We got a beautiful box of vegetables and fruit last week from SLO Veg. The only problem was we were getting ready to go out of town, so I had to do something with all of them, quick! I have put a vacation hold on the delivery before and found it can be confusing, so I just decided I would freeze this weeks stuff. I figured the fruit, the corn and the tomatoes would be okay through the weekend. I can cook them next week. If the tomatoes start to mush, I will make a sauce with them. The peppers and chilies will be fine to freeze just as they are, in a ziplock.
Some people just freeze fruits and vegies without treating them. I do that a lot. But I wanted to see how they turned out if I blanched them first. I boiled a pot of water in my big spaghetti pot with the strainer insert. First I cut the zucchini and squash into large, 1-1/2 to 2 inch pieces. I blanched them in the hot water for 2 minutes, drained them and put into a bowl of cold water. Then I did some carrots, green beans, snap peas, and last some broccoli. Actually, last I did some eggplant, because it was an afterthought. You cook Eggplant Parmigiana twice, right? I bagged it in ziplock bags (no, I still do not have a food saver!), some separately labeled "zucchini", "squash", etc, and then I did an "Italian blend" of zucchini, squash, onion, and green beans. This will all be great when I go back to day shift and get home on my long days at 7 p.m.ish.
I layed the washed and trimmed strawberries on a cookie sheet and "flash froze" them for 30 minutes. That way they don't stick together in the baggies, and I can grab out a handful for a smoothie whenever I need some. I also made pesto with the lovely bunch of basil we got, adding some garlic, walnuts, red wine vinegar and olive oil, plus salt and pepper. I put it into little prep bowls to freeze, then later popped them out of the bowls and transferred the pesto dabs into a ziplock baggie. Now when I make pasta, I can melt in a dab of pesto that will be perfect to serve 3-4 people. I am so on it!!! Now I have vegetable blends for Asian (from a previous freezing session) or Italian dishes in my freezer, ready to go, and its still all organic, farm raised produce!