Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Freezing vegetables puree...

Many of the recipes I will post will mention frozen cubes of carrots, beet greens, spinach or some other vegetable.  To make sure you understand the quantity I am talking about when I say 2 carrot cubes I decided it would be good if one of my first post would be about how I prepare my frozen veggies.  That being said you can always use fresh vegetable puree for any of my recipes I just find it's easier to prepare the purees in bulk and freeze them.

Containers for freezing:

First lets talk containers to freeze in any old ice cube tray will so however I like to use the Tovolo Perfect Cube Ice Trays.  These are made of food grade silicon and dish washer safe for easy clean up.  Each ice cube ends up being approximately 35ml or 2 tbsp and 1 tsp of food (if tray is filled to top).

Freezing Carrot Cubes:

I like doing 2 or 3 large carrots at a time. Wash the carrots, then chop them up leaving the peels on (most of the nutrients for foods are found in the peel) place them in a saucepan and cover with water bring to a boil and cook until carrots are soft.  Keep an eye on them and if they are running out of water just a a little more hot water.

Once carrots are cooked puree carrots and cooking water using an immersion blender. You want to make sure to use the water the carrots were cooked in as some of the nutrients from the carrots will be now found in the cooking water.

Take the carrot puree and distribute in ice cube tray then freeze; once frozen transfer cubes to a ziplock bag. Don't forget to label the bag with the date and it's content. Carrots will keep for approximately 9 months in the freezer.

If you have a baby that is just starting solids this also makes great homemade baby food.

Freezing Spinach Cubes:

When my spinach is looking like it's soon going to start to go bad instead of rushing to eat it all or throwing it out; I make spinach puree and freeze it for latter.  It can then be thrown in smoothies, sauce or baked goods to sneak in a little green veggies. 

First you want to make sure your Spinach is washed; don't worry about drying it because we will be adding water anyways.  Once it's washed toss it in your food processor. 

I used 4 cups baby leaf spinach for this demonstration.  Add ice water; I added about 1/2 cup water. Pulverise the mix for about 3 minutes then open and scrap sides of bowl; repeat until smooth. (Will look almost juice like and be frothy on the top)

Make sure you scrap the sides of your bowl otherwise you will end up with chunks.

Once ready divide in ice cube tray and freeze over night. Once frozen store in a plastic bag; will keep for approximately 9 months in the freezer.

Since I started with 4 cups of spinach and ended with 12 cubes; that means 3 cubes of spinach equals one cup or one vegetable serving.

Don't forget to label and date your bag.

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