We’re still getting some veggies from our CSA and the last of our tomatoes from our garden are ripening. I haven’t had tons of extra time on my hands for cooking and preserving, so I thought I would share my easy go-to method of putting up: the freezer.
For peppers of all kinds, I either slice of dice them, and then freeze them on a baking sheet for at least six hours. Then I put them in bags in two cup portions in the freezer. Freezing them on a baking sheet first helps to keep them from clumping together, so that I can take out just a handful at a time if necessary. The peppers work great in soups and for taco night. This method also works great for sweet corn. We’ve also been inundated with greens from our CSA, so I wash and rinse them well and then freeze them in large ziploc bags for an easy sauteed side or for smoothies.
For tomatoes, I just cut out the stems and freeze them on a baking sheet for a few hours before throwing them in a large container in the freezer. When I’m ready to use these, I usually set them out to thaw in the morning and use them for dinner that evening. I sometimes dice them for spaghetti sauce or puree them for vegetable soup or anything that requires a tomato base.
I have a post on canning to come, but I find that my quick-and-easy freezer method makes putting up much easier and less time consuming. Of course, you need lots of freezer space, which isn’t the most efficient use of energy. I hope to become a more proficient canner (and food dehydrator) with practice, but, in the meantime, I’ll relish having some garden goodies in the middle of winter. More freezing guidelines and tips here.