Friday, July 12, 2013

Preserving the Harvest/Sweet Peppers


I recently came across a fierce sale on sweet bell peppers and decided to freeze them for later use. Let me walk you through the easiest method of preserving these recipe staples.

Most preserving books recommend blanching vegetables before freezing and that's a good idea for sturdy vegetables like green beans but I've found that it turns veggies like bell peppers and squash to mush. The first thing I do is give them a good wash and dry and then decide how I want to cut them up. Some I slice and some I dice depending on how they'll be used in future recipes.


Next, I lay them out in a single layer on a parchment paper lined baking sheet that will fit in my freezer. The paper prevents the pieces from sticking once they're frozen. Into the frezzer the sheets go for a couple of hours.


Once the pieces are good and frozen out they come ready for the next step. The frozen peppers easily pop off of the parchment paper and into plastic freezer bags. If you're using zip-lock bags be sure to squeeze out as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn.


I use my Food Saver to remove all the air and create an air tight seal. This thing is worth it's weight in gold to me for all the money it saves me in wasted food and food I can buy in bulk and repackage.


Here are my sweet pepper packages labeled with the amount, date and cut ready for long term freezer storage. Don't forget to label. It can be difficult to tell sometimes just what is inside those packs. I put 3/4 cup in each because that's about as much as I use in a recipe no matter what the recipe calls for, my husband is not a huge fan of bell peppers. My preserving guides state that peppers do not have to be blanched and will keep for up to 1 year at 0* if properly prepared and packaged.





Until next time,

10 comments:

  1. Good Afternoon Patrica, I have frozen a number of vegetables, because like you I really do not like to waste food, but when I tried to freeze bell peppers, I followed the instructions I found in a freezer book and like you say, when they were defrosted they were mushy and not very nice.
    Oh yes, I would love to own a Food Saver sealing machine as that looks like it does the job of removing all the air spectacularly.
    I am certainly going to be following your method when I buy my next batch of peppers.
    Have a lovely weekend.
    Best Wishes
    Daphne

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    1. In all honesty Daphne these will not be great for a salad but best for cooked applications. Nothing beats fresh but frozen works well for saute. The Food Saver was pricey but I feel it was a good investment for us and it has lasted three years so far. Our last one lasted over 10 years and I gave it to a friend to use when I got this newer model.

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  2. thanks, good info. I hate mushy frozen stuff.

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    1. I'm always looking for ways to make the foods I grow or get on sale last longer and stay fresher. I'll keep experimenting.

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  3. Frozen red bell pepper pieces are my favorite little "extra" thing for the freezer. Such a time saver in the kitchen. Buying them on sale in late summer saves considerably over the commercial packs. The big plus for me is that my DH will not eat anything containing green bell peppers which the commercial packs include in their mix in my area. Thanks for your tip on freezing them.

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    1. The green pepper thing also holds true in my household. no one likes green peppers here so this is a good fix for us as well. I was so happy to find these peppers on sale.

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  4. My mom always froze peppers and they were so handy!

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    1. Do you know how she did it? How neat that you have that culinary memory.

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  5. I would love for you to share and link up at my weekly TGIF Link Party if you haven't already this week. Your favorite posts, most popular, recent or new! The party is open every Thursday night and closes Tuesday's at midnight. Followed by (Not SO) Wordless Wednesday! http://apeekintomyparadise.blogspot.com/.
    I would be honored if you join us and follow to stay connected Have a wonderful week!
    Hugs, Cathy

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the invite Cathy. I'll try to link up in future your blog is so interesting.

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Thanks for your comments. I love hearing what you have to say.