This post will wrap up another round of freezer cooking. So far I have written about prepping meat and organs for easy meals, and making broth ‘bullion’ cubes for quick nutrition in the coming months. Today I am going to share what I have done to prepare nutritious veggies for quick and easy meals.
Despite my own garden being decimated by deer, I am blessed to know some kind and generous people that are sharing the abundance of their gardens with me. I don’t want any to go to waste, so anything we haven’t eaten fresh I have been prepping for the freezer or fermenting (but that is for another post). Today I will show you how I have been prepping veggies for the freezer. Some get blanched and frozen, some get sautéed, and some get frozen raw.
Here is sampling of some of the wonderful produce I have been receiving from several of my friends. I got banana peppers, hot peppers, okra, and green beans.
First I took all the produce and washed it.
With the okra, I sliced it into rounds and put it in gallon freezer bags.
There were labelled and put in the freezer. In my experience, freezing okra raw works quite well. We like to use it to make Skillet Roasted Okra and Garlic.
My zucchini plants produced very well for me before they got attacked by bugs. I had three 4 lb. zucchini that I shredded in my food processor and bagged up in 3 cup portions. I love adding it to soups and stir-frys, or baked goods.
I also froze a bag of hot pepper slices and 2 bags of whole cherry tomatoes. Both of these will be great on pizza!
I have been getting basil from my garden, so I blended it with some olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast (since I didn’t have any parmesan). I froze it in ice cube trays and popped them into a quart freezer bag.
I got a bunch of sage and rosemary from a friend the other day, so I put those herbs along with some oregano, garlic, olive oil and salt and blended it all together. It was pretty strong, so I wanted the portions a little smaller. Instead of ice cube trays, I used a 2 tsp cookie scoop to portion it out. I think these would be good dropped into soup or defrosted and used as a marinade for fish or chicken. It smells amazing!
Once it was frozen I put it into a baggie with name and date. Remember to label everything you put in the freezer! It is no use to you if you don’t know what it is.
I have been doing this little bits at a time over the last several weeks as I bring home produce. I didn’t take pictures of everything but some other things I have frozen are blanched green beans, carrots and onions that I chopped and sautéed and froze in 2 cup portions, sliced and blanched squash, and corn that I cut off the cob and froze in 2 cup portions.
For now the freezer is full of ready-to-go quality protein, nourishing broth, and fresh in-season local produce. I couldn’t be more blessed or thankful for the abundance that God has provided!
In the spirit of being prepared, I also made a big batch of my Aloe and Coconut Milk shampoo. I cut off aloe leaves from my 2 biggest aloe plants and scraped off the gel into a measuring cup. In a separate container I poured boiling water over some dried unsweetened coconut and blended it with an immersion blender.
I mixed equal parts aloe and coconut milk and blended it with an immersion blender.
Then I froze it in ice cubes, and each cube will give me 2-3 hair washings, which lasts me one week. When I use this shampoo I generally follow it up with an Apple Cider Vinegar hair rinse. The rest of the time I just scrub and rinse with plain water. I am really happy with this routine and my hair feels really healthy too!
I also made another batch of my DIY Powdered Laundry Detergent. But this time I used homemade soap instead of purchased bar soap. It grated perfectly! I have been using it for the last 3 weeks and it seems to be cleaning very well. Yay for homemade!!
My freezers and refrigerator are full of delicious food. My home is clean and filled with homemade things that help us save money and enhance our health. I have a new website that will hopefully help me to reach more people. Right now all I can do is sit back and thank God. I feel full and blessed to be alive. It is an answer to prayer because I have felt really anxious about jumping into another semester at school. My spring semester was so stressful, and I didn’t want that to be repeated. But having things in order at home really helps me to be able to focus upward and outward and gives me a new perspective about the upcoming challenges. Now I finally feel ready to take the next 4 months head-on! This is a good thing because school starts on Monday!
What are some ways that you prepare for upcoming challenges?