The vegetables They are one of the most recommended foods for people to consume, because they ensure adequate levels of liquid in the body, avoiding dehydration in the face of high temperatures.
However, according to the Ministry of Health, less than 12% of Peruvians consume the amount of fruits and vegetables recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). “One of the main reasons for low consumption is that people consider that both fruits and vegetables spoil very quickly, even more so in summer”indicates Lesly Fajardo, coordinator of Quality of Indurama.
As a result of this, the specialist comments that it is essential to have a refrigerator or freezer that has good characteristics, even more so if it is a business such as a restaurant or catering. “Aspects such as a high cooling capacity, greater food conservation, great efficiency, among others; They are highly valued by customers.”, points out the specialist, who tells us how to freeze vegetables without losing their properties:
- Identify which vegetables can be frozen: According to experts, most vegetables can be frozen, except those that contain a lot of water, such as celery, lettuce or cucumbers, because they will create ice crystals and when thawing the texture of the vegetable will change.
- Efficient and optimal use of your refrigerator-freezer: The ideal temperature to keep vegetables frozen properly is -18°C or lower. For this reason, the specialist recommends keeping the temperature control of the refrigerator-freezer in the middle position when food is stored and in the middle/high position when there is a large amount of food inside. Covering cold air circulation ducts should be avoided as they could reduce cooling capacity.
- Blanch before packaging: Blanch or boil the vegetables for a few minutes, thus destroying the microorganisms and preparing them to be frozen, without losing their properties, nutrients or flavour. If the vegetables are not fully heated, the enzymes are still active in the freezer and will develop off-flavor, discoloration or hardening. Vegetables soften when heated and this makes it easier to pack them before going into the freezer.
- Store them in an airtight container: Finally, the last step in properly freezing vegetables is storage. Fajardo comments that the air causes the vegetables to lose moisture, burn and lose flavor. “It is crucial to keep the vegetables in an airtight bag or vacuum seal them in order to have good results and keep them for several months.”, he concludes.