Proper freezing of food for the winter



Many housewives prepare vegetables and fruits for the winter in summer and autumn, but jam, pickles and zucchini caviar are not the only way to take care of the harvest. Freezing food is an excellent option for preserving vitamins in vegetables and fruits, and since they do not need to be fried, boiled or baked, messing with cans and lids, a large amount of time is saved. But most importantly, in winter you will be able to enjoy fresh fruits and berries, cook delicious dishes from them and remember about the summer.

Food freezing technology

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For freezing, you will only need a freezer, plastic containers or thick plastic bags. The foods that you are going to freeze should be clean and dry, so first they are sorted, thoroughly washed with a brush, remove the leaves and bones, and then laid out on a cloth that absorbs moisture well, and let dry. You can dry vegetables, fruits and mushrooms with a hair dryer-naturally, with cold air.

Fruits can be frozen whole or in pieces, they are laid out in small portions in containers or bags, tightly closed or tied, and then placed in the freezer. It is very convenient to use special bags for freezing with a zipper, from which air is pre-squeezed out, and it is better to freeze purees and juices in small plastic containers, which must be signed. The fact is that the foods after freezing look different, and you can confuse them.

Very effective deep freezing of food, the essence of which is that vegetables, fruits or meat are frozen very quickly to a temperature of -18 °C and lower, so the foods do not lose useful substances and vitamins, retain their pleasant taste and aroma.

The best way to freeze berries for the winter

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Berries are usually frozen on a board or plate in bulk, and then poured into a container, otherwise they will turn into porridge during the freezing process. Some berries, such as raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and strawberries, are very tender and fragile, they instantly absorb moisture and after removing from the freezer become too watery. In this case, experienced housewives use a different method of freezing berries — they grind them in a blender with sugar, and then transfer them to serving containers and put them in the freezer. For 1 kg of berries, it is enough to take a glass of sugar. Frozen berry puree is perfect for making yogurt and baking, it is added to cereals, cottage cheese and ice cream.



Features of fruit freezing for winter

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Rarely does anyone freeze fruit, but they are very tasty and perfectly tolerate low temperatures, especially quinces, apples, plums, apricots and pears. Soft fruits of small size are frozen whole or in halves, removing the stone, seeds and too hard skin, and large dense fruits are cut into pieces. It is best to take slightly unripe fruits, because too ripe and juicy fruits can break during the freezing process. 


Before freezing, the fruit can be sprinkled with lemon juice to preserve the color. If you are preparing fresh fruit or berry puree, freeze it in ice molds, and then take out colorful cubes and decorate them with dishes and drinks. In winter, fragrant pieces of fruit are added to salads, pastries, cottage cheese, porridge and pilaf, compotes and fruit drinks are cooked from them.

Ways to freeze vegetables for the winter

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The good news is that absolutely all vegetables can be frozen, except potatoes. Sweet peppers are usually chopped or left whole so that they can be stuffed in winter. To do this, the peppers are frozen on a tray separately, then inserted into each other, forming a beautiful pyramid, packed in plastic wrap and put in a bag. Carrots are usually ground on a grater and frozen in bags with fixators — this is convenient for roasting, because such preparations save time in the kitchen. If you are preparing a vegetable mixture, carrots are cut into cubes or circles, although the shape of the vegetables depends on the dishes that you are going to cook, for example, for pizza, tomatoes are cut into rings, and for stews — slices. Watery vegetables (cucumbers, radishes, leafy vegetables) should not be frozen in pieces at all — only as a puree. 


Eggplants are frozen raw or first baked in the oven, and only then placed in plastic bags. Zucchini and pumpkin are cut into cubes, broccoli and cauliflower are disassembled into inflorescences. Small tomatoes are frozen whole, piercing the skin so that they do not burst in the freezer, and large ones are cut into pieces. You can remove the skin from the tomatoes, beat the pulp in a blender and freeze the puree in small bags. Green peas are frozen like berries-in a thin layer on a board, and then poured into bags. Some recommend freezing already boiled vegetables, so they become softer and fit better in containers.

Freezing herbs for the winter is a great way to fortify your winter diet. Greens are frozen with leaves without stems or whole bunches, from which it is convenient to pluck twigs. Sorrel is usually first dipped in boiling water for a minute, and then packed in bags and frozen. Very tasty is the green ice, which is prepared from chopped herbs and water, it is good to add it to the summer okroshka and kefir.

Making vegetable mixes

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Very tasty homemade vegetable mixes successfully replace store-bought freezing. For soups, carrots, celery, parsley root, sweet peppers, green peas or string beans, broccoli or cauliflower are usually mixed. Sets for vegetable stew and ratatouille include zucchini or zucchini, carrots, tomatoes, eggplant and bell peppers, and for ratatouille vegetables are cut into large pieces. In the vegetable mixture for saute put eggplants, tomatoes, carrots and peppers, in general, there are no strict rules for making vegetable sets, the most important thing is to freeze them in portions and be sure to sign the bags. 

