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Keep_on_running's avatar

Is it okay to stick whole vegetables in the freezer?

Asked by Keep_on_running (6739 points ) January 29th, 2012

I have a bag of capsicums and celery that I don’t think I’m going to be able to use up before they start to rot. Does it work to just place them in the freezer; how should I wrap them?

Suggestions of some recipes using either would be great too if you have any.

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10 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Celery, whether chopped or whole will turn to mush due to high water content if frozen.

“The capsicum I usually just chop and freeze. I freeze it first on baking paper in a single layer on a tray and when frozen I put it in bags. This makes it easy to just grab a handful when required, as they don’t form one solid lump. Frozen capsicum can be used in stews, soups and on pizzas.” Source

You can make any kind of soup by starting with chopped onions, celery (garlic) sautéed in a little olive oil.

Peppers, chopped and sauteed, can be added to soups, stews, chili, spaghetti sauce and other simmer-on-the-stovetop dishes.

Keep_on_running's avatar

@gailcalledCelery, whether chopped or whole will turn to mush due to high water content.

Ah, didn’t know that.

That’s a very good idea with the capsicums, I’ll do that then, preparation now…ease of use later. :P I was also thinking I could stuff the capsicums, but laziness has taken over me.

Brian1946's avatar

@Keep_on_running

“Ah, didn’t know that.”

That’s true for most produce.

The intracellular water will expand when it freezes, which will rupture the cell walls, thereby resulting in mushiness upon thawing.

Keep_on_running's avatar

@Brian1946 Yeah, that makes sense. Frozen berries also comes to mind.

EverRose11's avatar

Ewwww I would not do it…. I cannot imagine anything pretty once it thawed out .

Keep_on_running's avatar

@EverRose11 I do not care for the look of my vegetables.

cazzie's avatar

I don’t mind frozen berries and we often do that when we have a large surplus (which is most years. We have forests near us absolutely filled with raspberries and blueberries every summer). I will find you a guide, if you like about how to prepare veggies for freezing and which ones, like celery & cucumber, you just don’t bother to freeze. You see, some need to have a process done to them known as ‘blanching’ which means you drop them in boiling water for minute or so. If you don’t do that, they grow very bitter in the freezer. My family always had big gardens when I was growing up. We blanched out string beans, brussel sprouts and asparagus before popping them in ziplock freezer bags.

Here is a good guide: http://www.gardenguides.com/416-freezing-vegetables.html

Edit… Just reading this guide, it has a plan for freezing celery, but it does need to be cut, blanched and free flowed.

Linda_Owl's avatar

Squash & pumpkins do not freeze well, but most berries freeze quite nicely, & if you chop up Bell Peppers, they also freeze quite nicely.

JaneraSolomon's avatar

It depends on the type of vegetable. There are many guides to freezing veggies on the Internet including this:
http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/foodnut/09330.html
Celery needs to be blanched or sauteed to keep in the freezer. When I have extra celery I don’t want to go bad I usually wash and chop it, saute in corn oil, toss in tomato sauce, then pack in zip lock bags. It’s good for up to 6 months like that, and you can use chunks of it to add to spaghetti, lasagna, or other such dishes.

Keep_on_running's avatar

Thanks for your help guys. I ended up doing what @gailcalled said and now have a big bag of capsicum pieces in the freezer. Some of the celery I used in a potato soup, I blended it all up. Really creamy and tasty.

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