It is pile it into your freezer season. As your garden turns from the perfect amount to the wholy smokes what do I do will all of this stuff. Your alarm clock is ringing and it’s time to roll up your sleeves.
Even if fruit and veggie smoothies are only an occasional thing, packing away your produce (or your neighbors excess you graciously volunteer to harvest) is homegrown love that will be used to nourish and improve heath.
What should you start freezing now?
TOMATOES - DON’T PARBOIL – quarter, freeze, bag and smile. You can triple layer these babies, they don’t stick together too badly. Stay tuned, I have an amazing tomato soup recipe you will adore I will post when things get cooler. Each recipe takes ½ of a one gallon bag of quartered tomatoes. All 5 of us DIG this soup!!!! Think cheap, easy, full of love and goodness.
SUMMER SQUASH - the GIANT zucchini, bumpy and huge crook neck and space ship sized patty pan. Simply cut into chunks, freeze, bag and smile. We only use the squash in smoothies. It is an excellent “extender” that takes up space in the blender, your families bellies and keeps more moola in your pocket.
KALE – if you missed the sweet post regarding the kale hack read all about it here. De-stem, bag (leave the top open so the moisture can escape), freeze overnight and crush into perfectly chopped pieces.
PEACHES- Keep the skin on, it’s where most of the phytonutrients hang out and you want that goodness in your body. Your blender will obliterate it into smoothness. Slice, place on a tray with a silpat - single layer works best if you want to get them apart without an ax, but I have been known to go 2 layers deep - freeze, bag and smile.
PEARS – slice, core, freeze, bag and smile.
PLUMS- just score around the pit in quarters and pull it from the pit. I’ve also cut them like a mango around the pit but hubby convinced me quartering them was faster. Shhh, he was right. Gulp.
BLACKBERRIES – place on a tray with a silpat, freeze, bag and GRIN. LOVE BLACKBERRIES!
5 Favorite freezer tips:
- Keep a record of it over the course of the year. It helps you know what you are using and how fast you use it up. This helps you focus your energy the following year helping you better gage what you need more of, what you had too much of and how soon you ran out.
- Gives you an idea from year to year how much you use – this year there isn’t an apricot in sight due to an exceptionally warm winter, mild spring and then some freezing cold hail storms that destroyed the crop. I know I need to pack away at least 125-150 pounds of something else to replace that lost ingredient….you bet zucchini will be part of that equation!
- $ you will be able to put a dollar figure to the list to help validate the days when sweat drips places it shouldn’t or when you are sick of cutting, bagging, freezing and stacking
- Berries that have been rinsed before freezing - tip the cookie sheet at an angle and absorb excess water with a towel or paper towel at the low-point corner. Your berries will last longer if they are not enrobed in ice.
- Stack like items together. Easier to unbury in a chest style freezer even with an upright it is easier to find what you need when friends are stacked together.
Freezing everything in sight will help make a daily fruit and veggie smoothie affordable, improve the health of anyone you can convince to drink one and it’s uber satisfying to know you rock because you work your can off to make things better for your team.
If you want more information regarding freezing, check out the FREEZE IT! tab on my homepage.