What is an Eggplant?
If you are hearing the word eggplant for the first time, you may be asking yourself; what is eggplant, and can you freeze eggplant? Eggplant is a member of the nightshade family of vegetables, including tomatoes, okra, and zucchini. Eggplant grows in various forms and hues and does best in hot areas and the summer.
Eggplants are of different sizes and shapes. All species of eggplant have edible seeds, making them very simple to prepare.
Can You Freeze Eggplant?
Can you freeze the whole eggplant? Unquestionably, you can freeze eggplant. Although frozen and thawed eggplant will never taste or feel like fresh eggplant, there are several steps you can take to retain flavor and texture.
How to Freeze Eggplant?
It might be time to switch to plan B if your box is overflowing with eggplant; therefore, you have more eggplant than you can consume in a few days. You know eggplant tastes best when you eat them a few days after bringing them home. If not, freezing the eggplant is your best option.
The common and most important question is; can you freeze raw eggplant? Many tutorials on freezing eggplant only cover one method, although there are at least four, and each has advantages. Examine each of the possibilities below.
Can you freeze eggplant without blanching? Yes, you can; however, blanching and freezing eggplant in rounds is a fantastic alternative if you prefer to prepare eggplant parmesan or eat it baked or fried. Here is how to accomplish it:
- Add a gallon of water (3.8 liters) to a large stockpot, then add half a cup of bottled lemon juice. Turn the heat to high.
- Peel the eggplant and trim a little off of both ends while you’re waiting for the water to boil. Then cut it into rounds measuring 1/4 inch (0.6 centimeters). Preparing a small amount at a time is preferable, as eggplant tends to oxidize (become brown) rapidly.
- Add the eggplant rounds to the pot after the water has come to a rolling boil and blanch them for four minutes. This will eliminate any bacteria that could be there and stop the work of the enzymes, ensuring that they will stay long in the freezer.
- While the eggplant is blanching, prepare a sizable dish of ice water. When the four minutes are up, immediately drop the pieces of eggplant into it. This will stop the cooking process and prevent the eggplant from becoming overcooked.
- Take the eggplant out of the cold water once it has cooled, then pat it dry.
- Place the rounds on a baking sheet and flash freeze them, or bread them. You can bread them with homemade Italian breadcrumbs after dipping them in egg.
- Transfer the frozen eggplant into freezer bags. To prevent the rounds from freezing together, if you choose to bread yours, place a piece of wax paper in between each one.
Roasting and Pureeing Eggplant
Freezing eggplant puree is wise if you enjoy using it to make sauces, stuffing, and dips. As follows:
- Cut the eggplant in half (or several eggplants in half). Place the halves of the eggplant on a baking sheet and roast for 35 to 45 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (11.8 degrees Celsius) or until the interiors are tender and creamy.
- After letting the eggplant cool, scoop out the interior, add it to a food processor, and process until smooth.
- Place the puree in containers you can freeze (pint jars will give you handy two-cup servings). Before placing the containers in the freezer, make sure to label them.
Freezing roasted eggplant cubes is a fantastic option if you prefer eating eggplant as a side dish or adding it to soups and stir-fries. This is how you do it:
- Cut your eggplant into cubes. After that, spread it out on a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and minced garlic.
- Roast eggplant for 45 minutes at 375°Fahrenheit (11.1 degrees Celsius), or until the skin is brown enough and the centers are creamy.
- After cooling, quickly freeze on cookie sheets (this will keep the pieces from sticking together). Before using them, transfer to freezer bags, seal them, and keep them there. Just defrost the frozen eggplant pieces by heating them briefly on the stove or in the oven before adding them to soups or stir-fries.
Making and Freezing Your Favorite Eggplant Dishes
Can you freeze eggplant parmesan? You can make a few eggplant parmesans or casseroles with eggplant if you want to keep your freezer filled with prepared foods. You should be very happy with the results if you concentrate on recipes where the eggplant doesn’t need to stay firm.
What to do With Frozen Eggplant
When you have a supply of frozen eggplant, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before using it in frozen eggplant recipes. If necessary, wring out any extra water and pat them dry. Check out our favorite simple recipes for eggplant!
How to Blanch Eggplant
Think about how flavorful eggplant parmesan would taste if you had picked the fruit and frozen it at home. One of the simplest ways to store a vegetable for the chilly winter months is to blanch and freeze it. Here’s the right way to go about it.
What You Require
- One fresh, medium-sized eggplant. One serving is equal to this. Consider that it cooks down.
- A gallon of water and half a cup of fresh lime or lemon juice.
- Equipment; a one-gallon pot of scalding water.
- Two large basins filled with ice and chilly water.
- A sharp knife.
