Maybe your local farmers market is filled to the brim or your own garden is overflowing with summer produce and you don't have the time (or desire — that's okay too) to pickle, can, dry, or otherwise preserve a bumper crop of corn or tomatoes. Luckily the freezer is a time capsule you can fill with summer vegetables to enjoy even in the depths of winter.
Here are five vegetables you can freeze right now, and some tips on how to prepare them for their long chill.
Corn is a requirement in my freezer. It can be added to soups, stir-fries, and even cornbread without thawing.
- How to freeze corn: Blanch whole shucked cobs in lightly salted water, shock in an ice bath, and dry. Freeze the corn whole, or cut the kernels from the cob and freeze in a zip-top bag.
- How long to freeze: Corn can be frozen for up to six months.
2. Green Beans
String, snap, or pole beans are all nicknames for green beans (although they are also available in purple and yellow, too) that seem to take over most gardens.
- How to freeze green beans: Trim the stem end from the beans, boil for about three minutes, and shock in an ice bath. Dry the beans well and freeze solid on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Once frozen, stash them in a zip-top bag.
- How to cook frozen beans: Frozen green beans only need a quick sauté in butter or olive oil for a quick weeknight side.
More on Blanching: Why You Should Blanch Vegetables Before Freezing
3. Roasted Peppers
Peppers of all varieties — sweet, hot, big, or small — can be roasted for freezing.
- How to freeze roasted peppers: Roast the peppers on the grill to avoid turning on the oven, then remove the blackened skin and stems, and freeze on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Store the frozen peppers in a zip-top bag for easy storage and access.
More on Roasting Peppers: How To Roast and Freeze Green Chiles
Yes, you can freeze tomatoes! Surprisingly you can freeze them whole or make tomato purée and freeze that. One benefit of freezing whole tomatoes is that freezing and thawing makes the tomatoes incredibly easy to peel.
- How to freeze tomatoes: Stem whole tomatoes and freeze in a zip-top bag. Tomato purée can also be frozen in a zip-top bag — just make sure it's flat while freezing to make storing and thawing a bit easier.
Get the Answer: Is It OK to Freeze Tomatoes?
Gardeners know zucchini plants are prolific producers. Why do you think there are so many recipes for zucchini bread? Gardeners were just trying to use it up.
- How to freeze zucchini: Chop whole zucchini into bite-sized pieces or rounds and cook in lightly salted water, shock in an ice bath, and dry in a salad spinner. Freeze zucchini in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet then move to a zip-top bag for long-term storage.
Get More Information: How To Freeze Zucchini
What do you like to freeze before summer ends?