Wondering how can you freeze whole jalapenos?
Jalapenos are usually available in the summer season and you might be wondering how to use them all year round as they are delicious. Or perhaps you might have a large harvest and have too many jalapenos that you cannot consume immediately. Are you asking yourself if you can freeze whole jalapenos and enjoy them all year round or whenever you need them?
You can easily freeze and preserve fresh jalapenos. You can stalk up on them if you want. Some vegetables require to be partially blanched prior to freezing, however, you can directly put your fresh jalapenos in the freezer. You can prepare them before putting them in the freezer to ensure that they last longer.
How can you freeze jalapenos?
How you freeze your jalapenos depends on how you plan on using them. There are two ways you can freeze them, i.e. either freeze them whole or chop them up. The initial steps are similar for both.
- Select the right jalapenos: The first step is selecting the right jalapenos. Sort through them and remove any that might be soft, has mold on them, or are discolored. Your jalapenos should be firm and good to be frozen for a long shelf-life.
- Wash the jalapenos: Once you have sorted them, wash your jalapenos thoroughly with clean water to remove any dirt. An additional step can be to wash them with vinegar as well so as to remove any bacteria.
- Rinsing the jalapenos: Once they are clean, dry them nicely with a towel or a clean cloth.
- Whole jalapenos: You can blanch them before freezing as well as freeze them without blanching.
- Freezing prep: If you do not wish to blanch them first, flash freeze your jalapenos. For this, lay them out on a baking sheet and put them in the freezer to flash freeze. Wait for a couple of hours and then transfer them to firm zip lock bags. You can also use silicone bags or invest in good freezer bags to prevent freezer burn. Squeeze out as much air as you can and seal them.
- Blanching (Optional): You can also blanch them. Just boil them for a couple of minutes. Let them cool off completely and put them into freezer bags.
- Cleaning the jalapenos: Remove the stem if you have no use of it.
- Sliced/chopped jalapenos: Once you have washed and dried them, chop up your jalapenos. Remove the inside seeds. Cut them in you’re the shape you require them. Lay them out on a baking or cookie sheet and flash freeze them for a few hours. This will prevent them from sticking together.
- Placing them in the freezer: Once you have flash-frozen them, transfer them to freezer bags, silicone bags, or zip lock bags. Toss it in the freezer.
- Additional tip: You can also freeze roasted peppers. It will give them a different taste and you will have roasted peppers available any time you like.
An important thing to remember while cutting any hot peppers such as jalapenos is to use gloves because it will otherwise sting your hands and if accidentally you touch your eyes it will burn and hurt a lot. So be careful while handling your jalapeno peppers.
How long will your frozen jalapenos last?
They will last for approximately up to a year if frozen properly. They can last for more time as well but it is better to not keep them frozen for so long as it will alter their flavor and might even cause discoloration.
What is the best way to store jalapeno peppers?
They are best stored in the refrigerator. If you have sliced jalapenos, you should store them in the refrigerator. However, whole jalapeno peppers can last in the fridge as well as at room temperature. At room temperature, they will last for up to two or three days. So if you plan on consuming them soon, you can easily store them at room temperature.
Sliced jalapenos will last for up to four to five days in the refrigerator. After that, they do not stay fresh nor remain as pleasant to consume. Once you have cut them, put them in an airtight container lined with a paper towel. Lining with a paper towel helps absorb the moisture and keep them from going bad.
Whole jalapenos can be stored freshly in the refrigerator for at least a week. Just place them in paper bags and loosely close them and they will be good.
Another interesting method of storing whole jalapenos is by drying them out first. These will last a long time. Just hang them out to dry or place them on a newspaper or just some papers out in the sun. You can hang them by drawing a thread through them with the help of a needle. Hang them in a dry place for three to four weeks. These dried jalapeno peppers have a very long life and according to some researchers, they can last indefinitely once they have completely dried out. You can grind up these dried peppers and use them as a spice whenever you like. How amazing is that!
How do you thaw frozen jalapenos?
Thawing frozen jalapenos are considerably simple. Just take the bag out from the freezer and leave it in the refrigerator for about two to three hours or until they are thawed. If you want to roast them or use them while cooking or baking a dish, you can just take the required amount from the freezer and directly put it in the dish you are making. They will thaw and tenderize while you cook or bake the dish as jalapenos do not take a lot of time in thawing or cooking.
Do jalapenos lose heat or flavor when frozen?
When you freeze anything some of the flavors are always lost. So they never taste exactly the same as fresh ones do. But frozen jalapenos are still great in taste and heat. Fresh jalapenos are only available in the summer season so why would you deprive yourself of them for the rest of the entire year.
Also, their heat is locked in according to a lot of people. Freezing them does not mean that they lose the spicy heat that they have. The flavor might be only slightly lost but the locked heat makes up for that in my opinion.
How can you use frozen jalapenos?
Jalapenos are easy to freeze and then consume. Once you have thawed your frozen peppers you can use them in whatever way you want to, as if they were fresh. They might not have the same crunch but their taste will not be lost if you froze them properly. So do not hesitate from storing your jalapenos in the freezer.
How to tell if your jalapenos have gone bad?
If your jalapeno peppers have some discoloration or a change in smell, discard them. Also, look out for molds that might grow after two or more weeks in the refrigerator. If you have canned peppers and their tin is rusty or discolored or leaks, do not use the peppers inside. Throw it out.
Jalapenos or other such peppers become wrinkly after a while. That does not mean that they have gone bad and you cannot consume them. They might have lost their freshness or some of their heat, but you can still consume them. Another thing to remember is that if you are using your jalapenos in a cooked dish and they are not as fresh or have the crunchiness, it will not make much of a difference in your dish.
Read the amazing health benefits of jalapenos here!
Wrapping up my thoughts on freezing whole jalapenos!
So despite the fact that jalapenos are freshly available only in the summers, it should not deprive you of their amazing flavor. By freezing them you can enjoy them all year round. Use them for making salsa, in your nachos, for making jalapeno poppers, or any dish in which you want that spicy richness use jalapenos. I use them in my pasta, in my burgers and sandwiches all year round. You can grow your own peppers and freeze a lot of the harvested ones.
I hope this article proves helpful to you and provides you the necessary information for freezing these spicy and rich with flavor peppers.
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