Tray and quick freezing techniques

Yield: 1 servings

Measure Ingredient

TRAY AND QUICK FREEZING

TRAY FREEZING This technique is used with more delicate vegetables, asparagus for example, to keep them from being damaged during packaging. Since individual stalks are frozen separately first, tray freezing allows you to remove serving portions from the pouch when you need them. To tray freeze, blanch the vegetables, cool them in ice water, drain well, and then spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet, jelly roll pan, or special tray. Freeze until just solid, usually about an hour. As soon as the vegetables are frozen solid, transfer them to container, bags, or pouches. Seal the containers, label and store them in the freezer.

The tray freezing technique is used with asparagus, green beans, lima beans, soybeans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, whole kernel corn, kohlrabi, peas, sweet or hot peppers, prepared potatoes, rutabagas, and summer squash. Most recipes indicate if tray freezing is recommended.

QUICK FREEZING Put your sealed freezer packages in the coldest spot in your freezer, which should be set at zero degrees F. Place the containers in a single layer, leaving a little space between each package for heat to escape, or follow any specific freezing directions given by the manufacturer. Be sure to set the freezer temperature control to the lowest setting several hours before you be preparing food for freezing.

Look back the use and care book that came with your freezer to locate the coldest sections. If you have an upright freezer, the shelves are the coldest places; in a chest freezer, the coldest places are near the walls.

After arranging packages in a single layer, shut the freezer and leave it alone for 24 hours. When that time has elapsed, the food should be frozen solid. Stack it up and move it away from the coldest part to another area in the freezer you have chosen for storage of the particular vegetable. Then you can add another batch to be frozen.

Your freezer can only freeze a limited amount of food at a time, usually two to three pounds of food for each cubic foot of freezer space. Don't try to freeze any more than that or the food will freeze too slowly and quality will be lowered. The amount of food your freezer can freeze at once helps you determine how much food to prepare for the freezer on any particular day. If you have more food to be frozen than your freezer can take, either refrigerate packages for a day or so (not much longer), or cart it all to a locker to be frozen, then transfer it to your home freezer. Always try to keep a cold spot free to quickly freeze additional food.

When you are through freezing food in quantity, reset the control to the setting that will maintain zero degrees F.

Source: Vegetable Gardening Encyclopedia Typos by Dorothy Flatman 1995 Submitted By DOROTHY FLATMAN On 09-28-95

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