Forgive me, but I should have posted about flash freezing before our weather went to flash freezing in the blink of an eye. However, I got to think about it while cleaning out my freezer and coming across cherries and blueberries. So, I decided to go ahead and post about it right now anyway.
Why flash freeze?
By flash freezing locally grown fruit (or vegetables, like chopped peppers, for instance), you can not only save money, but you are also helping the environment. For instance, because my family enjoyed blueberry muffins this summer when I made them, then I bought several pints when the prices were very low this summer at the grocery store. I saved quite a bit of money, and the blueberries all came from the next state over from ours, rather than buying them during the winter and heaven only knows where they would have to ship them from (that’s where the helping the environment comes in).
I didn’t purposefully set out to flash freeze cherries though. But, I bought some and we ate through them like crazy. So, I bought more, and we didn’t really touch them. So, instead of letting them go to waste, I flash froze them instead. I did this with bell peppers from our garden too. Rather than let them go bad, I chopped them and flash froze the pieces.
To flash freeze produce (such as the cherries that I have pictures of), I washed them all first. (For cherries, leave the stems intact.)
Then, I made sure that everything was very dry. I both dried them myself, and also allowed them some time to air dry. If you leave water on them before putting them in the freezer, of course, they will get very icy.
Spread whatever you are freezing out on a cookie sheet or whatever type of pan you can fit in your freezer. Make sure to leave space in between items, or they might stick together as they freeze.
I let these freeze for around 30 – 45 minutes, or until they were cold and solidly frozen. Then, I just bagged them into freezer bags in small portions, and put those smaller bags into a larger freezer bag that I put the name of the contents and date on the outside of.
This is a fun and frugal way to enjoy locally grown goodies in the middle of winter, as well as to avoid possible waste around your home.