How to Freeze Eggplants: 14 Steps (with Pictures)

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How to Freeze Eggplants: 14 Steps (with Pictures)
How to Freeze Eggplants: 14 Steps (with Pictures)
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Eggplants can be frozen if you plan to cook them another day. To freeze the vegetable, you need to clean, slice and whiten it before putting it in the oven. Another alternative is to freeze roasted eggplants or parmigiana. Here are the instructions.

Steps

Part 1 of 4: Prepare the Eggplants

Freeze Eggplant Step 1

Step 1. Choose a fresh eggplant

The cooler, the longer it will last after freezing.

  • Any eggplant you are going to freeze should be ripe, but with the seeds still a little green. Look for eggplants with a uniform dark skin.
  • Do not use fruit with shriveled spots or blemishes on the skin.
  • Traditional black varieties tend to melt less than purple ones in the freezer, but theoretically any species can be frozen for later use. Just keep in mind that the texture will get softer after freezing the vegetable, but this is usually not a problem if you plan to cook it after defrosting.
  • If you can't freeze the eggplants right away, store them in the fridge until done. But the sooner you freeze them, the better.
Freeze Eggplant Step 2

Step 2. Wash the eggplants

Rinse them under cold running water, rubbing lightly with your fingers to remove any dirt.

If you picked the eggplant in your own garden and have difficulty removing all the dirt, you can use a brush

Step 3. Slice the eggplants

Peeled slices should be about 0.8 cm.

  • Use a sharp knife to cut about 0.6 cm from the top and bottom of the eggplant.
  • Remove the peel with a peeler. Balance the eggplant over one of the top or base cuts and peel the whole.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut the remaining eggplant into slices about 0.8cm each.
  • Work quickly and only cut the eggplants you intend to whiten at a time. Sliced ​​eggplants start to oxidize after half an hour.

Part 2 of 4: Whitening the Eggplants

Step 1. Boil water in a large pot

Add water to about 2/3 of the pot. Bring to a boil over high heat.

  • Expect to boil well.
  • Make sure your pan is big enough to hold all the eggplant you cut. You can blanch eggplants in stages if you don't have a pan that will fit all the slices, but always try to cut only as many eggplants as you can blanch at once.

Step 2. Add lemon juice to boiling water

Add half a cup (125 ml) of lemon juice for every 4 liters of water used.

Lemon juice prevents the oxidation of eggplants without affecting the flavor too much

Freeze Eggplant Step 6

Step 3. Prepare a large bowl of ice water

The bowl should be the size of the pot of boiling water.

  • Use an ice tray or more to ensure the water stays very cold.
  • Make sure the ice water is ready before you start bleaching.

Step 4. Bleach the eggplants

Place slices in boiling water and blanch for 4 minutes.

  • Bleaching destroys the enzymes that cause eggplant to break down over time. If you don't bleach them, they start to lose their nutritional value, color and flavor in less than a month, even when frozen.
  • You can use the same water to blanch eggplants up to five times. You may need to add more water and lemon juice as the level decreases.

Step 5. Quickly transfer the eggplants to ice water

Once bleached, use a slotted spoon to remove the slices from the boiling water and dip them in ice water.

  • When the eggplants cool quickly, you stop the cooking process.
  • Leave the slices in ice water for 4 to 5 minutes, or until they are also chilled.
  • Add more ice water to the bowl if necessary to maintain the correct temperature.

Step 6. Dry the eggplants

Take them out of the ice water with a slotted spoon and let them dry in a sieve, or use several sheets of paper towels.

Part 3 of 4: Freezing the Eggplants

Step 1. Place the eggplants in an appropriate freezer container

You can use a plastic bag or a pot with a lid.

  • If using plastic bags, remove as much air as possible to prevent the cold air from burning the vegetables. Vacuum-sealed bags are the best option, but you can also use regular sealable bags, as long as they are freezer-safe.
  • If you are going to store the eggplants in jars with a lid, leave at least 1.3 cm of space above them. This extra space allows the eggplants to expand when freezing.
  • Glass containers are not recommended for freezer use.
  • Mark the current date on the bag or jar so that in the future you will know how long your eggplants have been stored.

Step 2. Separate slices with plastic wrap, if desired

If you plan to use them separately in the future, arrange the sheets very dry alternately with layers of plastic wrap.

This step is optional, but if you don't follow it, the slices will stick together after freezing

Freeze Eggplant Step 12

Step 3. Freeze until ready to use

Frozen eggplants usually last for about nine months.

If they are well frozen and vacuum packed, they last for about 14 months

Part 4 of 4: Alternative Methods

Freeze Eggplant Step 13

Step 1. Bake the eggplants before freezing

Another way to freeze eggplants is to pre-cook them first.

  • Preheat oven to 200°C. Prepare a shallow baking sheet by covering it with aluminum foil.
  • Prick the eggplants several times with a fork. Piercing the shell prevents the pressure inside from building up too much while baking. The more holes you drill, the safer.
  • Bake the eggplants for 30 to 60 minutes. They will be ready when they begin to wither in the oven. Smaller eggplants only take thirty minutes, but larger ones can take up to an hour.
  • Remove the pulp. When the eggplants are cold, cut them lengthways with a knife. Use a metal spoon to remove the pulp.
  • Place them in hermetically sealed containers. Leave about 1.3cm of space in each container.
  • Freeze for up to 12 months.

Step 2. Prepare the slices to make eggplant parmigiana

If you plan on making eggplant parmigiana, you can bread them in breadcrumbs and freeze them without baking them.

  • Wash and slice the eggplants as if you were going to freeze them pure and bleached.
  • Dip each slice in milk, beaten egg or batter.
  • Cover the slices with a mixture of breadcrumbs and spices. Breadcrumbs can be seasoned with Italian herbs, Parmesan cheese or used plain.
  • Wrap the slices in waxed paper. Rather than simply sandwiching the slices with plastic wrap, make sure each breaded slice is completely wrapped in a sheet of waxed paper.
  • Freeze for up to 6 months.
  • To use, thaw slices in refrigerator and bake or fry as usual.

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