Vegetable Freezing Chart

Vegetable Freezing Chart



Vegetable to Freeze

Boil Blanch Time

Steam Blanch Time

Cook Time

Asparagus, med size

2-3 min

3-4 min

 

Beets, whole

 

 

30 min, or until soft (peel/cut afterwards)

Broccoli/Cauliflower 1-2 in flowerettes

2-3 min

3-4 min

 

Brussel Sprouts, med

3-4 min

4-5 min

 

Cabbage, cut

1.5 min

2 min

 

Carrots, cut

2 min

2.5 min

 

Celery

3 min

4 min

 

Corn Cob, for cutting

3-4 min

4-5 min

 

Corn Cob, freezing whole

7-9 min (depending on size)

 

 

Eggplant, chunks

4 min

4-5 min

 

Green Beans

3 min

4 min

 

Greens, Kale or Collards

3 min

5 min

20 min

Greens, Spinach or Mustard or Chard

2 min

2-3 min

 

Mushrooms, sliced

 

Not necessary; 3 min

 

Okra, med

3 min

3-4 min

 

Onions, sliced

10-15 seconds

15-20 seconds

 

Peas, in the shell

1.5-3 min

2-4 min

 

Peas, shelled

1.5 min

1.5-2 min

 

Peppers, sweet, strips

Not necessary; 2 min

Not necessary; 3 min

Not necessary

Potatoes, cubed or new

3-5 min

4-5 min

 

Squash, Pumpkin

 

 

1 hour

Squash, Spaghetti

 

 

30-60 min

Squash, Summer (Zucchini or Yellow)

3 min

3-4 min

 

Squash, Winter (Butternut, etc.)

 

 

1 hour or until soft

Sweet Potatoes

 

 

30-60 min

Turnips or Parsnips

2 min

2-3 min

 

 

How to Freeze Vegetables

Blanching

Blanching (scalding vegetables in boiling water or steam for a short time) is a must for almost all vegetables to be frozen. It stops enzyme actions which can cause loss of flavor, color and texture.

Blanching cleanses the surface of dirt and organisms, brightens the color and helps retard loss of vitamins. It also wilts or softens vegetables and makes them easier to pack.

Blanching time is crucial and varies with the vegetable and size. Underblanching stimulates the activity of enzymes and is worse than no blanching. Overblanching causes loss of flavor, color, vitamins and minerals.

Water Blanching

For home freezing, the most satisfactory way to heat all vegetables is in boiling water. Use a blancher which has a blanching basket and cover, or fit a wire basket into a large pot with a lid.

Use one gallon water per pound of prepared vegetables. Put the vegetable in a blanching basket and lower into vigorously boiling water. Place a lid on the blancher. The water should return to boiling within 1 minute, or you are using too much vegetable for the amount of boiling water. Start counting blanching time as soon as the water returns to a boil. Keep heat high for the time given in the directions for the vegetable you are freezing.

Steam Blanching

Heating in steam is recommended for a few vegetables. For broccoli, pumpkin, sweet potatoes and winter squash, both steaming and boiling are satisfactory methods. Steam blanching takes about 1½ times longer than water blanching.

To steam, use a pot with a tight lid and a basket that holds the food at least three inches above the bottom of the pot. Put an inch or two of water in the pot and bring the water to a boil.

Put the vegetables in the basket in a single layer so that steam reaches all parts quickly. Cover the pot and keep heat high. Start counting steaming time as soon as the lid is on.

Cooling

As soon as blanching is complete, vegetables should be cooled quickly and thoroughly to stop the cooking process. To cool, plunge the basket of vegetables immediately into a large quantity of cold water, 60ºF or below. Change water frequently or use cold running water or ice water. If ice is used, about one pound of ice for each pound of vegetable is needed. Cooling vegetables should take the same amount of time as blanching.

Drain vegetables thoroughly after cooling. Extra moisture can cause a loss of quality when vegetables are frozen.

 

NOTE: this information was gleaned from the National Center for Home Preservation website, http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/freeze/blanching.html. Their material was extracted from "So Easy to Preserve", 5th ed. 2006. Bulletin 989, Cooperative Extension Service, The University of Georgia, Athens. Revised by Elizabeth L. Andress. Ph.D. and Judy A. Harrison, Ph.D., Extension Foods Specialists.