Yesterday, I mentioned that I froze red bell peppers last summer, and a few of you requested that I let you in on my TOP SECRET, pepper freezing methods. So brace yourselves.
I love red bell peppers. Cannot get enough of them. I put them in everything. They are so pretty and sweet. And red. I love red. Hey Strawberries are red! WOW I just made a connection.
The seas parted and the trees did a dance. (or something like that)
Oh how I love red bell peppers and strawberries and the color red. I have never studied up on how to freeze fruits and vegi's. I have always just done it. And it seems to have worked out pretty good for us. I am not too much of a researcher, usually I am a trial and error type gal. Or I ask a friend and see how they do it.
Thank you Brenda for your freezing expertise, it has impacted my life in ways you cannot fathom.
I freeze strawberries, OF COURSE, every year. And blueberries by the bushel. I have frozen every type of pepper I can get my hands on. And a few other random vegetables. We will get to those later on in the game. Please remember I am a uneducated freezer of food,, but like I said I have never had problems....so there ya go, that is my disclaimer. (This blogging thing freaks me out most of the time because I am not an expert on anything, but I feel if I write about it I possibly should know technically what I am talking about and technical is not a word in my vocabulary....so if you have a PhD in freezology...please forgive me.)
And now after all of that I will demonstrate how to freeze peppers. You will need to use freezer bags, and a straw. Or you could invest in this handy dandy vacuum sealer type gadget. My dad got it for me for Christmas....I have used it, but usually revert back to my primitive Ziploc and straw method.
Wash them, core them, get all the seeds and whitish membrane out of the middle. Rinse them. Pat them dry with paper towels. When dry toss them in Ziploc freezer bags. VOILA! Freezolgy 101.
Whoops I forgot to show you the baggy-straw method. It is a highly complicated and utterly uncivilized method of vacuum packing your produce. Take note:
(I realize this looks slightly suspect, I assure you sucking air out of Ziploc bags is completely legal in the state of Michigan)
You can do this with any type of pepper, I did hoards of jalapenos last summer, they worked great for fresh salsa and cooking...not so good for jalapeno poppers. You may need to know that if your peppers are of the hotter variety, when sucking the air out of your baggies you may choke...so be ready!
I also love roasted red bell peppers. Follow the wash, core seed/membrane removal steps. Then lay them on a cookies sheets and drizzle with olive oil. Put in a 425 degree oven until skin starts to char and get roasted looking....for lack of better words. Give them a turn after 10 minutes, bake for approximately 15 to 17 minutes total.
Take them out. Let them cool completely. Put them in freezer bags. Great on pizza, in casseroles, in marinara sauce. Good golly Miss Molly, these are so good they are lucky to make it to the freezer bag.
BLUEBERRIES AND STRAWBERRIES
Same idea. Clean them and get all the stems off. Lay them out on cookie sheets to dry. Then toss them on in freezer bags and put them in the freezer. If you can lay them flat, so the berries are not piles too high on top of each other, it makes it easier for them to freeze fast and they don't get all clumped and frozen together. Which if they are dry there should not be a big problem with this. And I might add you will be able to fit more in your freezer if they are flat and stackable.
Flat and stackabley frozen fruits and vegi's.
Blanch. No I am not talking about the hot to trot ol' lady on the Golden Girls T.V. series. I am talking about boiling quick and then plunging the vegi's in ice cold water to stop the cooking process. This what you need to do with beans, broccoli, cauliflower, and many others. I actually did a quick google search and it took me here.
Because I became money hungry last year during a garage sale, that I was doing with a girlfriend. I sold pretty much everything that was not plugged in or my kids were not wearing. I sold our chest freezer(it was plugged in until I unplugged it). STUPID. Why did I do that? I thought I could get by with the freezers in my two refrigerators. WRONG.
The garage sale thing got to my psyche.
It made me nutso.
So nutso, in fact, that I, ALSO, accidently sold my girlfriend's husbands brand new Keen boots for 5 BUCKS! We laugh about it now, but it was a deep dark secret for several months. Dean you know I love you and I will never ever sell your new boots again. Or anything of yours for that matter, Dean won't allow me in his garage anymore.......I may enter through the front door just not in the garage, and no more garage sales!
So where was I going with this....sold the freezer...oh yes, thank you for reminding me. So now this summer we joined a farmers CSA. CSA = community supported agriculture. Which is a local farm, that we have bought a share of, so we will get a percentage of all the goodies that come from their harvest. Plus, I am planning on planting peppers and tomatoes. And we ALWAYS go strawberry, and blueberry picking. I NEED a new freezer. My dear husband rolls his eyes, (but with a smile, cause he thinks I am cute). So now I will be on the hunt for a new freezer, and maybe I will find a pair of Keens boots size 11 on clearance since it's the end of winter in Michigan.
Wish me luck!