Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Freezing Sweet Peppers

I've been buying lots of fresh veggies and fruit from the co-op and grocery stores. Sometimes, after a long week (and weekend) I don't end up using what I buy.  Now, I don't mind throwing scraps into the compost pile but I really don't like putting in some larger quantities that I have over the last year. Half carton of mushrooms, half bag of potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, apples, berries, etc.  It's usually not a lot of a whole vegetables or fruit at a time. But if I add up the waste and monetary amount in my head it adds up to quite a bit of both! 

I have frozen three things so far... potatoes, mushrooms, and tonight, sweet peppers.  Last year I froze strawberries but that was simple, strawberries + baggie = frozen strawberries!

Tonight I prepared and froze sweet peppers which had been in the fridge for a week + and were on the verge of getting 'shrively'.  We'll be gone over the weekend and I won't be cooking the rest of the week so into the freezer they went!

Freezing Sweet Peppers :
(Blanching Method)

Step 1: Cut peppers in strips. Cut as close to the stems as possible. Set seeds aside.

Step 2: In small pot add enough water to cover peppers.  When water has reached boiling add peppers and boil 2-3 minutes. (While peppers are boiling set aside a bowl with ice.)

Step 3: Strain peppers and immediately add to bowl with ice.


Step 4: Mix peppers with ice, tossing until peppers have cooled. 

 Step 5: Once cooled and drained, seal peppers in freezer bag. Get as much air out of the bag as possible to lessen the chances of freezer burn.


Step 6: Freeze! 12-18 months in a deep freezer of 6-9 months in a standard freezer. 
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Extra:

Step 7: Remove seeds from pepper pulp. Let seeds 'air out' on paper plate.  Seeds should be ready after a week to store for planting. 

(I used an egg crate tonight as the last time I tried this Jeremy spilled my seeds twice...)

Step 8: Compost 'pepper waste'. Should just be the stems and pulp!
(I didn't cut as close as I should have with my stems, will use a smaller knife next time!)
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