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Farmers Market Foods You Should Stockpile & Freeze For Later

Freeze Seasonal Produce

The tail-end of summer is here, which means the produce stands around town are chock full of delicious in-season fruits and veggies. I love driving by and seeing their bins full of gorgeous corn, tomatoes, peaches, and peppers! Not only are these foods at their peak in terms of flavor, but the prices are also the cheapest they’ve been all summer! It’s a great time to take advantage of the windfall of summer produce, and that’s exactly what we’ll be talking about in today’s blog post!

With just a little bit of time and effort, you can stock up on the bounty of the harvest season so you can enjoy it well into the winter! It’s good for the soul to be able to enjoy a delicious peach pie or homemade tomato soup in January, using the peak season produce that you saved months ago. Plus, stocking up on produce is great for your pocketbook! You can stock up now when prices are low, and avoid paying a premium for the same item later on when it’s out of season.

Freeze Seasonal Produce

The Easiest Way To Save Seasonal Produce

There are a few different ways to save all that delicious summer produce, but I prefer freezing. Produce stored in your freezer can stay good for several months, as opposed to lasting just a few days in your fridge! One important thing to keep in mind about freezing produce is that air is the enemy. Air exposure leads to freezer burn, and that’s not something you want on your tasty summer produce!

The best way to keep air away from your produce is to package it with a vacuum sealer. Vacuum sealed produce can keep for 1-3 YEARS in your freezer, compared to about 8 months when stored in regular freezer bags. Either method will work well, but if you’re planning on freezing a lot of food, I think a Foodsaver vacuum sealer is well worth the money!

How To Freeze Seasonal Fruits & Veggies

Here’s the scoop on how to freeze all of your favorite harvest produce. Follow these tips, and you’ll be enjoying peak flavor produce well into next year! :-)

Peeling Peaches

1. Peaches & Stone Fruit

Slice the fruits and discard the pits. Sprinkle the fruit pieces with sugar to help preserve their texture, then put them in a freezer bag or vacuum seal them.

Related: This Is Absolutely The Easiest Way To Peel Peaches

Freeze Seasonal Produce

2. Berries

Rinse the berries to clean them, then pat them completely dry. Lay them out on a tray and place it in your freezer until the berries are frozen. Remove the tray, then transfer the frozen berries to a freezer bag or vacuum sealer bag. Pre-freezing the berries will make it easier to remove a little bit at a time as you need them for making smoothies, desserts, or baked goods.

Freeze Seasonal Produce

3. Peppers (Sweet Or Hot)

Slice your peppers and remove the seeds and ribs. Freeze the peppers on a tray, then transfer the frozen peppers to a freezer bag. (You could also roast the peppers first if desired, then freeze them.)

Freeze Seasonal Produce

4. Onions

Slice or chop onions and lay them out on a tray. Place the tray in your freezer until the onions are frozen. Transfer them to a freezer bag and store in your freezer. (Another option would be to caramelize your onions first, then freeze them in small portions in an ice cube tray.)

5. Green Beans & Broccoli

Trim the beans or broccoli into manageable pieces. Drop them into a pot of boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. Immediately transfer the veggies to a bowl of ice water to cool. Then drain the veggies and store in freezer bags or vacuum seal them.

Freeze Seasonal Produce

6. Sweet Corn

Shuck the corn and remove any loose threads. Drop the ears of corn into a pot of boiling water, and cook for about 5 minutes. Transfer the corn immediately to a bowl of ice water to cool. Then drain, cut the kernels off the cobs, and store them in freezer bags to freeze.

Freeze Seasonal Produce

7. Pumpkin & Other Squash

Steam or roast the squash until tender, then remove the flesh with a fork or spoon. Puree the squash until smooth, then allow it to cool completely. Freeze in containers or freezer bags.

Freeze Seasonal Produce

8. Tomatoes

Tomatoes can be frozen whole, sliced, or chopped. You can also choose to freeze them raw or cooked. But however you choose to freeze your tomatoes, make sure you’re planning to use them in cooked recipes later on. Their texture changes quite a bit after they’re frozen, so they won’t work in place of fresh tomatoes. But don’t worry, they’ll still taste every bit as good as they did before you froze them! :-)

To freeze whole tomatoes, blanch them in boiling water for about 3 minutes. Transfer the blanched tomatoes to a bowl of ice water to cool, then remove the tomato skins. Transfer the peeled tomatoes to a freezer bag or vacuum sealer bag.

