September 16, 2009

Can you freeze fruit and vegetables?
Freezing is a wonderful method of preservation for many fruits and vegetables. Most frozen foods companies are able to pick or harvest vegetables and flash freeze them within hours, thus retaining all of the nutrients, freshness, texture, colors and aroma of the naturally fresh product. Nowadays, it is often thought that certain frozen vegetables are of better quality than some "supposedly" fresh vegetables, which lose valuable nutrients, freshness and quality after traveling hundreds or even thousands of miles before ending up at their destination. If you are lucky enough to have access to locally grown fresh produce, freezing is a great way of preserving fresh fruit and vegetables that are seasonal and only available for a few months of the year. As fruit and vegetables generally keep for around 6-8 months in the freezer, this means that you can have summer fruits and vegetables, that have been picked at their most juiciest, plump and flavorsome, in the winter and winter fruits and vegetables, picked at their prime, in the heat of the summer.

Can you freeze butter?
Although milk, cream and soft cheeses do not freeze well at all, butter can be frozen for up to 8 months without any change in texture. Wrap butter in its original wrapper and try to use as quickly as possible for the best results. Soups, sauces, stews and stocks (Details on how to freeze follow further on in the article) These items freeze extremely well, so long as they don't contain cream, sour cream, egg or mayonnaise. Tomato sauces for pasta are probably the best. Also sauces that have been thickened with flour or cornstarch tend to separate and come out worse for the wear. However, stock-based sauces or sauces that have been thickened with arrowroot or tapioca manage to survive the freezing process quite well.

Can you freeze eggs?
Believe it or not, eggs can be stored in the freezer perfectly well under certain conditions for up to 9 months. Never freeze eggs in their shells, as they will burst but store them cracked open in airtight containers for the best results. Raw egg whites and yolks freeze well, as do cooked egg yolks; however, you might want to think again before freezing cooked egg whites.

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