Handling Frozen Vegetables

Checking Quality

Examine all frozen products when received to make sure they have experienced no loss of quality. Check in particular for the following:

1. Temperature.

Check the temperature inside the case with a thermometer. Is it still 0°F (-18°C) or below, or have the vegetables begun to thaw during shipment?

2. Large ice crystals.

A little frost is normal, but lots of ice means poor handling.

3. Signs of leaking on the carton.

This is another obvious sign of thawing.

4. Freezer burn.

Open a package and check the vegetables themselves. Is the color bright and natural, or is there yellowing or drying on the surface?

Cooking

Frozen vegetables have been partially cooked, so final cooking time is shorter than for fresh products.

Cook from the frozen state. Most vegetables need no thawing.They can go directly into steamer pans or boiling salted water.

Exceptions: Corn on the cob and vegetables that freeze into a solid block, such as spinach and squash, should be thawed in the cooler first for more even cooking.

Seasoning: Most frozen vegetables are slightly salted during processing, so add less salt than you would to fresh products.

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