Master Food Preserver Week 3 - Freezing Foods

Freezer2I've got some catching up to do  on our Master Food Preserver classes. Week 3 focused on freezing foods. We've got a large upright freezer in the garage that we haven't been using. When the fruit comes on in a couple of weeks we're going to fire it up and slowly but surely fill it up with the summer's bounty, so that we can enjoy it next fall, winter and spring. Here are a few observations from the class.

1. Start with high quality food. None off the methods of preservation will take half rotten food and traansform it into something better.

2. Freeze the food rapidly. To help this happen, lower the freezer temp. to 0 degrees or lower about 24 hours in advance of prepping and packaging your food. Spread them around, don't put in too much unfrozen food at one time. Once they are frozen you can return to a more normal temp for the freezer.

3. Freezing seasonal fruits is a great way to extend the season. Freezing them in some sort of sugar pack helps them maintain texture.

4. Freezing vegetables is also a great option but you have to make sure to blanch them according to instructions. Underblanching them is worse than not blanching at all when it comes to quality. Your canned veggies are one of your greatest risks of botulism, so if you want to avoid this risk altogether, freezing is a good way to go. Note, that if you can vegetables according to instructions here, here, or here, you are safe from botulism. 

Go here for a free pdf guide to freezing fruits and veggies.
Go here for a free pdf guide to freezing seafood.
Go here for a free pdf guide to freezing home prepared convenience foods like soups, breads, etc.
Go here for a free pdf guide to preserving big game, including freezing instructions.

Note that one downside of freezing is the ongoing energy expense of keeping everything frozen. There also is the risk of losing power to the freezer.