PRODUCE PREPARATION/STORAGE BLANCHING TIME COOKING TIME
(FROM FROZEN)

Asparagus

Wash thoroughly, cut off woody parts and grade by thickness. Trim to even lengths; blanch, cool in ice water for 5 minutes and drain. Tie in bundles and store in rigid containers, laying adjacent bundles tips to stalks. Separate layers with parchment paper. Thin stems:
2 minutes
Thick stems:
4 minutes
5 to 8 minutes (depending on thickness)
Beans Remove tops and tails. Wash and cut into 1-inch pieces. Blanch, cool in ice water for 5 minutes, drain thoroughly and dry. Store in plastic bags. 3 to 4 minutes 5 minutes
Beets Freeze only young, small beets about 3 inches across. Wash carefully without breaking skins; boil in water until tender. Cool under cold running water, then rub off skins. Slice or dice, then store in rigid, lined containers with 1/4-inch headspace. Store for no more than 8 months. Thaw at room temperature in containers and drain
Broccoli Trim off leaves and woody stems; wash thoroughly in salted water. Divide into sprigs. Blanch, cool in ice water for 5 minutes, drain and dry. Store in cartons, tops to tails, and separate layers with parchment paper. 3 minutes 5 to 8 minutes
Brussels sprouts Choose small, firm heads of uniform size. Remove outer leaves, wash and blanch. Cool in ice water for same amount of time as blanching, then drain and dry. Store in plastic bags. 3 to 4 minutes
(depending on size)
8 minutes
Cabbage
(Green & Red)
Freeze only young, crisp cabbages. Discard outer leaves. Wash and shred roughly. Blanch, cool, drain and dry. Store in plastic bags. 1-1/2 minutes 8 minutes
(use within 6 months)

Carrots

Use young carrots for best results. Remove tops, trim roots and wash. Peel if necessary. Blanch whole or sliced, cool, drain and dry. Place in rigid containers with 1/4-inch headspace. Small, whole:
5 minutes
Diced, sliced or lengthwise strips:
2 minutes
8 minutes
Cauliflower Choose only firm, white cauliflower. Break into small florets of uniform size, wash and blanch; add several drops of lemon juice to water to preserve color. Cool, drain and dry thoroughly. Store in rigid containers, separating the layers with parchment paper. 3 minutes 8 to 10 minutes
(use within 6 months)

Peas

Shell young garden peas and grade according to size. Blanch, cool quickly in ice water for 5 minutes, drain and dry. Leave sugar snap peas in pods and blanch. Store garden peas in plastic bags; store sugar snap peas in rigid containers with 1/4-inch headspace. Garden peas:
1 to 2 minutes
Sugar snap peas:
2 to 4 minutes
7 minutes
Peppers
(Bell & Sweet)
Select crisp, tender fruits. Wash, cut in half, remove stems and seeds; if desired, cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips or rings. Blanch, cool, drain and seal in plastic bags. Halves:
3 minutes
Strips or rings:
2 minutes
Several minutes

Spinach

Trim stalks, wash thoroughly and drain. Blanch in small portions, cool quickly and squeeze out surplus moisture. Store in rigid containers with 1/4-inch headspace. 2 minutes 7 minutes

Squash, Winter
(Including Pumpkins)

Wash, peel and cut in half. Scrape out seeds and strings; cut flesh into cubes. Steam, bake or boil until tender. Drain and leave in chunks or mash to a puree. When cool, store in rigid containers, leaving 1-inch headspace. Thaw at room temperature for about 2 hours.

Sweet Corn

Freeze only young cobs with pale yellow kernels. Strip off husks and tassels, and trim the stalks close. Blanch a few cobs at a time. Cool, drain and dry. Wrap each cob in aluminum foil, then pack in plastic bags or containers and freeze. Alternatively, scrape the kernels from the blanched cobs and store in rigid containers with 1/4-inch headspace. Small:
4 minutes
Medium:
6 minutes
Thaw completely, which takes 3 to 4 hours at room temperature, then boil for 5 to 10 minutes.

Tomatoes

May be frozen whole, but only if used for cooking later. Best frozen as a puree or juice. To freeze whole, wipe small ripe tomatoes and store in plastic bags. To puree, wash and quarter the tomatoes, simmer for 5 minutes and rub through a nylon sieve. Cool and place in rigid containers with 1/4-inch headspace. To prepare juice, wipe and core the tomatoes, cut in quarters and simmer for 10 minutes. Peel and put through a sieve, season with salt and store in rigid containers with 1-inch headspace. Thaw whole tomatoes in container, slip off skins and use in cooked dishes. Use puree in frozen form in sauces, soups and casseroles. Thaw juice in container and serve chilled.
Turnips May be frozen blanched or cooked and mashed. Trim roots and tops from young turnips. Peel, dice and blanch. Alternatively, cook peeled and quartered turnips until tender, then drain and mash. Cool and store in rigid containers with 1/4-inch headspace. 2 minutes Cook frozen diced turnips for 8 minutes. Heat partially thawed mashed turnips in a double boiler with butter.

Zucchini

Trim ends from firm young zucchini, wash and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Blanch, cool, drain and dry. Alternatively, fry slices in a little butter and cool quickly. Store in rigid containers, separating the layers with parchment paper and leaving 1/4-inch headspace. 1 minute Thaw partially and fry in butter.



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