Well, we’ve got a fair bit of food preservation to get through today. Our broccoli, kohlrabi and komatsuna are all ready to get put up. With temperatures in the Interior pushing mid-80’s, there was no way we were going to do that preservation indoors!
But, this goes to show that the blanch and freeze technique that we talk about every year is incredibly flexible. We love blanch and freeze because it maintains the texture, nutrition and taste of our foods exceptionally well, probably better than any other preservation technique we practice.
The short gist of blanch and freeze is that you blanch your veggies for a very short time, with the time varying based on the veggie and preparation. From there, you arrest the cooking in ice water, dry them and pack them away in ziplock bags for freezing. There’s a bit that goes into it to meet food safety aspects and we follow the University of Minnesota’s extension service guidelines on the topic. We also put together an in-depth article on the subject this year, which you’ll find linked in the comments.
One of the most important things we’ve learned over the years of growing and preserving foods is that the selection of your preservation technique should be well aligned with your eating preferences. We’d buy and use frozen veggies if we didn’t make them ourselves, so it’s exceptionally well suited to our personal preferences. Canning is great and all, but it’s suitable to certain things and not others.
Our “grand plan” this year is to make up some ready-to-go stir fry veggie packs with all sorts of things from our gardens. We’re processing each veggie separately and then will combine them together into final bags on some crummy weather day in the future. This is a great way to deal with various harvests becoming available at different times.
We’re just getting started with putting up our harvest for the year, but it’s good to get a bit further down the path. Looking forward to another winter, well stocked with our home grown foods, packed full of their natural vitamins and nutrients!