Healthy fruit and vegetables (when eaten in moderate amounts) is a nutritious all-star product: it’s filled with essential nutrients, plus fiber and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. And the good thing is, frozen fruit and vegetables have the same advantages as well.
How to Freeze Fresh Vegetables and Fruits?
That’s when they taste the greatest and cost considerably less when fruits and vegetables are in season. That’s why it’s a smart thing to consider how to freeze vegetables and fruit appropriately so that even after the season is over, you may experience their taste and freshness.
It is easy to move blanched leafy greens to freezer bins right away, but on a sheet pan is the perfect way to preserve all other vegetables. Roll them out in a single layer in order not to touch the bits. Thaw until it is solid. The vegetables can be moved to the storage unit of your choosing until they are frozen.
Freezer Safe Container
Resealable ice bags, disposable deli containers, and glass containers with enclosed lids are the safest choices to find. Any wide-mouth canning pots, just make sure to read the tag and allow an inch of open space at the end, are suitable for freezing. When frozen, liquids spread, so the possibility of using glass containers that are not freezer-safe is that they might break.
Ice Cubes for Herbs
More fragile than hearty vegetables, new herbs are vulnerable to freezer-burn. For the task, ice cube trays are great. Mince the herbs as thinly as you can and fill around 3⁄4 of the way full with your container. To better retain taste, top the herbs off with olive oil, but water helps, too. Freeze until solid, then move the cubes of frozen herbs to a jar for preservation.
Place it in air-tight containers or ice bags until the stock is frozen tight. Load up to the top of hard-sided containers and drain as much air from freezer bags as possible. Make sure the products are marked.
Are Frozen Fruits Healthy?
Practically speaking, freezing helps to preserve the fruits and vegetables’ nutritional content. However, as frozen produce is preserved for longer than a year, certain nutrients tend to break down. Mostly during the defrosting process, some nutrients are also lacking. Currently, at this time, the largest lack of nutrients happens.
Before freezing, blanching occurs and involves putting the product for a short period, usually a few minutes, in hot or boiling water.
This does not extend, nevertheless, to frozen fruits that do not undergo blanching. Based on the type of vegetable and the duration of blanching, the degree of nutrient depletion differs. Generally, casualties vary from 10% to 80%, with an estimate of about 50%.
One study showed that blanching decreased the activity of water-soluble antioxidants in peas by 30 percent and 50 percent in spinach. Nevertheless, temperatures remained stable at -4 ° F, or -20 ° C during storage.
Bottom line, Blanching results in the reduction of vitamin C, B-vitamins, and antioxidants. After freezing, nonetheless, nutrient levels remain somewhat constant.
Fruits and Vegetable
Begin by peeling and slicing the bananas to the size you prefer. On a parchment-lined baking tray or pan, put the pieces in a single layer, and freeze it.
Slice into pieces where no peeling is needed, then soak the sliced peaches for 5 minutes before freezing in a lemon juice bath.
Mast the strawberries: In a circular pattern, cut across the base to extract the stem and the bit below before freezing.
Before you freeze them, do not bother about washing the berries; just put them in their original containers, in sealed plastic bags, and stack them on your refrigerator shelf.
With a strip of parchment paper, line a baking sheet, and place the apple bits or slices on the parchment so that they don’t reach each other, then freeze it.
Wash the avocado thoroughly while the skin is still on. Then slice the fruit in half, peel it, place it in a plastic container (ziploc bag) and freeze it.
You only have to take the ends off, slice them into your preferred sizes, rinse them, and freeze them.
In a hot water, lower the peeled ears, and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Take a big bowl of water and let it chill for several minutes before you can handle it. Cut the kernels off the cobs, spoon them into freezer bags and drain as much air as you can.
The stem and core must be taken away by cleaning and drying the tomatoes. Break the tomatoes into slices or smaller cuts (if preferred) and put, flesh side down, on a baking sheet.
In an ice water pan let the zucchini cool for 2 minutes and then rinse it. With a clean cloth, dry the zucchini and put it on a baking sheet, and arrange it in the freezer.
Place the broccoli in a thin layer on a plate tray or sheet lined with parchment paper. Put in the freezer for 1 to 2 hours before fully solid. Switch to a reusable tub or reusable ice bag until frozen.
Place the potatoes on a baking tray in a much even layer, make sure they do not reach each other and freeze for 6 to 12 hours before they’re firm. Next, move the potatoes and freeze them in an airtight ziplock bag.
