Eggplant freezing and cooking
If you plan to keep part of the summer eggplant harvest, then immediately recall the ways of their conservation. Among modern harvesting methods, it is worth considering freezing eggplants, which will be discussed in the current review.
Can eggplants be frozen
Like any other vegetable, eggplant can be frozen. But in order to get the maximum benefit from freezing from freezing, it is advisable to first think about how it will be used after defrosting. It does not make sense to freeze raw eggplants, as they will be bitter and may lose their shape after they thaw. Most often, they are frozen baked, blanched or fried.
We recommend that you learn how to freeze a pumpkin at home.
The choice of eggplant for freezing
The method of preservation by cooling is that most bacteria stop developing if the temperature drops below 0 °. The air temperature in most freezers is -18 ° C. You can store vegetables at this temperature for 1-2 years. But problems with electricity and periodic defrosting negatively affect the structure of the product.
Learn how to cook eggplant “like mushrooms” for the winter.
Basic selection rules:
- Give preference to slightly unripe fruits with a uniform skin color. This is necessary so that the eggplant does not bite. The ripened fruits always give bitterness.
- Do not use damaged specimens: with signs of rot or other diseases.
- Use fruits with a purple peel. They are more likely to survive and not lose shape than the purple Chinese and Thai varieties.
Tank pretreatment and selection
First you need to prepare raw materials and containers for work. Preparation of raw materials includes decontamination and cutting. The shape of the fruit slices depends on the recipe: for the preparation of rolls you will need slices, and for adding to the roast - cubes. It is possible to pack finished products in food containers for freezing or plastic bags.
Step-by-step instructions for processing eggplant:
- Rinse vegetables under cold running water to remove dirt and dust.
- If the contaminated area is difficult to clean - just cut this place.
- Cut off the top and bottom of the fetus (about 3 cm).
- Usually remove low-value and poorly absorbed parts of the fruit. Eggplant has a peel and a stalk. But if you do not remove the peel, then nothing bad will happen.
- Cut into pieces 3-4 cm thick.
Important! Sliced eggplant will begin to darken after 30 minutes, so do not chop too much at a time.
It is convenient to store vegetables in the refrigerator in plastic containers of a round or square shape. The use of packages is less appropriate, because the porous structure of the eggplant absorbs odors like a sponge. The used containers are easy to wash, as usual. There is no need for its sterilization or special preparation due to the lack of active bacteria in the freezer.
Ways to freeze eggplant for the winter
To get the best results, eggplant needs to be pre-processed and only then frozen. Frozen fruits are added to the first and second courses or used as a snack. There are no special instructions on how best to cook them or how it will be more delicious. You can cook them the way you like best.
Did you know? From a botanical point of view, eggplant is a berry, but from a cooking point of view it is a vegetable, because it is used in the first and second courses and does not contain sweets.
The main methods for processing eggplant before freezing:
Video: eggplant freezing for winter
Freshly frozen eggplants will begin to lose their nutritional value, color and aroma within a month, so they are rarely frozen in this form. But you can use the method that is used in France, where eggplant is breaded before freezing.
Did you know? Eggplant is considered the birthplace of India, where its wild ancestors grow now. These are prickly, bitter, orange, small fruits.
- Breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan cheese are mixed in a dish.
- Prepare a mixture of 1 egg and 50 g of milk with a pinch of salt.
- Sliced raw or blanched pieces are dipped in the egg mixture.
- Then, the workpieces are breaded on both sides in a mixture of crackers and cheese.
- Spread slices on a dish and sprinkle with herbs.
- Each slice is wrapped in wax paper and placed in a food container for freezing.
Use such a blank for 6 months, not later. Note also that it must not be subjected to a repeated process of freezing / thawing. Remove from the freezer only the number of pieces that you want to use for cooking at the moment.
Fried cubes are a valuable addition to soups and fries. The purpose of frying is to remove moisture and give the raw materials a unique taste and aroma. You need to fry vegetables in a pan at a temperature of +145 ... + 160 ° С.
Important! Use sunflower or coconut oil for frying . They do not lose their beneficial properties from heat, unlike olive, whose beneficial components will decay, leaving only fat.
