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Farm to Freezer

The Local Feed on WYCE talks about going farm to freezer with veggies and fruits.

/Theresa Hogerheide

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Visit MI Local Foodbeet for blog posts and recipes for how to find, prepare, eat, and preserve Michigan food. And, listen to The Local Feed on WYCE (88.1 FM) on Saturdays at 8:30 am and 5:30 pm.

It’s finally here! And you’re ready to preserve some of Michigan’s bounty, right? Some Michigan produce is super simple to preserve by just washing and freezing.

A variety of Michigan fruits can be frozen for smoothies, snacks and desserts year round: strawberries, cherries, pears, peaches, seedless grapes and blueberries.

Freeze up shelled peas, shredded zucchini, bell peppers, hot peppers tomatoes, - even chopped onions, with little preparation time. The vegetables are good for use in cooking; you’d not put them on a salad, because they’ll be watery. But the summer taste is still there!

It’s a simple process. Wash the produce listed above and remove stems, pits and the like. If you are freezing a larger item such as pear or pepper, cut it into bit sized chunks. Tomatoes can be left whole. 

Dab them dry. Then, let them sit on a towel for an hour or so to continue to dry off as much as possible. If they go into the freezer wet, I’ve found that they tend to frost up and get that dulled down "freezer-burned" taste.  

Put them on cookie sheets, in the freezer, making sure that they’re not touching each other. Freezing this way will ensure that they’re not stuck in a clump when you want to defrost them.  When they’re frozen solid, put them in freezer containers for storage.

Thaw them in the refrigerator or for a short time on the counter. Soft items, such as cherries, can be eaten frozen. If you have a high speed blender, you often don't need to thaw the fruit for smoothies.

Do this, and you’ll have fruits on hand for last minute desserts, tomatoes for stews, and you won’t have to eat those tasteless, imported, bell peppers found in stores during the winter. Give it a try!

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