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Artichokes are edible immature flowers that people serve as appetizers or side dishes. These vegetables are incredibly nutritious, but they only last for one to four days on the counter and a week at most in the fridge; so storing them ahead of time may be quite the problem. Even more so if you are buying artichokes in bulk for a celebration. Not to worry, because we have consulted the experts if you can freeze fresh artichokes as well as whole and stuffed artichokes.
The answer is yes, you can freeze fresh and stuffed artichokes, but you must follow specific steps. In freezing whole fresh artichokes, you must blanch them in water mixed with a bit of lemon juice. In freezing stuffed artichokes, you can prepare them ahead of time and plop them in the freezer uncooked. Fresh artichokes will last for more than 6 months, while stuffed artichokes will last for 3 weeks.
Freezing artichokes is a simple process, but there are multiple things to consider. How do you avoid browning and keep them fresh? How do you properly store them in the freezer? Continue reading to find the answers to these questions and more about freezing artichokes!
Things To Consider In Freezing Artichokes
In freezing artichokes, there are things you want to avoid. You would like to prevent the artichokes from losing their freshness and color and keep them from tasting awful and soggy.
It is easy to keep artichokes from changing colors. All you have to do is follow the steps below that involve lemon juice. Despite undergoing different processes with lemon juice, artichokes will not change their flavors just because of citrus juices.
To address the problem of tasting awful and being soggy, avoid freezing your artichokes raw. Not only will they lose their nutritional value, but they will also change their textures and turn brown. Vegetables often need to be boiled or blanched first before freezing to ensure that their freshness, color, and flavor remain intact.
How To Properly Prepare Your Artichokes For Freezing
In order to keep your artichokes fresh and nutritious, follow these easy steps of preparation:
- Cut the artichoke’s stem off.
- Smash the pointed part of the artichoke and hollow out the center.
- Scoop out the soft flower portions using a sharp and sturdy spoon, making sure to remove the choke, which is quite literally a choking hazard.
- Boil the artichoke in water mixed with lemon juice for around twenty minutes.
- Remove and place the artichokes in cool water.
- Drain and place them inside freezer bags to keep them from freezer burns.
It is essential that you put your artichokes in airtight containers, freezer bags or wrap them in heavy-duty foil to avoid discoloration and freezer burns. After you thaw them, cook them for 25 more minutes, and they will be ready to serve.
How To Freeze Whole Artichokes
Of course, the previous steps do not apply if you need whole artichokes for your recipe, especially if you are making stuffed artichokes or similar dishes. Freezing whole artichokes is like freezing other vegetables like asparagus, you must blanch them first to keep their freshness and their nutritional value. To blanch whole artichokes properly, follow these steps:
- Remove the leaves and the inedible choke of the artichoke.
- Trim off the tops and the stems of the artichoke.
- Wash the artichoke heart and drain.
- Blanch for 3 to 5 minutes in water mixed with lemon juice.
- Afterward, immediately plunge the artichokes into an ice bath.
- Drain the artichokes after they cooled off.
- Place the artichokes inside a freezer bag, a Tupperware, or wrap them in heavy-duty foil.
Can You Freeze Artichokes From A Jar?
Yes, you can freeze artichokes from a jar. Often, artichokes bought in jars are marinated in sauces. Letting marinated artichokes in jars sit in the freezer makes the artichokes absorb more of the sauce, making their flavor richer and extends their shelf life.
To freeze artichokes in a jar, place the whole unopened jar in the freezer. Once opened, it is best that you consume the artichokes immediately.
However, freezing canned artichokes is unnecessary because canned products already have long shelf lives. In addition to being unnecessary, freezing canned artichokes would solidify the water inside, make them soggy and reduce their flavor.
How Do You Thaw Frozen Artichokes?
There are three ways to thaw frozen artichokes:
- The first and simplest method is to remove them from the freezer and place them in the fridge overnight. They can be prepared normally the next day.
- Another way of defrosting them is to put them on the counter and leave them there for a few hours until they are soft. As much as possible avoid plunging the artichokes in water for long periods of time unless you are cooking them. Keeping them in water may change their texture.
- Lastly, if you are in a rush you can wrap the artichokes in foil and let them steam for ten minutes. Please remember that the last method only applies if your recipe calls for it.
Once thawed, artichokes must be prepared and consumed as soon as possible. At most, artichokes should be prepared and eaten 2 hours after thawing to avoid spoilage.
How Long Do Artichokes Last In The Freezer?
Artichokes can be preserved in the freezer for long periods of time. Usually, artichokes last in the freezer for around 6 to 10 months for the best quality. However, they can still be safe and edible past the tenth month if you continuously keep them at freezing point.
To make sure that your artichokes are still fresh, inspect its look and smell. If they have massive discolorations or smell differently, then it is best to discard them. However, artichokes do not often spoil when frozen properly.
How Do You Freeze Stuffed Artichokes?
You can freeze stuffed artichokes as long as they remain uncooked. In freezing stuffed artichokes, you should apply a bit of lemon juice on them to avoid discoloration. Afterwards, place them in an airtight container or in freezer bags to reduce freezer burns.
You can prepare your stuffed artichokes the day before cooking, and then place them in the freezer overnight. If you decide to keep them in the freezer for longer, they can stay fresh for up to 3 weeks.
Never freeze cooked or baked stuffed artichokes. The process of freezing will make the dish soggy.
How To Reheat Frozen Stuffed Artichokes
You can directly bake or cook your stuffed artichokes straight from the freezer. You can prepare stuffed artichokes the way you usually would, or you can opt to place them on the counter to reduce their coolness first.
Freezing artichokes—both whole and stuffed—is a great way of keeping them fresh for a long time. There are very specific ways of preparing and freezing them, but the processes are very simple and easy to follow. If you follow these steps completely, your artichokes will remain as fresh and as delicious as they were when they were first picked from the plant itself.