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Freezing and Canning - Gourmet_Mom - 06-16-2008

I have been asking questions on another thread, and distracting everyone from the topic. So, I thought I'd start another thread to get advice for me and possibly others about what to do with our garden harvests.

Right now, I'm on tomatoes, peppers, and squashes.

The question was about freezing the peppers after roasting. Jean had asked if I was talking about peppers or tomatoes.

Yea, I was asking about roasting the peppers first. I'll either blanch and peel the tomatoes and freeze or make marinara and freeze.

That reminds me, I need to get some foodsaver bags.

Also, I think someone here mentioned earlier about briefly blanching squash slices, flash freezing, then bagging. Anybody got a better way?

Next is a green bean question. Have any of you every successfully frozen beans? I have never had frozen beans that cooked up with the right texture. My family has always canned them. Any comments? I've got a half a bushel to deal with, and that's just the first picking...LOL! (I only wanted a few hills, but SOMEBODY thought a whole row would be a good idea!)

Re: Freezing and Canning - Harborwitch - 06-16-2008

My mother used to chop bell peppers and onions and freeze them on cookie sheets and then bag them up so she could just dump out what she needed.

Re: Freezing and Canning - Gourmet_Mom - 06-16-2008

You know, I've bought bagged combos like that from the grocery store. I want to do some like that when the bells and onions get ready. So no blanching, just flash and bag? I'll probably rough chop and/or juilienne.

Re: Freezing and Canning - esgunn - 06-16-2008

I froze bell peppers. Just chopped and froze them in either 1/4 cup or 1/2 cup quantity. Worked great. I have not tried the roasted yet.

Tomatoes I either make roasted tomato sauce and freeze in foodsaver bags or make tomato chutney. YUMMY.

I tried to freeze green beans one year and we thought they were awful! I keep think I will try pickled/Dilled, but have not yet.

zuchini and summer squash I usuaaly shred and freeze for summer squash gratin or breads.

Re: Freezing and Canning - farnfam - 06-16-2008

We freeze green beans, we steam them for a few minutes first. Just till they turn very bright green, maybe 7-10 minutes? I think the frozen vs canned thing is just what you get used too. My family thinks canned are too mushy
With peppers we do like Erin, slice and freeze, no blanching needed.
Squash don't seem to freeze well, so if I'm going to freeze them I fry them first, with onions, or shred like Erin does.
Did you plant broccolli? That freezes well.
Empress for Life

Re: Freezing and Canning - Gourmet_Mom - 06-16-2008

I tried broccolli years ago in a small home garden and didn't have any luck. After last years TOTAL failure...late frost, replant....drought. I didn't try. Maybe next year.

Thanks everyone for the advice so far!

I think I may go the canning route with the beans. I figure I've got another day to get my ducks in a row. We like the "squishy" beans. They seem more "squishy" if cooked from frozen to us...and tough.

I'm a little discouraged about the squash. Wait, I just erased what I typed. Cis, your idea may work for how I want to use it. THANKS!

Keep the advice coming!!!!!

Re: Freezing and Canning - iBcookin - 06-17-2008

I have a food dehydrator that I use on the peppers. I chop, dry and store in quart jars. Works fine in a recipe that they can re-hydrate like a spaghetti sauce or a chili. Tomatoes I just process whole in the quart jars (and make tomato juice).

I am so jealous that you are picking and eating already. Here we were just celebrating the first picking of lettuce and spinach! And I am trying to figure out how to discourage the slugs that have moved in with the rains. Voracious little buggers!

Re: Freezing and Canning - cjs - 06-17-2008

All really good ideas for you (and all of us), Daphne. This year, I'm going back to canning tomatoes, but also, I like having fresh ones just frozen as is in a bag and pulling out for quick sauces. To me they have a much fresh flavor than the canned ones, but, I do like canned one for some things also.

Over the years, I've canned/frozen other veggies - beans, asparagus, corn, sauerkraut and we've found we just don't like the beans (green) and asparagus either way! So with both of these, we just depend on fresh throughout the year, just a personal preference.

I love to roast the corn and freeze - and after you cut the kernals off the cob, use the cob to make the most delicious corn stock and freeze that also.

Re: Freezing and Canning - Harborwitch - 06-17-2008

I canned corn ONCE! I even bought the "corn stripper" - there was corn and corn milk everywhere in the kitchen, and I had a huge kitchen! The girls and I still laugh about that!

I'm going to do tomatoes this year! Plus I'm going to get out my mother's dill pickle recipe and get my quart jars lined up for pickles. The Farmers' Market has the most beautiful pickling cukes!!

I've dehydrated peppers, mushrooms, etc. One year Bob built me beautiful drying racks for tomatoes - they were huge, and I think we had 3 of them. I'd lay out the thick tomato slices, cover the racks with cheese cloth (to keep the bugs out) and Bob would put them on the roof. We'd bring them in at night and turn them over and put them back on the roof in the morning. It only took 2 or 3 days.

Re: Freezing and Canning - esgunn - 06-17-2008

Jean, when you freeze the whole tomatoes, what do you do? Just put on a cookie sheet until frozen and put in a bag? Do you use a foodsaver bag or just a freezer bag?

I try and do corn every year and freeze it. It is so nice to have fresh frozen corn all year. It even works great in salads. I just cook on the cob about 4 minutes. Cool, then cut off and bag in the quantitiy I like (I think I do one cup) than freeze - remove to vacume the bag and put back in the freezer. I did so much last year I still have a lot left. Good thing, since the local corn won't come in until August.