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Freezing eggplant is a great way to preserve these summer vegetables, and enjoy them throughout the rest of the year. Though it is a bit of a process, it is not difficult, and will help to ensure that the eggplants freeze well, and are just as delicious when they are taken out of the freezer. It is important to choose an eggplant that is ripe and fresh, not overripe or underripe. It doesn't make a difference whether it is peeled or unpeeled when freezing eggplant; it largely depends on what they eggplant will be used for. It is then sliced, blanched, and dipped in ice water before being dried and frozen.
When freezing eggplant, it will be necessary to slice it and then freeze the individual slices, rather than trying to freeze it whole, which will just not work. Choose an eggplant that is ripe yet still firm, and wash it thoroughly. Then determine whether slices or cubes will be more useful when you take the eggplant out of the freezer; generally, slices will not require peeling the eggplant, whereas cubes will. It makes no difference in the effectiveness of freezing the eggplant, however, whether it is peeled or unpeeled.
Once the cubes or slices are created, the next step in freezing eggplant requires blanching it, which will help to prevent the texture and the color of the eggplant from changing while it is frozen. It will be necessary to boil a pot of water, add a bit of lemon juice -- search online for the exact measurements -- and then to drop the eggplant in the boiling water for two to four minutes. This will blanch it but will not cook it, which is desired. After the time is up, immediately place the eggplant in ice water to cool it and stop the cooking process.
It is best to dry the eggplant with some paper towels before placing it in a freezer bag or container. It may be a good idea to place wax paper or plastic wrap between slices, though this is not necessary when freezing eggplant cubes. Get as much air as possible out of the bag before putting the eggplant in the freezer. It can then be kept in the freezer for about nine months to a year, after which time it is unlikely the eggplant will taste very good or have a very appealing texture. Freezing vegetables and eating them later can be a great way to save money throughout the year, though, so it is a good idea to take some time and give it a try.
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