Freezing is a good solution when you want to extend the life of foods. But do they keep their freshness and can you freeze everything? Are there any vegetables that should not be frozen? And if so, which preservation methods are better? Curious to learn? Keep reading!
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Why Are There Vegetables That Should Not Be Frozen?
The purpose of freezing is to block the activity of enzymes causing color and nutrient loss, as well as flavor changes. It is not the only way to preserve the harvest, and since there are fruits and vegetables that should not be frozen, it is not recommended for all types of produce. The general opinion is that freezing preserves fresh food, and I don’t share it, after a failed experiment. There are ways of preserving foods, such as blanching mushrooms and cooking eggplants. It is clear that freezing has a unique effect on fruits and vegetables, as these foods have a high water content. Stored in cells, it freezes, expands, and damages cell walls. As a result, when thawed, some fruits and vegetables become soft, mushy, and watery. This is exactly what happened to my beautiful apples. The jelly, in which they turned, has gone in the trash. I’ve since abandoned this practice, but today I need to preserve a larger quantity of zucchini and had to specify which vegetables not to freeze. Before choosing a method, it is very important to decide how you will use the food in the future.
What Are the Vegetables That Should Not Be Frozen?
Keep in mind that the decision to freeze a fruit or vegetable depends on how you plan to use it. In recipes like stews and cream soups, where texture isn’t important and a watery consistency can’t hurt, you can add frozen vegetables. But when it comes to eating them raw and enjoying the best flavor possible, avoid the freezer and opt for another form of preservation, such as eggplants in jars.
Here are some of the tips and tricks I’ve found, retaining pretty much the original flavor of vegetables that should not be frozen.
What happens to celery in the freezer? It becomes soft and loses its flavor. To avoid this, try pickling it in sticks or slices. It’s great to enjoy as a snack or as an addition to sandwiches and salads. To have it on hand, you need to get the marinade right, here’s a recipe:
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1½ tsp sugar
- 2 stalks celery, minced
To fill a jar, you can double or triple the amount of celery and ingredients. Mix everything together and refrigerate for about 1 hour. The longer you keep the marinade, the better it retains the flavor of the vegetable.
Can You Freeze Cucumbers and Green Peppers?
Although it is possible, freezing cucumbers is not recommended because when frozen raw they become soft and lose color and aroma. So it depends on the variety, and gherkins are an exception in this respect. If you want to preserve cucumbers, try other, more reliable methods.
If it is green peppers, the result is not better. Freezing not only makes them watery and mushy, but can also give them a bitter taste and make them unusable. It is better to use them in home-canned salsas and hot sauces.
Let’s continue the list of vegetables that should not be frozen with two leafy greens too: lettuce and parsley.
Always the same disadvantage: a watery paste as a result of freezing. Unfortunately, the lettuce so popular in salads, can only be used fresh. Any other processing (sautéing, for example) changes its texture and taste.
The same failure with parsley. I wanted to save a bunch for my soups slimming drinks, but it only lasted a week… in the fridge. The leaves turned yellow and I had to throw it away. Consider drying parsley and other herbs to preserve them. They can be hung stem side up to air dry or dry the leaves in the oven on a baking sheet over low heat for about four hours.
Why You Should Not Freeze Tomatoes, Potatoes and Radishes?
The water in tomatoes crystallizes when you put them in the freezer. Loss of flavor and change in texture are inevitable. It’s best to keep them in a cool, dry place until they get soft. To enjoy them out of season, boil them in puree and preserve tomatoes in jars.
Needless to say, freezing potatoes is not a good idea, especially for the reasons above. They must either be blanched (which is impossible with a considerable quantity), extend their shelf life by storing them in a well-ventilated, cool, dark place at 44 to 50F/7 to 10°C.
You can’t do without your crunchy radishes as a sandwich filling or in a salad. So, without freezing, try pickling them on their own or with other root vegetables.