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Tips for Freezing Fresh Produce

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Tips for Freezing Fresh Produce

Fast forward two seasons and visualize the produce aisle. Hard pink mealy globes in the tomato bin and peaches about as succulent as a kitchen sponge—this is produce bred to travel across the hemisphere, rather than selected for texture and flavor. With pristine, local summer fruits and vegetables flourishing in the greenmarkets right now, it’s easy to squirrel some away in the freezer for a shot of sun-ripened flavor come January.

If you have a big pantry and a knack for sterilizing jars—praise to you. For the rest of us, freezing is a splendid way to take advantage of the fruit, vegetables and herbs that are abundant now. The freezing process itself does not destroy nutrients, and although the texture might not translate exactly the same after thawing—the flavor of farm stand strawberries in the middle of winter is a thing of beauty. By preserving local products you cut down on imported produce off-season. This means that you are doing more to support your local economy and importantly, cutting down on your food miles—the number of miles that food travels from the farm to consumer.

On the average, produce in the United States travels 1300 to 2000 miles before it reaches your table; the connection between lowering food miles and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions is obvious. But taste and nutritional value are at stake as well. Local varieties are rarely grown for their travel durability or shelf life, and since they are allowed to ripen on the vine, they are more nutritious and flavorful.

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.

118 comments

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5:00AM PDT on May 1, 2014

The information in this blog is extremely useful for the people.
acai berry supplement

12:16PM PST on Jan 22, 2012

Thanks.

9:33AM PDT on Aug 5, 2011

Great info, thanks so much...

9:05AM PDT on Jun 17, 2011

Valuable information. Thank you

12:10AM PDT on Jun 17, 2011

Thanks for the tips.

12:12PM PDT on Jun 9, 2011

Great info. Thank you.

8:41AM PST on Feb 18, 2011

Half my freezer is full with onion, black and red currant, strawberries, herbs and raspberries! Thanks for the tips!

11:07AM PDT on Nov 4, 2010

I love to freeze fresh fruit but did not know about the cookie sheets great info!!!

12:30PM PDT on Oct 29, 2010

I'm trying to get in the habit of freezing for fruit smoothies in the middle of winter.

10:28AM PDT on Oct 26, 2010

super post, thanks!

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