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Food Safety: Keeping Food Fresh Ideas relating to canning all types of foods, can also cover freezing for preservation, long term storage, avoiding spoilage and other safety concerns.

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Old 03-30-2002, 11:03 PM
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Freezing onions

I have been freezing chopped onions so that they don't go bad and also for the convenience of having them available when I need them. Has anyone ever noticed that after they have been frozen the smell and taste is much stronger than if they were freshly chopped and used right away. I started using only half of the amount of frozen onions in recipes and find that it is still very strong tasting. Is this my imagination or has anyone else noticed this? TIA
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Old 03-30-2002, 11:24 PM
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Yes, I have begun to do this also, I have too noticed they are slightly stronger smelling, but I still use the same amount in recipes, we love onions!
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Old 04-12-2002, 07:55 PM
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I didn't know you could freeze onions. WOW!
What size of zip baggies do you use?
Can you reuse baggies?

Houston-Mom
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Old 04-12-2002, 08:47 PM
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I just use a small plastic tub.
Whatever container you use, as they are freezing, if you give them a little shake every now and then, they don't stick together as much.
I don't see why you can'y re-use the baggies as long as they are washed well in warm soapy water. The onions don't actually smell very much while frozen. The box, smells just fine after I have used all the onions and washed it.
Back in my less frugal ( or should I say, NON frugal) days, I used to buy chopped and frozen onions at the supermarket! How lazy is that!!!!!!
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Old 04-12-2002, 09:00 PM
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Thanks;
I didn't know this. I don't know much about what can and can't be froze. So thank you. Keep the ideas coming they are great.
Thanks everyone

Houston-Mom
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Old 04-24-2002, 07:12 PM
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have you tried to par-boiling them before you freeze them?
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Old 04-25-2002, 03:44 AM
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Freezing onions

Freezing onion bits is so handy and really pretty easy to do. Here's how I do it, especially when the garden yields are high and some of the onions are not going to keep an entire season ~

1. Peel and chop (I use my small Betty Crocker grinder for this and it works great, making the job go as easily as possible.)

2. If the onions are producing a lot of liquid, then put the chopped/grated onions in a sieve OVER a bowl to catch the liquid.

3. When you have enough chopped onions to fill a cookie sheet or other flat-surfaced implement, then spread thinly and pop into the freezer until semi-frozen or frozen solid. (I use round cake pans that I can stack in the freezer, also.) Freezing small bits of onion doesn't take long at all, and they are very easily removed from the cookie sheet and broken into chunks.

4. Put in zippered freezer storage bag, and if any solid chunks are still obvious, whack the bag against the counter once or twice.
Store in freezer, laying flat so that you can later stack many of these bags in as little space as possible.

This process is called dry freezing and is invaluable when you want to be able to pour out exactly the amount of onion bits you want. My freezer may smell of onions for just a bit after I take them out on the cookie sheet, but quickly disappears when I remove and then bag them.

This is a bit of a time consuming process but oh, what a luxury for yourself later on!!

Sandie
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Old 04-25-2002, 05:14 AM
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Thanks I will have to try that. Does anyone know if tomatoes can be frozen and how do you do it?

Houston-Mom
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Old 04-25-2002, 05:41 AM
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Freezing tomatoes

There are several ways I freeze tomatoes. Hope these are helpful to you ~

1. Dry freezing:

Wash, skin, core. Dig seeds out and let drain over a colander. Chop and spread thinly on a cookie sheet. When frozen, transer to a zippered bag and break apart. These I use ONLY in something like chili or spaghetti sauce. They will not retain their shape when defrosted.

2. Chunk freezing (when you want the juice and meat):

Wash, slip skins, core. Place with juice (seeds optional) in 5-qt. Dutch oven (or any big, heavy pan). Bring to a boil and reduce heat to cook at a simmer for about 30 minutes. Cook, then divide into serving portions as per family size and freeze in plastic bowls (Cool Whip containers works fine here). I use in chili, spaghetti, lasagna sauce, etc.

3. Tomato Juice:

Wash, slip skins, core, cook down with own liquid until very soft and mushy. Run through a Foley food mill (hand-held grinder which extracts skins and seeds). Cool. Package in containers big enough for your family. I use 1/2 gallon plastic buckets. Freeze. When totally frozen, see hint at bottom of this e-mail for easy removal to another bag. (I only have 9 of these 1/2 gallon buckets and need them for an entire season of freezing tomato product.)


4. Tomato sauce:

Wash, slip skins, core, cook down with own liquid until very soft and mushy. Run through a Foley food mill (grinder which extracts skins and seeds). Cool. Package in 8-oz. yogurt containers. Freeze.

5. Tomato paste:

As above for cooking and processing, but put finished tomato sauce in a smaller pan over low heat and simmer. The only difference between sauce and paste is that you are cooking to extract liquid to make a thicker product. Package and freeze in smaller yogurt cups.

BTW, a hint that works well for me. When you are processing tomatoes for the freezer, you can use the same yogurt containers over and over by taking the frozen product out of the freezer, inverting under running water until the product slips out of the container and then repackaging in a larger zippered plastic bag. Contents easily and instantly identifable in the freezer and each block of product is easily extracted from the larger bag.

As far as freezing tomatoes whole without pre-processing of some kind, I have never had much luck with that method but I know that you can do this. I tried it once decades ago and didn't like the results so now I can't remember the "how-to's" of this method.

Sandie
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Old 04-25-2002, 05:47 AM
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Dry freezing

BTW, you can also freeze green pepper with the dry freezing method mentioned above for freezing onions.

Wash and cut apart to clean out membrane and seeds. Chop (or grind) the walls of the cleaned green pepper and put into a colander to drain. (I find when I grind it that more juice is extracted than when chopping by hand) Spread the green pepper in a thin layer on a flat metal surface (cookie sheet, cake pans, etc.) and freeze. When totally frozen, remove from freezer and package in zippered plastic bags. Whack against counter or with rolling pin to make sure all pieces are individual so that you can pour contents when ready to use. After bagging, lay in flat stacks in freezer.

Sandie
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