September is well under way and I have an abundance of both okra and eggplant. My last cutting yielded at least 20 eggplants. I'm making this purple beauty a zillion different ways and am eating it 3 to 4 times a week and yet I still have way too much. I will miss my fresh crops in wintertime so I've decided this is the time to start the winter stockpiling.
1. Start with fresh okra - as fresh as you can get. If there is a delay between harvesting and freezing, put it in the refrigerator or put ice on it. Select young tender pods and separate into small pods (4 inches or under) and large pods.
2. Wash the okra.
3. Just take a sharp knife and remove the stems at the end of the seed cells, being careful not to expose the seed cell.Prepare quickly, (if you leave it sit cut for more than a half hour, it will start to discolor). Do enough okra for one blanching at a time.
4. Get the pot of boiling water ready (about 2/3 filled). Also get a LARGE bowl of ice and cold water ready to receive the okra after blanching.
5. All fruits and vegetables contain enzymes and bacteria that, over time, break down the destroy nutrients and change the color, flavor, and texture of food during frozen storage. okra requires a brief heat treatment, called blanching, in boiling water or steam, to destroy the enzymes before freezing. Cook (blanch) small pods 3 minutes and large pods 4 minutes.
6. Drain thoroughly (2 or 3 minutes). You can leave the okra whole or slice it crosswise so it is ready to use.
BAG the okra and freeze.
cold water bath
eggplant, draining well before freezing
the same except:
1. wash and peel the eggplant, cut into 1/3 inch slices
2. add 1/2 cup lemon juice to the pot of water
3. cook the eggplant for 4 minutes
4. drain well, bag and freeze the okra