Saving on Food How to blanch and freeze fresh vegetables

Objectives

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Name 3 ways they can save money on healthier options at the grocery store;
  2. Describe how to blanch and freeze fresh vegetables.

What you need:

  • “SAVE BIG PAL” 2-page handout (see below)
  • Seasonal produce handout
  • Blanching and Freezing Vegetables instruction card (see below)
  • cutting board,
  • knife,
  • onions (or other vegetables) to chop,
  • pot,
  • strainer,
  • freezer bag
  • strainers to give to each participant (optional)
  • freezer bags (reusable or boxes of disposable) to give to each participant (optional)

Outline

Healthy shopping

  • How many of you have ever heard someone say (or said yourself) “Eating healthy is too expensive for me”?
  • While it is true some healthy foods are expensive, healthy food choices can be affordable
  • Anyone think of any examples?
  • What do you do to save money on healthy foods when shopping?
  • Additional suggestions in “SAVEBIGPAL” handout
  • Produce in season is usually tastier and costs less
  • Provide produce handout

Freezing fresh vegetables

  • One way to save money and avoid wasting food is to freeze extras, including cooked beans and seasonal fruits and vegetables to use later
  • Fresh vegetables will brown if you put them directly into the freezer, so cook briefly to deactivate browning enzymes
  • Blanching demo
  • Prepare vegetables so they are ready to use (peel, wash, chop, etc)
  • Onions are a good one to demo
  • http://www.wikihow.com/Chop-an-Onion
  • http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/cooking-tips-techniques/preparation/chop-peel-onion
  • Boil water while prepping veggies
  • Place veggies in boiling water for 30 seconds
  • Strain and run under cold water or put in very cold water bath and strain
  • Place in freezer safe bag
  • Lay bag down horizontally and spread veggies into as thin a layer as possible
  • Blanched frozen vegetables can last as long as 6 months in the freezer

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