Cut down your grocery bill this winter – freeze veggies this fall

A big part of saving money is to cut down on grocery spending. We do this by planting a garden and freezing our veggies for winter consumption. Our garden didn’t do very well this year but luckily co-workers always have veggies they bring to work to get rid of. Veggie trading is always a fun part of the fall season.

A few years ago I started freezing corn on the cob. Eating corn this way in the winter really is a treat and brings back thoughts of summer fun. Here’s how I freeze corn on the cob:

Freezing Corn on the Cob

Start with fresh corn on the cob. If there is a delay between harvesting and freezing, put it in the fridge. After the corn is off the stalk, it loses flavor and freshness.

Husk the corn and pick off as much of the silk as you can. A soft vegetable brush is the fastest and easiest way to get the silk off.
Fill a large pot 3/4 full with water. Heat the water to a full rolling boil.

Place a few corn cobs into the boiling water. Leave the corn in the boiling water for 3 minutes.

Get a large bowl of ice-cold water ready or fill the sink with water and ice.

After the corn has cooked, using tongs, remove the corn from the boiling water and quickly plunge it into a bowl or sink of ice-cold water.

Once the corn has cooled in the water, place a few cobs in ziploc bags. Get as much air out of the bags. Removing the air prevents drying and freezer burn.
Place ziploc bags of corn in the freezer.

When you are ready to serve the corn, it just takes about 5 or 6 minutes in a pot of boiling water. It doesn’t need to be cooked, just heated up.

Recommended storage of frozen corn is 6 to 12 months for taste and quality.

Another favorite way to freeze corn is by making creamed corn. It’s very similar to freezing corn on the cob.

Creamed Corn

Start with fresh corn on the cob. If there is a delay between harvesting and freezing, put it in the fridge. After the corn is off the stalk, it loses flavor and freshness.

Husk the corn and pick off as much of the silk as you can. A soft vegetable brush is the fastest and easiest way to get the silk off.
Cut the kernels off the cobs.

In a large roasting pan add:

  • 18 cups raw corn (about 18 – 24 cobs)
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups whipping cream

Mix together. Bake covered at 300 degrees for 90 minutes. Stir every 30 minutes.

Cool to let to corn absorb the liquid.

Measure corn into ziplock bags. How much you put in each bag depends on family size. Get as much air out of the bags. Removing the air prevents drying and freezer burn. It’s important to get the corn frozen as quickly as possible, so spread the bags out into a thin layer in the freezer.

When you are ready to serve the corn, it doesn’t need to be cooked, just heated up.

Add salt & pepper to taste.

Another vegetable we like eating during the winter months are beets. We eat the beets cooked with our meals or make borscht from frozen beets. To freeze beets, they need to be fully cooked or they turn grainy and don’t taste very good.

Freezing Beets

Wash the dirt off the beets and cut off the leaves and roots. Cut the beets into small chunks. Leave the skin on – cooking the beets first makes removal of the skin easier.

Place the beets in a pot and cover with water.

Bring the beets to a boil and turn down to medium heat. Cook for about 45 minutes.

A fork should easily pierce the beets – that is when they are cooked.

Carefully drain the beets from the pot. Cover with cold water to stop the cooking process.

At this point the skin should easily slide off the beet.

It is best to tray – freeze the beets first. Spread them on a tray or baking sheet in a single layer and freeze. After they have started to freeze transfer the beets to ziploc bags and freeze.

To use, thaw the beets and cook just enough to heat through.

Preparing these veggies to be frozen doesn’t take much time at all. Enjoying them over the winter months is worth the time and effort. Also saving money on your grocery bill over the winter months is a bonus!

 

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