If You Can’t Eat It Freeze It!

Foodie Friday

Jul 15, 2011 by

Here we are in the middle of July already.  Where does the time go?  On a farm, you can measure the passing of summertime in produce.  I hadn’t been to the farm where I get my local produce in a few weeks and finally got there yesterday to volunteer.  I headed out to the north fields to weed and found a considerably different place than the last time I had been there.

For one, the weeds had made good progress in their quest to choke the beans.  The farm uses chemical free methods to grow our food, but that means someone has to get in there and pull the weeds out.  I spent the entire morning crawling along the furrows, sorting weeds from beans.  It’s hot, exhausting work; but made lighter by many hands and friendly companions.

I also noted that weeds had overgrown most of the spinach rows, which makes sense because nearly all the spinach had been harvested.  I’ve eaten all of mine, but some years the greens grow so well that we couldn’t possibly eat it all before the next batch arrives the next week.  Has this happened to you?  You can compost it, feed it to chickens, give it away or you can preserve it.

Greens can be canned, but unless you plan to pickle them, the canning must be done with a pressure canner.  Personally, I prefer to freeze them since this doesn’t require any special equipment and I usually have room in my freezer.




Start up a  big pot of water to boil.  When the water is boiling, make up a bowl of ice water and keep it nearby.

Wash your greens well and chop them into pieces.  Keep in mind that greens often have sand in them and a little sand can ruin a whole pot of soup!

You may need to do this next step in batches if you have a lot of greens.  Put the greens into the boiling water.  This is called blanching, and we do it to stop them from continuing to grow in the freezer.  Did you know they could keep growing in there?  I’ve never seen such determination, but they do continue to grow and can taste funny when you thaw them.

Most greens need to blanch for 2 minutes, but collards need three.

After the allotted time, remove the greens and put them in the ice water.  This stops the cooking.

Push as much liquid as you can out of the cooled greens.  You can do this by rolling them in a towel or squeezing them out over a colander.

Finally, put them in a freezer bag in a thin layer, push the air out and seal.  A vacuum sealer does this handily, but I’ve also used zippered freezer bags and sucked the air out with a straw.  Trust me.  It’s fun.

Put the bags in the freezer.  They can stay there for 12 months.  When you’re ready to use, just take them out and thaw.

Additional information on freezing food can be found at the National Center for Home Food Preservation website.

Graphic credit: Plants for human health


About the Author

Bonnie Simon Has Written 35 Articles For Us!

I am an urban homesteader in Colorado Springs, CO where I raise chickens, make my own yogurt and am learning to grow some food, all within sight of downtown in a 1950s era neighborhood. I am starting a small business designed to fill the gap between local farms and local dinner tables.
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  1. If You Can’t Eat It Freeze It! – Foodie Friday http://nblo.gs/ksuln

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