this board will disagree, but fresh vegetables are never nasty, veg out of the freezer can be.
smada_1 wrote (see)
How do you freeze veg?
As Welshonion says, the methods vary, but just about always involve blanching in boiling water. Vegies contain enzymes that aid their maturing process. Freezing alone doesn't deactivate the enzymes and frozen raw vegies will continue to mature and (eventually) deteriorate even if at a slower rate. Blanching in boiling water effectively stuns the enzymes into inactivity meaning the veg should be - as it were - frozen in time.
After blanching, the veg has to be plunged into iced water to chill them, to stop them cooking. Then it's a matter of drying them completely, bagging them - removing as much air from the bag as you can - and freezing them, ideally as rapidly as possible.
The professionals work on an industrial scale with instant blanching, instant chilling, instant drying and snap-freezing. Home freezing doesn't produce the same results but I do it quite a lot with a more than satisfactory outcome.
Runner beans are so easy. Slice them thinly on the diagonal, as you would to prepare them to cook straight away, and place them on a plastic tray (I use lids of plastic food storage boxes) in a thin layer. Carefully put them in the coldest part of the freezer, to freeze as quickly as possible, and after a few hours take them out and tip into freezer bags. Because they've frozen in a single layer they remain separate, so you can pour out just as much as you need for each meal, just like supermarket veg. You can freeze prepared beans every few days and just add them to the one freezer bag. I've also used this method for blackberries and raspberries - I think you may run into problems with watery fruit and veg such as courgettes, and it's better to keep prepared pieces small so that they freeze more quickly. I've never bothered with blanching, or sucking air out of the bag (although I do squeeze out as much as I can), and the food always tastes as good as the day it was frozen. Try it!
i am with you peta on not blanching.. i do carrots and peas the same way.. and just add to the bags as you go.. they dont seem to taste different form when i first harvested them.. swede is also good one to freeze.. dont blanch it..
the only one i cant seem to do is broccolli.. so have given up trying to freeze that one..