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Freezing Vegetables

Vegetables can add a significant amount of nutrients and vitamins to our diet. Incorporating vegetables in every meal can be a great way to assure you are following the MyPlate guidelines. Since it can be difficult to keep vegetables fresh for a long period of time, people tend to lean towards canned and frozen options to eliminate the number of trips to the store. Consuming any type of vegetable is great for a balanced diet, but it would be nice to extend the time vegetables stay fresh in our homes.

One of the most common ways to ensure you can consume your fresh vegetables year-round is by preserving them in a safe and high-quality manner. There are several ways to be successful with this process. The most common method is blanching which involves steaming or scalding the vegetables for a short period of time in boiling water. Usually, this process is completed in a large kettle with a basket and lid. Steam blanching is similar yet takes a little longer to complete. This cleans the dirt and toxic organisms from the vegetables while also softening them.

Certain vegetables are going to taste better and hold better depending on if they are blanched in boiling water or steam. Vegetables such as beans, asparagus, and broccoli do better when they are blanched in boiling water. On the other hand, vegetables such as squash and sprouts do better with steam blanching. The cooling process for blanching is to plunge the vegetables into cold water as soon as possible to stop the cooking process. Be sure to drain any extra moisture from the vegetables before packing and freezing.
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