How to blanch vegetables before freezing

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Blanching is a quick processing of food with steam or boiling water, and this method is used before freezing vegetables to preserve their color and protect them from possible spoilage. Usually, the vegetables are cut into slices and placed in a colander, which is placed on a pan of boiling water. The colander is covered with a lid and keep the vegetables on the fire for 1-4 minutes-depending on the type of vegetables and their size. Next, the vegetables are instantly immersed in ice water, cooled, dried and frozen. Stronger vegetables, such as beans, pumpkins, cabbage, and carrots, can be briefly dipped in boiling water for blanching. Another, simpler method of heat treatment is that the foods are kept in a steamer for a few minutes, and then cooled.


Freezing mushrooms

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Clean, beautiful and strong mushrooms are washed, cleaned of blades of grass and dirt, well dried and frozen in the freezer in whole or in pieces. Do not wash the mushrooms for too long, as they quickly absorb water, which turns into ice in the cold. They are frozen, poured in an even layer on a board or plate, so that the mushrooms do not touch each other, and then poured into bags. Some housewives pre-boil the mushrooms, changing the water several times, but five minutes is enough for cooking — usually this is how the mushrooms are prepared, intended for further frying. By the way, you can also freeze fried mushrooms, from which all the moisture has already evaporated, but frozen mushrooms, pre-baked in the oven, are especially delicious.


Proper freezing of meat and fish

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Before freezing the meat, it is not necessary to wash it — it is enough to dry it and cut it into portions and pack it in tight and sealed bags, from which the air is previously squeezed out, after which the bags should be very well closed. At a temperature of -20…-24 °C meat can be stored for a very long time, but the temperature should not fluctuate, otherwise the foods may begin to deteriorate.

Fish and seafood can be frozen only fresh, and whole or in pieces — a matter of taste. The main thing is to pack it well in paper, foil or cellophane, and remove the heads of the shrimps. Freezing fish in ice often leads to the fact that it becomes watery, and it seems that the fish has deteriorated, so this method is for an amateur.

Storage of food after freezing

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After freezing, you will have to constantly maintain a low temperature in the freezer, since it is not recommended to re-freeze thawed foods — this will worsen their taste and appearance, as well as reduce the vitamin value. Therefore, make sure that the refrigerator does not turn off, and the foods do not melt. Remember that the average freezing temperature of food is from -12 to -18 °C. By the way, dry fish is stored longer than fat, for example, pike can lie in the freezer for six months, preserving its taste and useful properties.

Freezing of ready meals and semi-finished foods

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You can freeze any semi-finished foods-stuffed peppers, pizza, meatballs, cutlets, cabbage rolls-just pack the dishes in containers, and let them wait in the freezer. But the cottage cheese should not be frozen, it will become watery and tasteless. Soups, broths, cheesecakes, casseroles, pasta, rice, dough, nuts, pastries and drinks are perfectly preserved in the freezer. 

Frozen greens with butter

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This is a great seasoning for any dish, especially in winter, when greens are much more expensive. Chop the green onions, dill, parsley, coriander, celery and any herbs, mix them with soft butter and rub well. Put the resulting mass in the cells for chocolates and put them in the freezer. When the green oil figures are frozen, put them in a separate bag — now you can not worry that they will stick together. Frozen greens with butter can be added to pasta, buckwheat, rice, boiled potatoes and sauces, bake meat and fish with it. It turns out very tasty!

Quick Frozen Tomato Puree

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Homemade tomato paste is always tastier than store-bought, but how to keep it fresh for a long time? There is a very simple recipe that will not require much time from you. Cut the tomatoes into several pieces depending on the size, place them in a deep baking tray and bake for 1.5 hours in the oven at about 160 °C. Tomatoes should lose a little moisture and slightly podvyalitsya to puree turned out thicker. Pour the cooled tomato mass into silicone muffin or ice molds and freeze, and then remove the frozen puree from the molds and store in a separate bag, taking it out as needed.  

Homemade frozen adjika

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This is a very convenient way to always have a bright spicy seasoning on hand. Mix 1.5 kg of tomatoes, 0.5 kg of bell peppers, 1 hot pepper and 100 g of garlic — all vegetables should be pre-peeled and washed. Chop them in a meat grinder or blender, add 1 tbsp vinegar and a pinch of salt. Freeze the adzhika in ice molds, and then store it in a separate bag or container.

It is not for nothing that the freezer was invented-housewives can save time and spend it on communication with the family. What could be more important than that?

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