- Sliced circles are sprinkled with salt and left for 5 minutes so that the salt removes possible bitterness.
- After time, the pieces are washed and dried on a wire rack.
- Pieces are fried on fire until golden brown on both sides.
- Spread on a plate and cool in the air.
- Remove excess oil with a paper towel.
- Wrap the blanks in a film and put in the freezer for 1.5 hours. This is necessary so that the pieces do not stick to each other in the future.
- Then they are removed from the freezer and packaged in batches in sealed bags so that the raw materials do not come into contact with air once again.
Baked in the oven
Roasting purpose: to soften fruits. The baking time depends on the degree of heating and the size of the raw material. For an eggplant, this can take anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes.
You will also be interested to know whether eggplant can be used for diabetes.
- Preheat the oven to + 200 ° C.
- Cover the container for baking with foil.
- If whole fruits are baked, then they are pierced with a fork in several places. This prevents an increase in pressure inside the fetus. For pieces, you can skip this item.
- Put the container in the oven for 30-60 minutes. Eggplants are ready as soon as they begin to deform.
- The fruits are cooled and cut lengthwise with a knife.
If the whole fruits are not planned to be used, then at this stage they can be turned into mashed potatoes. Crush the vegetables and place them in airtight food containers. There should be at least 1.5 cm of free space between the lid and the mash.
Blanching is the processing of raw materials with hot water for several minutes and its subsequent immersion in cold water for cooling. Eggplant blanch in order to remove air from them and reduce volume, as well as make them softer.
Also learn how to close eggplants for the winter without sterilization.
- In 2 pans, they draw clean water.
- Water is heated in one of them to a temperature of +85 ... + 90 ° С.
- Add to it 30 ml of lemon juice. It will not change the taste of the eggplant, but prevent their discoloration.
- Place the raw materials in a colander and lower them into hot water for several minutes (5–7).
- Remove the colander from the hot water and immerse it in a pot of cold water until it cools (4 minutes).
- Remove the colander from the water.
- The fruits are dried and packaged in plastic bags or food containers.
The same portion of water can be used to prepare 5 batches of eggplant. If you pack the blanks in plastic bags safe for the freezer, remove as much air as possible from the bags.
Did you know? The juice from the leaves and roots of eggplant can be used to treat diseases of the throat and stomach, cough, asthma, toothache, rheumatism and skin problems.
Eggplant Freezer Molds
For cooking, use whole fruits or slices. Often the form depends on the individual preferences of the hostess.
It is convenient to bake or salt whole eggplants. Baked fruit is cut into pieces or mashed from it for subsequent addition to soups and sauces.
Circles are great for making sandwiches, canapes, and as a standalone snack.
Cubes are an excellent form for second courses: stews, casseroles, mixed vegetables. They can also be used in first courses.
Read more on how to make eggplant caviar without vinegar.
Fried tongues are the best basis for rolls and various rolls. They are fried or blanched. The latter are neutral in taste and are suitable for a rich filling.
Transfer the serving from the freezer to the refrigerator for several hours. When the temperature changes, the product will gradually thaw. This will help to better maintain the shape and taste of the product.
What can be prepared from frozen eggplant
Freezing vegetables is not only an opportunity to enjoy the taste of summer in the middle of winter, but also a great way to save money, because as you know, in the season vegetables are much cheaper than buying them in the winter.
Read also how to make pickled eggplant.
Using eggplant in various dishes, consider a number of nuances:
- If the slices are thin, then such semi-finished products can be baked or fried. Their texture will be quite soft, so use a parchment covered baking sheet for frying.
- Slices can also become the main rolls, regardless of how they were cooked before freezing.
- If during defrosting the fruits lose their shape, use them to prepare caviar.
- The only way that is not suitable for the use of such blanks is for stuffing. Frozen fruits will not be strong enough to fill them with minced meat.
I cut eggplant in circles and into the freezer. The only thing that does not work out for me is to fry them later, like in summer. But it’s very tasty to add them to the roast in gosh, all kinds of stew, meat dishes. Tatka //www.volgo-mama.ru/forum/index.php?showtopic=9186&view=findpost&p=298742