Cut the green stems and vigorously wash the carrots. Fill around 2/3 of a broad stockpot bucket of water and bring to a simmer. Scoop the carrots out quickly and immediately chill them in an ice water pan. Place meal-sized pieces in ziplock bags and drain the carrots well.
If you like the rows or bits of asparagus to stay loose and not bind tightly (so you can measure what you will need exactly). Spread the blanched asparagus over the parchment paper in a single coat.
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Do Frozen Fruits Lose Nutrients?
Many frozen fruits maintain much of their freshness, but during their journey from the farm to the fridge, certain varieties eventually lose a certain nutrient. Fruits with high moisture content, such as watermelon and citrus fruits, when thawed, could become slimy or pulpy. The ice particles punch into cell walls while the water between them freezes to render the fruit soft; any formula that calls for healthy, firm fruit will not fit well with the freezer’s defrosted fruit.
Frozen product, on the other hand, is typically selected at the ripening level, which suggests that before being selected it had more time to grow its nutritional content. The produce is cleaned and easily frozen until harvested. And this fast freezing helps preserve the levels of nutrients. There’s always a risk, nevertheless, that those nutrients could be missed. For example, fruits and vegetables are normally blanched until freezing, which can lead to a drop in the intake of nutrients that are water-soluble, including vitamin C and B vitamins.
Similarly, you remove some fiber and potentially tiny quantities of micronutrients by cutting the peel of fruits. It’s also been observed that all frozen fruits and vegetables display a further depletion of water-soluble nutrients after a year or more of freezing.
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Do Frozen Fruits Retain Their Antioxidants?
Plant foods’ antioxidant activity (AOA) is recognized as an indicator of the possible health benefits arising from their ingestion. Plant foods are mostly eaten or used as finished goods due to their high wastage and variability, and freezing is one of the methods used for the processing of high-quality foods.
Cell breakdowns that occur during freezing and frozen preservation, however, can contribute to the burst and deterioration of antioxidant compounds due to microbial and biochemical oxidation reactions, and may thus have lower antioxidant activity relative to the related fresh product. In this sense, process conditions, before the freezing and the use of cryoprotectants can reduce the amount of harm caused by freezing and retain the antioxidant activity of plant foods, especially in fruits.
More interesting information about frozen fruits and vegetables HERE.
How Can You Use Frozen Fruits & Vegetables?
Without any type of frozen fruit or vegetables, few freezers are available in the market. That’s a good thing since frozen fruit for both sweet and savory dishes is extremely nutritious (unless it’s filled with sugar or syrup) and endlessly flexible in the kitchen. Here are the things you can do with frozen fruits and vegetables.
Ice Cream or Sorbet
To produce a smooth puree, purée frozen fruit in a food processor or blender with sufficiently orange juice (for sorbet) or fat-free dairy (for sherbet). Freeze until they’re solid. Purée (again) right before cooking in a food processor.
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For your beloved lemonade or liqueur, add frozen fruit, or cucumber to it. Add vodka for a cocktail variant. Add frozen fruit to the red wine to create sangria; add a little more seltzer if preferred.
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Mix the frozen fruit with the yogurt, milk, or orange juice, or frozen vegetables with lemon juice in a blender and mix until smooth. (No need for ice).
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Saute and add dried herbs such as oregano, thyme, chili flakes, cayenne pepper, cardamom, and curry powder to the frozen fruit or vegetables with sautéed onions and garlic. Just before eating, put some white wine or chicken broth and boil until the mixture reduces; add fresh garlic, basil, or chives.
In a deep baking dish, place the defrosted frozen fruit or vegetables. Spray the top with 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar. Cover with buttermilk biscuits that are refrigerated. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 375, until the crackers are golden brown.
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Saute the frozen fruit or vegetables with the sliced yellow onion, the smoked paprika, the chopped jalapeño, the brown sugar, and the spice of the apple cider; boil until as smooth as the preserved fruit (if the cooked mixture became too heavy, add broth or water).
In a processor with fresh lemon flavoring juice, excellent olive oil, Balsamic vinegar, and fresh herbs such as parsley and pepper, purée defrosted frozen fruit or vegetables. For an onion aroma, incorporate chives, shallots, or scallions. Chicken, seafood, shellfish, and pork can be marinated.
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