Q. My local supermarket has big bushels of bell peppers for sale. I love putting green peppers in my salads or as a topping on my pizza, so I’m thinking of buying a bushel while the price is so low. The problem is, I don’t think I can use them all up in one go. Can you freeze green peppers?
A. Yes, you can freeze green peppers, but they will be better for some recipes than for others once they’ve been thawed. Green peppers have a high water content, so once they’ve been frozen and then thawed, they lose some of their crispness, causing them to be softer and not as good for recipes that call for raw peppers unless they are chopped very fine. Still, the nutritional content remains the same, and the flavour shouldn’t change. They’ll still be perfect for pizzas, pastas, and casseroles. With just a bit of preparation, green peppers can be frozen successfully.
How to freeze green peppers?
To freeze green peppers, choose fresh peppers that are free from blemishes and that are firm to the touch, not wilting or soft. Wash peppers in water and dry completely. Cut the tops off the peppers and then cut the peppers in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and then using a knife, cut away the soft white part on the ribs of the peppers. Slice the peppers in the size you prefer, or break into batches and slice some into bigger and some into smaller slices.
If you will be using the peppers in cooked recipes, blanching them before freezing will help preserve the flavour and texture. To blanch, boil a large pot of water. In batches, place the peppers in the hot water for 2-3 minutes, and then remove the peppers with a slotted spoon. Plunge the peppers into a bowl of ice water, adding more ice in between batches. When the peppers are cool, remove them from the water and lay to dry on paper towels or clean dish towels.
To freeze, lay the peppers in a single layer on a baking sheet and place it in the freezer until the peppers are hard to the touch, about 20 minutes. This will prevent them from clumping together upon freezing. Remove the baking sheet from the freezer and place the peppers in a freezer bag. Remove air from bag and seal it tight. Label and date the bags, then store stacked in the freezer. Green peppers can be added to recipes directly from the freezer, or they can be thawed in the fridge.