Chest Freezers in NZ: Preserving Garden ProduceIT Admin
Have you ever wondered how to keep the delicious taste of your garden’s fruits and vegetables even when they’re not in season? Well, you’re in luck! In this guide, we’ll explore how you can use your chest freezer to save your homegrown goodies. We’ll cover blanching, packaging and the best ways to freeze your garden produce.
Gardeners often find themselves with more produce than they can eat at once, and this guide will help you make the most of your harvest. Imagine savouring sun-ripened tomatoes in the middle of winter or enjoying sweet corn on a chilly evening. With the right techniques, your freezer can become a treasure chest of garden-fresh delights, ready to transform your meals year-round.
Now, let’s dig into the details of preserving your garden’s bounty with your trusty chest freezer.
Blanching: Keeping Flavours and Colours Intact Before Putting to Freezers
Before we dive into blanching, let’s understand why it’s so important. Blanching is a quick cooking method where you briefly boil or steam vegetables, then cool them rapidly in ice water. This simple technique helps maintain the vibrant colours, flavours, and nutrients of your produce. Here are the details:
- Why Blanching Matters: Blanching stops enzymes that can make your veggies lose flavour, colour, and nutrients during freezing. It also gets rid of dirt and bacteria.
- Timing Is Key: Different veggies need different blanching times. For example, broccoli needs about three minutes, while green beans might need only two. Check a blanching chart for specific times.
- How to Blanch: Start by bringing a pot of water to a boil. While it heats up, get an ice bath ready (a bowl with ice and water). When the water boils, put your veggies in a wire basket or blanching basket and cook for the recommended time.
- Cool Down Quickly: After boiling the veggies briefly, put them in the ice water to cool and halt the cooking process. Once they’re cool, drain them well before packing.
By blanching your garden-fresh produce, you’ll keep their flavours and colours intact, so they taste just as good months later when you take them out of your chest freezer.
Packaging: Protecting Your Produce in the Chest Freezer
Now that you’ve mastered blanching, let’s move on to the next critical step – proper packaging. Packaging keeps your produce safe from freezer burn, which happens when food loses moisture due to exposure to air. Here’s how to do it right:
- Use Airtight Containers: Invest in airtight containers or vacuum-seal bags designed for freezers. These keep air out and prevent freezer burn.
- Label Everything: Don’t forget to label your packages with the date and the type of produce inside. This helps you keep track of what’s in your freezer and when it was stored.
- Portion Control: Before freezing, divide your produce into serving-sized portions. This makes it easy to take out just what you need without thawing too much.
- Remove Air: If you opt for zip-top freezer bags, be sure to expel any extra air before sealing them up. With vacuum-seal bags, use a vacuum sealer to remove all the air.
- Prep Fruits: For fruits like berries or sliced peaches, freeze them briefly on a baking sheet first. Once they’re firm, transfer them to freezer bags for long-term storage.
- Organize the Freezer: Arrange your packages neatly in the freezer, leaving space for air circulation. Avoid overloading the freezer to maintain even temperatures.
By following these packaging tips, you’ll ensure that your garden’s flavours stay fresh, just like the day you picked them, even after months in your chest freezer.
Preserving the incredible flavours and nutrients of your homegrown produce is easy. By blanching your veggies to stop enzyme activity and using proper packaging to prevent freezer burn, you can enjoy your garden’s delights all year round.
So, the next time you admire your thriving garden, full of ripe tomatoes, crispy peas, and juicy strawberries, remember the secrets of blanching and smart packaging. So, buy chest freezers in NZ. With the right freezer offered by Federal Hospitality Equipment, you’ll have the space you need to store your garden’s bounty, ensuring a taste of summer whenever you like.