Summer veggie season is just around the corner! It's time to get make sure your freezer is up to optimum function and ready to preserve all the bountiful blessings of summer harvest for you to enjoy well into fall and winter.
A recent revival in canning of fresh produce has also created a revival in freezing your own summer produce. Good produce options for freezing are corn, beans, summer squash, zucchini, eggplant, peas, peppers, tomatoes and even some types of herbs. Before just tossing in the freezer though, you'll want to check online whether the produce you want to freeze requires heat treatment like blanching before you freeze. Buy organic whenever you can and when considering freezing produce yourself, always avoid the "dirty dozen" or 12 most pesticide-laden produce options. If you are going to take the time to freeze summer produce, it's best to use the freshest and most healthy options available.
Prepping Your Freezer
Prepping your freezer for a summer veg freezing session is simple and covers standard seasonal maintenance you should have on your checklist already.
* Cleaning Time!
Move all frozen items from the freezer to a cooler for fast and easy cleaning without moving items back and forth. Use warm water and a bit of dish soap to create a gentle cleaning solution. Use a brand new sponge or dish cloth to thoroughly wipe down the inside, including the walls, door and racks, with warm sudsy water. Next, use just pure warm water with no soap to wipe down surfaces again and remove any residue from foods or remaining soap. As a final step, clean down door seals and inspect for tears, rips or damage that could impair optimal function of your freezer.
* Vacuum Coils
Unplug the unit briefly (for safety) and locate the freezer coils-usually underneath or on the back of the unit. Using the brush attachment for your vacuum extension tool, gently vacuum away dirt and dust from the coils to keep the freezer working its best. Plug the unit back in when finished.
* Temperature Check
For perfectly frozen summer produce, you want to verify your freezer is holding temperature where it should. The ideal temperature is 0 degrees Fahrenheit. There are different ways to do this. One way is to pour a cup of vegetable oil, insert a thermometer and leave in the freezer overnight. Check the temperature on the thermometer in the morning. If the temperature isn't where you need it, turn the unit a little colder and repeat the next night. If changing the setting doesn't solve the problem, have your appliance repair technician out to check for problems that might indicate a repair is needed.
Freezing fresh summer produce for exciting vegetable options year-round is good for your health and your wallet. A few minutes spent prepping your freezer for the challenge ensures your efforts won't go to waste. At Appliance Science, we have a formula for your fix!