While dry ice is seen as a trendy cooking method currently, it has been used for many years in practical ways to keep food tasting fresh while still remaining frozen. As your summer produce starts to sprout, use these tips to keep your garden’s bounty fresh for months to come.
You may have attempted to preserve fresh produce from your garden in the past, only to find that once you defrosted it, it lacked the delicious taste and texture you remembered from the summer. Instead, the vegetables were a slimy and soggy mess. When using conventional freezing methods, water can form on produce and create freezer burn and a loss of taste. Many fresh vegetables and fruits also have a high water content, which further complicates the freezing process.
Give Dry Ice A Try
Conventional freezing takes a long time, and time is the enemy when it comes to preserving the freshness of your garden vegetables and fruits. Dry ice is the perfect quick freezing solution! Dry ice eliminates the need for tons of freezer space, the slow process of waiting for trays of produce to properly freeze, and the dramatic loss of taste that occurs with traditionally frozen items.
When selecting dry ice, make sure to use food grade dry ice. Add the dry ice into a cooler or multiple coolers until you’re ready add the produce you wish to freeze, already portioned and sectioned. Go through your items and make sure they are properly prepared for freezing. Once a head of broccoli is in dry ice, it’ll be too late to chop it up into florets. Some garden items you should leave whole like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and brussels sprouts. Other items can be chopped up or sectioned in advance like sliced peaches, broccoli cut into florets, chopped carrots, or kernels of corn shaved off the cob. It’s wise to wash off dirt beforehand and thoroughly dry each item. This task sounds tedious, but water droplets on your food will take away some of the delicious flavor and leave a freezer-burned taste in your mouth once you defrost and cook the items.
When it comes time to actually freeze your produce, be sure to brush up on your dry ice safety techniques. Never try to handle or touch dry ice with your bare hands, as you will get painful burn-like injuries on whatever the ice touches. Make sure the dry ice is handled in an area with great ventilation like your front porch or backyard.
Place your produce in the cooler with dry ice and close the lid. Wait 20-30 minutes before checking to see if the items are fully frozen. If not, check on the produce in 3-5 minute intervals until they are ready. Once your fresh vegetables are fresh frozen, remove them from the dry ice and place them in a plastic bag or container designed for use in the freezer. These containers can be transferred to any conventional freezer or deep freezer without any worry about soggy and tasteless vegetables in the future!
Ready to Freeze?
Dry Ice Corp is the largest regional supplier of dry ice and related products in the Northeastern United States. Our dry ice is fresh and delivered right to your doorstep. We are happy to help you tackle your summer produce freezing project and help you select the perfect amount of dry ice for the job. Give us a call at (201) 767-3200 or contact us online for a quote. To connect with us online, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and Twitter.