One of the best ways to prepare food for the winter is freezing. It’s quick, simple, no need to cook anything in five stages, no need to boil marinades, no need to sterilize jars. I just threw the food into the freezer, closed the door and forgot about it until I needed it. The main thing is to have a freezer large enough to fit everything you need.
But in addition to the freezer, you also need knowledge that will help preserve maximum benefits in frozen foods. Autumn is the time of mushrooms and sour berries: cranberries, viburnum. We freeze them to make mushroom caviar and berry fruit drinks during the long winter. Nutritionist Natalya Zubareva told aif.ru what irreparable mistakes we make when freezing mushrooms and berries, and how we ourselves lose the beneficial substances contained in the products.
— Freezing berries and mushrooms is a much better way to preserve vitamins than making jam, making jams or pickling mushrooms. After all, these preparations contain too much sugar or salt. But often we spoil frozen foods, and as a result, they can be harmful. I’ll tell you about the main mistakes.
Mistake No. 1. Not washing
It is strictly forbidden to freeze unwashed berries, such as raspberries, currants, and strawberries. Thus, along with defrosted berries, insect larvae and tenacious mold spores, which can cause poisoning, may end up on your table.
Mistake #2: Not going overboard
Pay close attention to every berry you put in the freezer. Even fruits that are slightly spoiled and have lost their freshness have no place here. During storage, not only the damaged berries will deteriorate further, but all the others will suffer.
Certain types of parasites die when frozen, but the same mold at temperatures below 0, although it stops reproducing, does not die. Therefore, as I recommended above, it is necessary to carefully clean everything that you plan to freeze.
Mistake No. 3. Raw mushrooms with foam
As for mushrooms, I also strongly do not recommend freezing them raw and unwashed – for the same reason as berries. Carefully sort through the gifts of the forest; each mushroom must be tested before entering the freezer. Boil the mushrooms for 15-20 minutes, carefully removing the foam, which may also contain residual particles of debris, immediately divide into portions, cool to room temperature, place in storage containers and freeze using the “quick freezing” function.
Mistake No. 4. Grinded berries
They often give advice to grind soft berries with sugar and freeze them in this form, but I do not recommend doing this – you add glucose to the fructose already contained in the berries, and as a result there is no need to talk about the benefits.
Mistake No. 5. Quick defrosting
The main rule of high-quality freezing is to do it quickly, using blast freezing technology. This will leave the structure of the berries and avoid crystallization of water. But defrosting, on the contrary, should be slow – to do this, just transfer the berries from the freezer to the refrigerator, do not rush to defrost them quickly. An exception is if the berries are needed for preparing, for example, compote, that is, you plan to process them thermally.
Mushrooms, like berries, must be thawed first in the refrigerator, then at room temperature.
Mistake No. 6. Long-term storage
Frozen berries can be stored for up to six months at a temperature of −16 and twice as long at a temperature of −18. Then they simply lose their beneficial properties. So be sure to label your food with the date it was frozen.
The same applies to mushrooms: boiled frozen mushrooms can be stored for 6 months, no longer.
Mistake #7: Re-freezing
Mushrooms, like berries, must be thawed first in the refrigerator, then at room temperature. Under no circumstances should you refreeze mushrooms or berries again, otherwise you will lose all the beneficial substances from the food and may at least get indigestion.