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Nourish your family while supporting farmers Enjoy local flavors all year long with simple freezing hacks

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    Scan this photo with the Prindeo app to learn hacks for freezing vegetables. PHOTO BY METROCREATIVE

Published August 15. 2018 12:45PM

HARRISBURG — When the Pennsylvania growing season peaks, local harvests tend to be very large, which results in lush market, stand and store displays. Consumers should consider buying for the year — not just the week or the month — because freezing is a simple method that virtually anyone can use to preserve vegetables.

Corn, zucchini, onions and peppers are a few of the easiest Pennsylvania veggies to freeze and serve as extremely versatile ingredients for many of your favorite recipes. In the PA Veggies’ video, 3 Hacks to Freeze Vegetables, consumers can take less than two minutes of their time to learn some excellent tips and techniques for freezing the four vegetables mentioned above.

In addition to demonstrating how to freeze, the video provides tips for storing and use, including:

Onion and peppers

• Make chili in a snap, or start any Taco Tuesday with ease!

• Use as a base for stir-fry or soup.

• Stack the bags flat in the freezer to save room.

Corn kernels

• Add to corn to chowders and Crock-Pot stews.

• Spike cornbread with extra sweetness and added texture.

• Combine with onions and peppers and sauté for a simple side dish.

Zucchini shreds

• Use for zucchini bread or in chocolate muffins.

• Add into stews, or make a puree for a creamy zucchini soup.

Truthfully, a wide variety of vegetables may be frozen and enjoyed through the offseason. If you explore PAVeggies.org, you’ll find more details on canning and preserving vegetables, but the best way to obtain accurate information is directly from the source — your farmers.

Not only should you ask your farmer about a vegetable’s freezing potential, it’s also wise to communicate with your farmer about any bulk orders you hope to place, so the farmers can work the count into their harvest.

Consider polling your family and friends to see if they would be interested in acquiring freezer-friendly vegetables in bulk as well. You will find that the price is often pleasantly competitive, and the flavor holds up. It’s a win-win.

Once you’re loaded up on produce, consider finding additional inspiration and recipes at PAVeggies.org.

If you don’t wish to freeze individual vegetables, there are also full meals to consider that are freezer friendly. Simply find a freezer-friendly recipe of your choice and increase the total ingredient count. It’s a great use of time if you’re already prepping the ingredients for dinner that week.

You can use a single serving for dinner and store the rest in the freezer for a hearty and nutritious winter meal. This works particularly well with soups and mixed veggie dishes, like stir-fry or curry, but don’t hesitate to ask your farmer for their favorite meals and try them on for size.

Lastly, when you’re done perusing PAVeggies.org and checking out the additional videos, try searching #paveggies on Facebook and Instagram to join an ongoing conversation of tips, specials, Pennsylvania farm activity and more.

Once you’re in the mix, tag your own photos and videos on social media with #paveggies to fully submerge your veggie-loving thoughts and ideas into a community of Pennsylvania vegetable advocates.

The Pennsylvania Vegetable Marketing and Research Program is a statewide marketing order established by a grower referendum, governed by a grower board and funded by grower assessments. The program’s sole purpose is to serve the vegetable growers of Pennsylvania by promoting Pennsylvania-grown vegetables and funding practical vegetable production research.

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