- A vacuum food sealer or freezer bag in the Ziploc style. The best bags are for freezing since they are heavier and provide a better defense against freezer burn.
Get Your Eggplant
The eggplant needs to be as fresh as you can get it. If there will be any delay in coming into the house, keep it in the refrigerator or cover it with ice. Pick or purchase the eggplant before the seeds have ripened. Various eggplant cultivars freeze more successfully than others.
Like many other vegetables, eggplants lose water when the cell walls split after freezing. In my experience, traditional black eggplants perform better than other varieties, such as purple eggplants, Chinese eggplants, or Thai eggplants. However, it doesn’t matter in some dishes, like Indian Baigan Bharta. Run cold or lukewarm water under the faucet to rinse the eggplant.
Wash the Eggplant
There isn’t much need for an explanation. Run cold or lukewarm water under the faucet to rinse.
Peel the eggplant in step three. Cut the ends by a quarter of an inch (0.6 centimeters) using a sharp knife. After that, peel the eggplant. The ideal tool is a regular vegetable peeler.
Slice the Eggplant
Slices should be about a third of an inch thick (0.8 centimeters) and circular. Don’t linger. Peeled eggplant will turn brown if you expose it to the air for longer than 30 minutes.
Prepare the Pots
You should add half a cup of fresh lemon juice to a pan that is two-thirds full of water. You should add ice cubes and cold water to a sizable bowl. When you take the fruit out of the boiling water pan, you will need this to cool it quickly.
Blanching the Eggplant
Enzymes and bacteria are present in all fruits and vegetables. Even when you freeze the food, they eventually cancel out the nutrients and change the product’s color, flavor, and texture.
You must blanch, cook, or steam eggplant to kill off these enzymes before freezing.
You should carefully place slices of eggplant in the boiling water. You only have to blanch them for around three minutes because you cut them pretty thinly. Pour the slices into the boiling water and immediately begin the countdown. Boil for the necessary amount of time while covered.
Use the same water up to five times if you are blanching many eggplants. Ensure enough water to cover the slices by topping them off every time. You should carefully place slices of eggplant in the boiling water and blanch them for a few minutes.
Let the Eggplant Cool
When the time is up, use a slotted spoon to remove the slices from the boiling water and immediately drop them into the ready-made bowl of icy water. The slices should remain there for around five minutes or until they are cool. Any additional frying stops right away with this quick cooling. If you require extra fresh ice, add it.
Drain the water once they have cooled, then pat them dry. It is now time to coat the eggplant slices in batter and bread crumbs and wrap them in wax paper if you wish to use them for eggplant parmesan later. When the time is up, use a slotted spoon to remove the slices from the boiling water and immediately drop them into the ready-made bowl of icy water.
Bag the Eggplant
You probably already know how useful FoodSaver vacuum sealers are for sealing food before freezing. If you don’t yet own one, a ziploc bag works almost as well, though removing the air can be more challenging before sealing it completely.
Eliminating the air is a great technique to seal food products and helps prevent freezer burn.
You probably already know how useful FoodSaver vacuum sealers are for sealing food before freezing. If you don’t yet own one, a Ziploc bag works almost as well, though removing the air can be more challenging before sealing it completely.
Keep in Your Freezer
Can you freeze eggplant slices? Yes, you can. Place the pieces of eggplant that are now in bags in your freezer. Use your fast freeze shelf if you have one.
How Long Does Eggplant Last?
How long is eggplant good for use? Keeping eggplant in the refrigerator after purchase will significantly impact the precise response to that inquiry. Refrigerate eggplant in a plastic bag to extend its shelf life.
In the refrigerator, how long does eggplant last? In the fridge, eggplant typically keeps well for five to seven days when you store them properly. How long does frozen eggplant last? In the freezer, eggplant saves its best quality for around eight months, but you can keep it safely for longer.
Only the greatest quality is ideal for freezing. Eggplant that you continuously freeze at 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-17.78 degrees Celsius) will be safe permanently. How can I tell whether an eggplant is rotten or bad? You should throw any eggplant with an unpleasant odor or appearance away since deteriorating eggplant will often become squishy and discolored. Read our article and find out The Olive Garden Eggplant Parmesan Recipe.
And We’re Out!
The Mediterranean, Africa, Latin and Central America, North America, the Caribbean, and all of Europe and Asia are just a few regions where vegans and meat-eaters appreciate eggplant. This extra-friendly vegetable has endless potential and is worth learning more about. Its flavor profile lends itself to almost any cooking.
You have all the tips you need to preserve your eggplant and thus enjoy it for longer in different frozen eggplant recipes. What are you waiting for? Enjoy your eggplant anytime you want!