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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A tip for space-saving flash-freezing

First of all, what is flash-freezing?

It is the process of freezing select food items in a single layer, such as on a cookie sheet. Once frozen, the items are transferred to a sealable plastic bag or other airtight container. The main benefit of flash freezing is that items can be stored close together in the bag, but can be removed in desired portions without the entire clump sticking together. 

Whole berries, sliced fruit, peeled bananas, peppers and tomatoes are easy to freeze. (Bananas work best with wax paper spread on the sheet first.) Other vegetables, like green beans, need to be blanched first. Blanching halts enzyme action, and is done by briefly boiling vegetables (beans, for instance, for three minutes), and then immediately plunging into ice water for double that time. The blanching step freezes vegetables at their most colorful peak.

But back to my tip. The only disadvantage of flash freezing is you need a lot of flat area in your freezer. I like to stack cookie sheets to consolidate space.

Find two objects of identical height and put them toward the edges so the tray above it will be balanced. You want something taller than the items on the sheet to ensure air circulation and obviously, so they are not crushed. Here I have used two yellow cups. Then stack your other sheet on top, for a double-decker space-saving flash-freezing option. Whew, that's a lot of hyphens!

After a few hours in the freezer, or overnight, transfer the items to your container. Another tip is to use a straw to suck out all the air from a zipper-style bag (oh no, not again) as you seal it closed. Easy-peasy. (sigh)

What do you freeze best?

1 comment:


Boysenberries are fantastic frozen. Strawberries too. I have found that blanched broccoli and carrots are very mushy when thawed. They're fine for casseroles though. I'll keep working on my technique.