I love flash freezing! And no, I’m not talking about what big manufacturers do to our store bought items (although similar concept, just smaller scale and no added solutions, etc) What is flash freezing? It’s really quite simple. You take clean produce, lay them in a single layer on a cookie sheet or other flat surface and freeze them until just hard. Depending on what you’re freezing, it can take 30 minutes or more. In the pictures above, I had extra peaches, blueberries and celery that were all going to go bad if I didn’t do something with them. I cleaned them, cut up what needed to be cut up, towel dried them (if wet) and laid them in a single layer on the trays. I plopped them into the freezer for about 45 minutes – 60 minutes. Why flash freeze? Have you ever pulled out a bag of say strawberries and they were all stuck together and a bit mushed? Flash freezing hardens things before you actually freeze them so that when you pull out that bag and only want a few things, your strawberries aren’t all mushed and stuck in one large clump.
Once the item is frozen, pull them out one at a time but be sure you have your bags ready. Be sure your produce is truly frozen. I pulled out my first tray of blueberries too soon and while they were just barely hard on the outside, by the time I was getting them into the bags and vacuum sealing them, they were starting to thaw and get mushy. I should have stuck them back in the freezer but didn’t so I’m sure the blueberries will be harder to get apart when I go to use them.
I have a Food Saver to vacuum seal food for the freezer. I think they are well worth the money if you’re going to be freezing. Anyway, back to the sealing. I cut and seal one side of my bags before I start. Once your bags are ready, pull out your first tray. Fill one bag at a time and place the rest on the tray back in the freezer. This will keep things frozen while you work on one bag.
This is a great way to freeze fruits for smoothies and vegetables for soups/stews. I haven’t tried meats though I’m sure you could. The important thing to remember is to not forget the trays in the freezer. The items are not protected so they will freezer burn more quickly if left in there too long.