Saturday, July 9, 2011

Thrift: Freezing Sweet Bell Peppers

Did you know that bell peppers freeze very well? That time of year will be upon us soon, and I absolutely hate waste. This time the sweet peppers came from the local grocery store. They were past their peak (definition: half of them had actual mold on them), and the pigs didn't seem to care for them. So, I sorted through them, pulled out the ones that were in better shape, and prepared them for storage.

First I washed them whole and removed the stickers. Then I took off the tops and removed the seeds. I cut them all into tiny dices and mixed them together in a big bowl. Then I rinsed them again one last time and let them sit in the fridge for a few minutes in the colander to drain. I bagged them up in zipper bags and stacked them in the freezer. A couple of the bags I mixed chopped onion with the peppers.

Admittedly peppers do lose some of their snap when frozen, but they still work well in a lot of recipes. Bang the bag against the counter a few times and they break right up, making measuring easy, right from the freezer! Toss them, still frozen, with your warm pasta to help cool it quicker for macaroni or pasta salad (you didn't really think I only had one method for speed-cooling pasta, did you?). Toss them into your spaghetti sauce. Add them to your homemade salsa. Fry them up with sausage and serve over pasta.

Sausage, Peppers, and Onions

Whether your garden is overproducing, your animals are being picky eaters, or your brother-in-law scored yet another just-before-closing deal at the flea market, don't throw out those peppers! Freeze them!

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