Many gardeners are wary of growing too much of certain vegetables because of potential waste after the harvest. A variety of vegetables can prepared as they would for cooked dishes and then frozen. Then, when the vegetables are needed, they can be taken from the freezer and put into the recipe as before.
Asparagus can be cut up or kept as spears. Snap off the ends before preparing the asparagus for freezing. Blanch the vegetable using either water or steam. Store the vegetable in freezer bags.
Many types of beans can be picked fresh and frozen. Bean types from green and wax beans to kidney and Lima beans can be frozen for later use. Prepare the beans by washing them then patting them dry. Cut the ends off and blanch for three minutes. Store the beans in freezer bags.
Corn can be frozen on the cob or packed as kernels. Remove the husks, silk and ends. Blanch the corn cobs in water. Cut the kernels from the cob to freeze in bags, or wrap the cob in plastic wrap and then place in freezer bags.
Cucumbers cannot be frozen by themselves; a special seasoning called brine must be used. Brine is a vinegar and sugar mix. Soak the cucumbers in the brine for pickling. Pack the pickles in rigid plastic containers or freezer bags. Store frozen pickles up to six months.
Fresh onions must be frozen within three days. Peel and dice onions, then place the pieces on a tray. Freeze the onion pieces, then bag the onion. Use the diced onion for soups and stews or with fried meats for sandwiches.
Peas can be frozen either individually or in pods. Either way uses blanching to save the freshness, but the time period for blanching is different.
All types of peppers can be harvested and frozen. Wash and dry the peppers. Cut the stem out and remove the seeds and membrane. Blanch whole peppers for three minutes. Cut, sliced or diced peppers can be blanched for two minutes. Freeze the peppers on a tray and then pack in freezer bags or rigid plastic containers.
Potatoes can be saved by cooking in water or grated and sauteed. Peel the skin off. Prepare the potatoes according to how you plan to use them later. Store potatoes in rigid plastic as hashbrowns, mashed or diced pieces.
Tomatoes from the garden are processed using a boiling water bath. The process is called canning. Tomatoes can be made into paste, juice or stewed. Afterward, tomatoes can be frozen and used in various recipes.