Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Freezing Vegetables and Dr.Oetker Ristorante "Freshness Frozen" campaign





Being a vegetarian, incorporating fresh fruit and vegetables in my family's diet is of paramount importance to me. I prefer to use fresh herbs, fresh fruits and vegetables in all my recipes when ever possible. On occasions, I find that some ingredients are seasonal or I only want a little quantity of it in my recipe and it can be expensive buying a different set of ingredients for every meal

To make sure that I always have the freshest ingredients in my recipes and to avoid waste, I have started to freeze my herbs, vegetables and fruits so that they are readily available in my kitchen all the year around. 











Most foods can be frozen, the benefits of freezing food is that you can retain their nutritional value, colour and flavour. Freezing vegetables that are in season is also a good way to budget, you can often buy them in bulk at a nominal cost from markets especially if you shop at the end of closing time and the produce is reduced for quick sale.

Vegetables frozen straight after picking will have all their nutrients locked in immediately so that you benefit from them more compared to other forms of food preservation.


I am very keen on freezing in my kitchen so when I read about the  Dr.Oetker Ristorante "Freshness Frozen" campaign I was totally mesmerized.





The picture above is a pizzeria made from four tonnes of ice opened, for one day only, outside London Liverpool Street railway station, to promote the nation’s favorite thin and crispy frozen pizza brand. It was crafted from 34 huge blocks of ice and using 3,400 litres  of water.Can you just imagine what a spectacular sight this must have been?


This magic was created by Ice experts from Glacial Art Ice Sculptors, who spent a month making the ice cubes and then spent all  night setting up the pizzeria in time for surprising the morning commuters. Each block of ice contained the essential ingredients of classic pizzas suspended within its frozen walls, which passers-by could watch in awe .



The designs in the ice were made using real peppers, chilli, salami, ham, pepperoni and various herbs, which were all placed individually in the water by hand and held in place until the ice began to freeze. Sadly I missed seeing this amazing creation but below you can see a video of exactly how it was put together and how it looked when completed.



Coming back to my freezer tips, some of the foods you will regularly find in my freezer are frozen peas, frozen sweetcorn, frozen mixed vegetables, herbs such as fenugreek, curry leaves, spinach, garlic, ginger, coriander, green and red chillies and lemon grass.


I also freeze homemade soups, vegetable stocks, chutneys and many emergency meals such as pasta bakes, stews and pre boiled pulses which makes preparing dinner after a long day at work easy and simple
.



Freezing herbs such as garlic, ginger and chillies is very simple. I grind and pour the contents into ice cube trays to set. Once the ice cubes have set I transfer the contents into labeled and dated freezer containers for easy storage.



The easiest way to prepare vegetables and fruits  for freezing is to wash it and towel dry it, cut it into bite size pieces or leave whole in the case of berries or small vegetables like peas and corn. Once the vegetables have been prepared place them  into freezer bags or clear tubs, date and label them clearly with the contents.




Frozen fresh fruits are perfect for making icecreams and smoothies.I  freeze over ripe bananas, mixed berries, mangoes and freshly grated coconut.In the summer when tomatoes are available in abundance, I wash the overripe tomatoes and puree them for freezing which are perfect for making soup, pasta sauces or adding to stews and curries.

The freezer is also handy for those moments when my family want a quick sweet treat or I have a surprise visitor for coffee, I always have some frozen cookie dough that can be made into delicious cookies in a short space of time, providing the perfect indulgent treat.

For cooked foods, I cool the food quickly then freeze them in single serving-sized portions. Your freezer should operate at a temperature of -18ºC and you must take care that it is not over filled. Most products should be consumed within three months of freezing which is why dating them is important. You must also take care not to re freeze already frozen products that are thawed and any cooked food consumed from the the freezer must be reheated properly  before eating. If you keep all these tips in mind your freezer will be your best friend in the kitchen.

This post is in collaboration with by Dr Oetker Ristorante as part of their #FreshnessFrozen campaign. All views and opinions are my own .
 

27 comments:

  1. I don't use my freezer enough going by what can actually be frozen! I have thrown out so much fruit for being a bit 'over ripe'! Will be putting it in the freezer from now on!

    Laura x x x

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  2. That's one thing I never do, what a great idea, I'm always throwing away old fruit and veg, not any longer!! Thanks for these tips !!

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  3. Never tried freezing fresh produces. Nice informative post on freezing fresh fruits, veggies and herbs.

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  4. A fantastic post! Living rurally and with a food supply which, in the winter, can be somewhat unreliable, I use my freezer a lot. I do some of the things you've suggested, but there are plenty of new ideas here for me too - thank you for sharing!

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  5. I wish I could have seen that frozen pizzeria myself. Looks amazing. Nice tips on freezing vegetables.

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  6. I do freeze quite a few of the vegetables and herbs but I don't think I am as organised as you.I freeze berries of all kinds as my son likes to add them to his porridge and pancakes.

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  7. oh i love this idea never thought of it before but im sure when om making baby foods later on again this will come in handy

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  8. What a impressive display, and also kudos for such organisation in the kitchen! I am a lover of making use of my freezer, I know I need to use it even more.

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  9. A great idea to freeze purées etc rather than letting them go to waste.

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  10. I love my freezer and it's always full with random things. Never thought of freezing tomato puree though so that's a new one for me.

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  11. Brilliant ideas. It's silly but I never thought to freeze my garlic! Will be making my own garlic cubes from now on!

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  12. I'm growing lots of herbs and vegetables in the greenhouse at the moment and I've been thinking about freezing some of them later in the year.

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  13. I often freeze cooked food but never think to freeze fresh fruit and veg. It's a good idea though.

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  14. Freezing herbs is something I really want to start doing...and cookie dough! x

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  15. What a great idea, I think it is great we can freeze so much these days.

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  16. Such a fantastic idea to freeze ingredients .. i ought to do this it would cut down on what we throw away too

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  17. I am a massive fan of frozen veg, it's so much more cost effective. I never knew it could look so artistic though!

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  18. I know grow herbs and freezing them is a great idea

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  19. i have more stuff in freezer than fridge, love to use frozen things.

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  20. Wow, that ice sculpture with fruit and veg in is amazing. I have a chest freezer and keep it well stocked

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  21. That is an impressive piece of ice building! I used to do the ice cube tray trick with baby food, but hadnt thought of using it for herbs etc

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  22. That ice art is beautiful!! I need to use the freezer more, I don't know why I don't as it really makes sense, especially through the winter.

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  23. I froze loads when Pickle was a little baby, I have to say I have got out of the habit a bit. Kaz x

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  24. I froze loads when Pickle was a little baby, I have to say I have got out of the habit a bit. Kaz x

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  25. fresh is best but frozen is cool too

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  26. Really, i loved to read this whole post very much. What were the tips and guidelines in practicing freezing vegetables? I think I knew the all answers here in this article.

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  27. I really like your writing style and how you express your ideas. Freeze drying is an effective method of preserving food and other items for a really long time. Thank you!

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