Freeze Seasonal Produce

Bonus Tips!

Another way to stock up on seasonal produce is to cook big batches of things and freeze them to use later. Use in-season tomatoes to cook tomato soup, then freeze it to eat later. Use in-season squash, carrots, and onions to make veggie soup and freeze it! Any prep work or cooking you do now will save you time down the road. Plus, it’s always nice to have a meal in the freezer you can turn to in case of a dinner emergency!

What’s better than a delicious fruit pie made with peak season fruit? (Okay, maybe some things are better, but not very many.) You plan for tasty fruit pies months down the road by making and freezing your pie fillings now! Then when you’re ready for pie, all you have to do is drop the filling into a pie crust and bake it. Check out the post below to get all the details on making and freezing fruit pie fillings!

Related: How To Make And Freeze Fresh Fruit Pie Fillings

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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Food & Recipes

  • Thank you for these tips. Whatever people who can tomatoes tell you, there is no need to skin or seed your tomatoes. Ever. You can freeze or can them as is, and save time and nutrients.

  • Another good use for your food saver is bagging cheese in usable amounts. We tend to buy 5 pound blocks of Pine River cheese to make our drive worthwhile. As long as it’s sealed you can age it yourself, stored in the fridge. When we open a big block, we cut it into portions we’ll use before we have to worry about it spoiling, then seal it in foodsaver bags. Also, when I need grated cheese, I always grate extra while I’m at it and freeze it in a ziplock. I try to get most of the air out but I’ve never had a problem with the frozen cheese, an hour or two in the fridge makes it easy enough to scoop out what you need before tossing it back in the freezer.

  • Corn on the cob can be frozen in the shucks, no blanching, cooling… Just put it in a big plastic bag and drop over in the freezer. Take it out as needed, let it thaw, remove the shucks and silks, in fact the silks come off a lot easier. I turned up my nose at it when my son and dau-n-law told me several years ago about how they did their corn. LOL I was over for a meal and they had corn on the cob, it was so fresh tasting and good. It works. I have been doing mine like this ever since. It will be good for a couple years. If you are in doubt, just try a few ears and see how you like it. I always hated trying to put up corn on the cob because it involved so much, now it’s a breeze. Jillee, you had mentioned freezing green beans, I blanch mine also and freeze. I never can them, not that I don’t like them canned, I don’t have a canner nor space to store the jars. My mom always froze hers and I was raised on them. I just got a call from the guy I buy my beans from, and his are still making since we have had recent rain and has cooled off some, so you can guess what I will be doing later today when he gets finished. Thank you Jillee for all the good advice you post for us. I look forward to your daily posts. Thx…

  • You can also can produce from summer. And soups. High acid foods, like tomatoes, need to be canned in a water bath canner. Green beans need to be pressure canned. It’s fairly easy. I do like some produce frozen. My grandmother used to freeze what we called soup starter, although it was good as is. Yum. I wish I’d gotten her recipe before she left us. She always put a cayenne pepper in each quart bag. It wasn’t hot though. It was so good. It had a lot of veggies in it.

  • One thing I love to do (and it saves on buying more of the more expensive freezer-grade bags) is to freeze produce in the snack size or medium sealed bags and then put several of these in one larger freezer-grade bag. Works great for rice and many other foods and is ideal for people who live alone.

  • Great ideas. Our garden has been producing a lot tomatoes, cucumbers, and green beans. I’ll have to show this to my parents. If we can get to some of our vegetables before they start to rot.

    • That’s really good to know you can use the snack size bags. I love homemade tomato soup. My mom also has a great recipe for Chocolate Zucchini bread. It’s actually more like a cake . Everyone always wants her recipe.

  • Brilliant idea for freezing onions. I hate peeling and chopping them,especially if only one is needed. But it’s worth ‘firing up’ the Magimix to chop and freeze a batch. I didn’t know onions could be frozen without blanching first.

  • It would be really nice to have a post about using your instant pot for canning fruit and veg. I read your posts every day and use a lot of the ideas. Thanks Jillee

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