Freezing produce for future use will be a time and money saver!
Right now produce is beginning to be in full bloom in the grocery stores and farmer’s market signs are popping up here and there. Summer means I always buy too much fresh produce. I use most of it, eating it raw or cooking with it, but there are times I just don’t need that entire bag of carrots that was on sale for a buck. Or my recipe doesn’t call for an onion that big, so I’m stuck with left over. Or my neighbor drops off extra vegetables from her overabundant garden. Or, the true fact that things get buried in my refrigerator and forgotten.
One of my favorite things to do is to freeze a few items to have for slow cooker meals in the fall. Or on a random Sunday night I plan ahead and toss something into the crock pot for dinner on Monday. Highly unlikely, but on occasion it happens.
Carrots, celery and onions are three items I always cut up when freezing produce. These items always seem to be on sale and I always nab them when they are. I don’t use anything fancy in terms of storage bags, I use plain old Ziplock sandwich bags. I like the smaller bags, vs large quart or gallon bags, because they are more manageable and I can stash them into my freezer better.
Once a month or so, I grab a cutting board, favorite knife and my bags and go to town. I slice the carrots and celery pretty small and dice my onions. I love using that onion holder to create perfectly diced onions every time. Plus my hand doesn’t get all stinky. Toss them into the bag and fill it halfway full. Remove the air, seal it up and freeze. You can also pre-measure your produce if you’d like.
When you’re ready to use your vegetables, they work best for slow cooker and baked dishes. I bang the bag onto the counter to break apart the frozen veggies and toss them into the dish. I never thaw them. I never worry about how they are frosty. Toss and go is how I roll!
What will you make with your frozen produce?