Life has been a bit crazy around here with kids, housework, homeschool, square dancing, and just day to day things. I am always trying to find ways to make life a little bit simpler and easier for everyone.
Today I have been a bit busy trying to prep a few things to make mealtime a little bit easier for me. (I did this a lot last year but somehow got out of the habit.) I try to keep up with my meal planning and this helps a lot with the prep work. As I work on reinforcing this habit I will try to do various posts to help others with this task also.
Today has been prepping veggies. I really love mushrooms and can often find them on sale but they don’t keep long in the refrigerator. My solution is to freeze them right away if I am not using them. You can do this a couple of different ways.
One way is to:
- Slice or chop them as desired.
- Cook them and let them cool.
- Spread them out on a cookie sheet and freeze 2-3 hours.
- Scoop the frozen mushroom into baggies and place in the freezer until needed.
You can also freeze them raw by following the steps above and omitting step 2.
I do the same thing with bell peppers and onions. I will usually slice a few onions/peppers and dice a few as well. This is really great to do when you find those sales on bulk amounts of veggies. This helps to reduce the amount of waste you may have. Just be sure that you are using clean, fresh veggies that are in good condition.
These vegetables can be used in many of your normal dishes. When you freeze them on the cookie sheet to start with it helps keep them from clumping together and makes it easier to remove the amount you need without thawing out the whole bag.
Other veggies can be frozen and stored the same way but some, like baby carrots, may need another method called blanching:
- Bring 4-6 quarts of water to a boil on the stove.
- Add 1-1/2 lbs of carrots (or other veggies)
- Bring to a boil and boil for 3-5 minutes.
- Quickly drain and cool the carrots with cold water for another 3-5 minutes.
- Drain and dry.
- Use steps 3-4 from above.
I normally use my most of my prepped vegetables within 2-3 months but some of them can keep as long as 12 months at a time.
Below is a link that I found to help determine what vegetables can be frozen and what method to use. It also goes into more detail about the different methods.