I can’t believe how busy we have been this summer. Which is why this tip is so important! When you have too much produce, freeze it!
My mom gave us a HUGE bowlful of cherries from her neighbors tree that they needed to pick right away. They were all ripe, and I knew we wouldn’t eat them all before they went bad. Immediately, I kept a bowlful out for snacking, and the rest I washed and spread onto a cookie sheet for the freezer. I put the cookie sheet in the freezer for a few hours, and then bagged the cherries (pit and all) into freezer bags. Freezing on a cookie sheet first, prevents clumping that would occur if you threw all the cherries into a bag at once, and then froze.
The frozen cherries, EVEN though pit is still in tact, have been a perfect snack. They are not rock solid. They are kind of like grapes. We can take one cherry out of the bag and eat it immediately, and its this slushy, delicious, refreshing snack.
Other things I have been doing with the frozen cherries:
- Chopping for smoothies.
- Topping on salads
- Mixed in with plain yogurt.
- And taught my kids how to have a cherry spitting contest. Truly a lost art! Even the kids who were, not so interested in having a cherry, ate several just so they could spit the seed.
Freezing is so much faster than canning or other methods of preserving. I probably will never can something again! Other things we have frozen when there was a great sale, our garden produced it faster than we could eat it, or a neighbors tree was overflowing:
- Zucchini (I store this shredded and used in bread)
- Summer squash ( I puree and then freeze to add to baked goods, macaroni and cheese, or soups)
- Onions (chopped first and then frozen)
- Strawberries (usually because there is a great sale)
- Other berries (We have a blackberry bush and this is our first year of getting a real good amount).
- Celery! (only because I forget to use it out of my fridge and its about to go bad…but it works)
- bananas! (for smoothies, because fresh ones go REALLY FAST at my house.)
WHAT PRODUCE DOES YOUR FAMILY FREEZE?
I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.Learn More about Natalie
I had no idea you could freeze some of that stuff – especially the cherries, or zucchini. And I’ve been wondering, because we love chicken zucchini casserole. I’ll have to give it a try.
Great ideas! Hoping we have some zucchini out of our garden to try freezing this year. Last year I froze peaches and corn. I plan to add raspberries (if we don’t eat them all!) and maybe apples this year.
I recently froze raspberries because they were a good deal and I want to make jam but haven’t had an opportunity yet. Today we picked a huge amount of peas from our garden which we’ll never eat in time, so I plan on freezing them. I will also be freezing our zuchinni when it’s ready to be picked. Thanks for the great ideas. I do have a neighbor that actually freezes eggs. She cracks them into freezer bags and freezes as much as her family will eat in one bag. Crazy huh? I know that’s not produce, but just goes to show you can pretty much freeze anything.
Shredded zucchini has worked best for me. I tried sliced and it was pretty wilted in a stir fry. A casserole might work out ok though.
cathy, I love raspberries!
Heidi, eggs? I would have never guessed! One thing I have not had good luck with is cream cheese. It gets really gross after freezing.
We freeze a lot of the fruits already mentioned, but need to be better about the veggies. Thanks for the ideas. When my 7 year old was little, he LOVED to eat frozen peas right out of the bag. Cook them and he wouldn’t touch them! So I’d take a small handful, put them in his little bowl that suctioned to the table and he had a great, cool snack! They are similar to grapes (and cherries) in that they are not super hard and mush right up in their little mouths.
[…] **Just freeze it as is! Lay out your vegetables or fruit on a cookie sheet. Place in the freezer until the food freezes, independent of one another. After it’s mostly frozen, then dump into a freezer safe bag. This way, it won’t clump together. […]