Freezing Vegetables

I got a big stash of vegetables yesterday (Tomatoes, Summer Squash, Eggplant, cucumbers and green peppers) and decided to freeze most as it was ripe and would not last in the refrigerator and I just can’t stand letting fresh veggies go to waste.

I am going to make spaghetti sauce from the tomatoes and peppers, but needed to freeze the squash and eggplant.  So I went on line and did my homework and found that both vegetables required blanching before freezing.  It was time consuming, as you need to blanch them in small batches and  pre-freeze them to keep them from sticking together.

So I washed the squash and eggplant and then sliced the squash and blanched it for 3 minutes, immediately immersed in ice water to stop the cooking and cool, then drained.  Then I spread a layer on a cookie sheet and put in the freezer for 45 minutes.  I repeated this with two additional cookie sheets, with spacers placed in between them in the freezer.  After 45 minutes, I removed the cookie sheets, placed the partially frozen squash slices in a ziploc bag and ended up with a gallon sized bag full.

The eggplant required a little more work.  First I washed, cut both ends off and peeled.  Then I sliced into thin slices.  A 1/2 cup of lemon juice was added to the blanching pot and the slices were blanched in small batches for 4 minutes.  I followed the same procedure as the squash after the blanching except instead of filling a ziploc bag, I laid them in the bag in layers with plastic wrap between each layer of slices to keep the slices from sticking together and make it easy to take out a small amount at a time.

Tomorrow I’ll tackle the tomatoes and make spaghetti sauce.

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