Chantel Mila reveals how to keep your veggies fresh for week

This Instagram user made sure she was prepped with frozen lettuce, onion and cabbage

This Instagram user made sure she was prepped with frozen lettuce, onion and cabbage

Make your fresh fruit and veg go further and minimise food waste with these expert freezing tips from food waste expert and Oddbox co-founder Emilie Vanpoperinghe:

The majority of vegetables can be frozen, but most will need to be blanched before you do so. This means boiling them quickly for a few minutes before cooling them down straight away in ice-cold water to stop the cooking process. This helps neutralise the bacteria present, which in turn delays the spoilage process.

It’s a good idea to chop up all your veg beforehand, and (if you are able to) freeze them flat on a tray so that they don’t clump together in a chunk of ice, after which you can pop them in freezer packs. If you are limited for space, chop them up and freeze them in small batches instead.

Water-dense vegetables don’t freeze well because water expands and shrinks during the freezing process, so these vegetables will become water-logged and often lose their structure upon defrosting. 

If your fruit has any bruises or gashes, carve these away as these can cause your fruit to spoil quicker. Cut into small bite-sized pieces for ease, and try to pat dry/remove as much moisture from your fruit beforehand.

Only freeze fresh fruit and veg, when it’s still at its prime, and wrap your produce well to avoid freezer-burn. Remove as much air from the packs as possible beforehand.

Don’t forget to label as you can – this helps you keep track so that you know when to use up your produce.

ONIONS

Chop/slice your onions before freezing the pieces on a tray (no need to blanch).

These are particularly good in stews, soups, risottos, sauces etc. Anything where the onion doesn’t have to retain its shape too much (e.g. in a salad) is ideal. Lasts up to three months.

LEAFY GREENS

This can include vegetables such as spinach, kale and chard. Blanching your vegetables will allow them to be stored up to three months, whereas freezing them fresh will mean they deteriorate quicker. 

Note that with leafy greens, you won’t have to boil them for very long in the blanching process. 

If freezing fresh, these leafy greens are great in juices. If freezing blanched, you can throw them in soups as well as into your favourite stir-fries. 

BROCCOLI AND CAULIFLOWER 

Cut into bite-sized pieces. Blanch, drain, and freeze in small packs.

These are great for when you’re craving some veg on the side of your meal, as well as boiled up and tossed into pasta, noodle, and rice dishes. Lasts between nine and 10 months.

POTATOES AND OTHER ROOT VEG

Cut, blanch and dry thoroughly. Freeze in small batches. The mighty potato will be perfect throw into the majority of your usual favourites, as well as easily boiled and turned into mash. 

Other starches work well in pies and casseroles, as well as roasted until crispy. Lasts between 10 – 12 months.

APPLES 

It’s best to peel your apples before freezing (apple crisps are a great way to use them up!) as apple skins are particularly prone to small bruises and marks which can lead to spoilage.

Core and cut into bite-sized chunks and freeze in packs. They work great for the apple sauce base of your usual pies, crumbles, strudels. Lasts between nine and 10 months.

BERRIES

It’s best not to wash your berries before freezing otherwise they tend to trap moisture and clump together. If you do, leave to dry and take the extra step of patting them down before popping into the freezer.

These are delicious whizzed up into smoothies, as well as baked into muffins. Lasts between six and nine months.

BANANAS 

Peel, chop into bite-sized chunks, and freeze. Great for milkshakes, ice cream, and banana pie. Lasts between two and three months.

GRAPES 

Remove any softened grapes, wash and dry thoroughly before freezing. They’re the perfect healthy sweet treat – affordable and delicious. Lasts between six and eight months.

For more information about Oddbox visit www.oddbox.co.uk

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