This may be a stupid question, but what's the best way to freeze vegetables? I'm going to have a garden this year, and I'm not interested in canning right now. I'll probably be growing zukes, butternut squash, beets, potatoes, tomatoes, string beans or sugar snaps, peppers and strawberries. Should I do different things for different types of produce?
Raw: squash, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, some fruits
We just finished off the remainder of the "ratatouille mix" I froze — eggplant, squash and bell peppers from last summer's garden/CSA, It was a fabulous quick dinner all winter long.
I've only frozen potatoes in mashed, soup and hash brown (grate & blanche) form. Obviously you can freeze french fries, but we never do.
Some foods freeze better than others. Beans and sugar snaps I'd blanch first, freeze in a single layer on a tray, and then package - if you don't blanch they go all gross.
Squash and tomatoes freeze well cooked, but I don't think I'd do them raw. Cook up the tomatoes like you would for a sauce, and for the squash cut it in half, and bake in a pan with a bit of water until tender, and then mash before freezing.
Strawberries you can freeze whole, but they'll be mushy when you thaw them.