Looking to get the most bang for your buck and reduce your fresh produce waste? Enter the freezer as a potential solution for both of these issues. You can freeze so much more than the standard berries, corn and mixed veggies. Here are some items that freeze well and how to freeze them:
Garlic and Ginger
Whole or chopped garlic and ginger freezes nicely. Ginger actually grates easier from frozen. For the garlic, chop and place in olive oil before freezing.
Citrus freezes nicely as long as you slice it first. The whole fruit will go mushy. Divide into sections, freeze on a cookie sheet lined with parchment and then transfer to a sealed bag. For juice, freeze in glass containers and leave a bit of headspace for it to expand. For zest of citrus just grate the rind, add a few squeezes of juice, and freeze in cubes in an ice tray.
Save yourself some prep time by freezing peeled, chopped onions for use in sauces and soups. No need to thaw before using.
Place avocados in the blender, and add a tablespoon of lemon or lime juice for each avocado to prevent browning. Puree and freeze to use later for guacamole, smoothies or dressing.
Typical button mushrooms, creminis and portabellas can all be frozen. Slice mushrooms, spread on a cookie sheet and freeze. Transfer to sealed bags.
Freezing herbs at their freshest is a great way to retain flavor that can sometimes be lost with dried herbs. Wash and pat-dry herbs. You may want to chop them into desired portions before freezing. On a small tray or cookie sheet, spread the herbs out individually on top of parchment paper and place them covered in the freezer. Once frozen, place in a sealed plastic bag
Corn on the Cob
Fresh-picked corn can last the better part of a year if you get it in the freezer right away – husk and all.
You can freeze ripe bananas peeled or unpeeled to use later in recipes and smoothies. The skin will darken, but the taste will not be affected.
Potatoes starting to sprout? Don’t throw them away. Peel them and blanch them in boiling water for about 5 minutes. Let them cool in cold water before packing them in airtight containers for freezing.
Collect and freeze all those carrot ends, potato skins and onion layers until you have enough to make a flavorful homemade veggie broth.
Puree leftover lettuce with a little water, pour into ice cube trays, and freeze. Then you can toss them into smoothies or soups for a hit of flavor and nutrients.
Core whole tomatoes, place on a cookie sheet to freeze and then store in a sealed container. Use in sauces and soups as the tomatoes will be mushy when thawed.