Green peppers can be frozen raw, but if you plan to cook them after thawing, you should consider whitening them in boiling water before freezing. You can also freeze peppers in other ways. Here are some basic instructions on how to accomplish this task.
Part 1 of 4: Preparing the Peppers
Step 1. Use ripe peppers
They should be dark green and with a firm texture.
- The fresher the better. Peppers harvested from your garden are ideal, but you can also buy them at the market as long as you choose the fruits that are in good condition.
- If you can't freeze them right away, refrigerate them and freeze them in one day.
- Do not use peppers with faded color or shriveled or spoiled spots. Keep away from overripe peppers or peppers that have been on the shelf for many days.
Step 2. Thoroughly clean the peppers
Rinse them under cold or warm running water.
- Gently rub with your fingers to remove any dirt. Avoid scrubbing them with vegetable brushes, as the stiff bristles can damage the husk.
- Dry them well with a clean paper towel.
Step 3. Remove seeds and cut peppers to desired size
At the very least, the handle and seeds must be removed and the fruits cut in half.
- Use a sharp knife to remove the handle. Slowly lift the handle, removing most of the seeds in the process.
- Cut the peppers in half lengthwise. Rinse each half in water to remove any loose seed. If necessary, you can use the knife to cut a piece with trapped seeds.
- You can halve the peppers or cut them into smaller pieces. For example, you can chop them, cut them into pieces of 1, 3cm, into thin strips or into rings. The exact cut is a matter of preference and should be chosen based on how you will use them after thawing.
Part 2 of 4: Whitening the Peppers
Step 1. Decide whether or not to bleach the peppers
Only whiten them if you intend to cook them after defrosting.
- If you plan to use them in fresh, raw dishes, don't whiten them. Skip the entire bleaching step and go straight to freezing. Raw frozen green peppers have a crunchier texture after thawing.
- However, whitening is an important process if you intend to use them in cooked dishes. Bleaching removes enzymes and bacteria that over time destroy nutrients, taste and color. As a result, your peppers will maintain their current conditions and last longer in the freezer.
Step 2. Fill a large pot with water
Bring it to a boil over high heat.
- The pot should be about 2/3 full of water. If the water level drops too low during bleaching, add more hot water to bring it back to 2/3.
- Wait for the water to really boil before continuing.
Step 3. Prepare a large bowl of ice water
Place a form or about a dozen ice cubes in a large bowl. Fill with water to about 2/3.
- Continue adding ice as needed to keep the temperature low throughout the process.
- Use a bowl at least the same size as the pan.
Step 4. White peppers
Place the peppers in boiling water and leave for a short time.
- Chilli halves should stay in water for about three minutes. Strips, pieces or rings only need two minutes.
- Start counting the bleaching time as soon as you put the peppers in the water.
- The same water can be used to whiten peppers five times.
Step 5. Quickly dip the peppers in ice water
Once you finish whitening them, transfer them to ice water with a slotted spoon.
- Cold water quickly lowers the temperature of the peppers, interrupting the cooking process.
- Allow the peppers to cool for as long as they are boiled.
Step 6. Thoroughly dry the peppers
Put them in a sieve and let them dry enough.
Another idea is to take them out of the ice water with a slotted spoon and place them on layers of clean paper towels
Part 3 of 4: Freezing the Peppers
Step 1. Spread the peppers on a baking sheet
Position the halves so that there is only one layer and no one touches the other.
- This step allows you to measure or use just a few pieces instead of defrosting them all.
- If the peppers freeze against each other, they will stick together, making it impossible to separate individual pieces without thawing them first.
Step 2. Freeze the peppers on the baking sheet
Place the baking sheet in the freezer and leave until they are completely frozen.
- Bell peppers will be completely frozen when they cannot be broken or cut with a knife.
- This process can take a few hours. Large pieces or halves take longer than small pieces.
Step 3. Transfer the peppers to freezer bags or containers
Remove the peppers from the roasting pan and place in the chosen container.
- If they have been previously bleached, leave about 1.3cm of space on top of the containers to allow them to expand as they cool. If they haven't been bleached, there's no need to leave space.
- Glass containers are not recommended as they can crack or break in the freezer.
- If you are going to store the peppers in plastic bags, remove as much air as possible before sealing them. Excessive air can lead to darkening from the cold.
- Vacuum seal bags are ideal but not necessary.
- Mark the date on the container so you can calculate how long the peppers have been in the freezer.
Step 4. Freeze the peppers until you need them
Thaw before use or cook frozen.
- Unbleached peppers can be stored for up to 8 months.
- Bleached peppers can be stored for 9 to 14 months, depending on how little air is in the container and the temperature of the freezer.
Part 4 of 4: Alternative Methods
Step 1. Freeze stuffed peppers
Freeze the stuffed peppers with a mixture of ground beef, rice and tomato sauce. Freeze until ready to serve.
- Mix 450g of ground beef or sausage, a clove of garlic, a teaspoon of salt, 500ml of tomato sauce, a cup of chopped onions, two cups of grated mozzarella and two cups of cooked rice. Mix ingredients in large bowl.
- Bleach six to eight bell peppers. Remove the tops and seeds from each. Cook in boiling water for three minutes.
- Fill each one with the meat mixture. Use equal amounts of the mixture on each pepper.
- Place the stuffed bell peppers on a baking sheet and freeze for several hours, until completely frozen.
- Wrap each in plastic wrap, place in a freezer-safe container, and take back for several months.
- When you want to serve, remove the plastic wrap and bake the partially thawed peppers in the oven at 200°C for 30 to 45 minutes.
Step 2. Make chili dumplings
Bake and process peppers until pureed to create muffins and save space.
- Wash the peppers and remove the seeds.
- After soaking them in olive oil, bake them in the oven at 220°C for 50 to 60 minutes.
- Allow to cool a little before passing them through the food processor or blender.
- With a spoon, place small piles of chili puree on a baking sheet lined with parchment or parchment paper.
- Freeze for an hour or two, until completely frozen.
- Remove the dumplings from the pan with a spatula. Place in an airtight bag or freezer-safe container.
- Freeze for 12 months or until ready to use.
- When using, add the dumplings to soups, stews, sauces, chilli or other liquids. The dumplings will dissolve during cooking and leave the dish with the flavor of roasted peppers.