The Benefit Of Freezing Leftover Roast Vegetables Quickly

Eating vegetables is an important part of the American diet. It's recommended that adults eat between two and three cups of these fibrous foods on a daily basis. But preparing fresh vegetables takes a lot of prep and cooking time to really bring out their flavor — and time may be at a premium during a busy work week. There is also the challenge of using up your fresh produce before it starts to go bad. That's both bad for your pocketbook and for the environment.

Luckily, there is an easy solution for both of these: batch roasting and freezing vegetables. If you are a meal preparer, there is nothing novel about this solution for ensuring you can easily incorporate cooked vegetables into your family dinners; However, when and how quickly you freeze your vegetables may be the game changer in how they taste. 

Ina Garten is a fan of freezing leftovers fast and shuns the natural instinct to stack those warm containers in the freezer, waiting until foods are completely frozen before practicing space-saving techniques. Garten knows a fast freeze is the way to go because freezing leftovers as soon as possible, especially roasted vegetables, has its benefits.

They become sweeter

When you freeze your roasted vegetables, they are going to taste better when you defrost them for a later use. Of course, you will want to freeze them quickly and evenly so they don't turn into a mushy mess. This is when a sheet pan is your best friend. This kitchen cookware will allow you to spread the veggies out in a single layer. Pop it in the freezer, and once they are frozen, which should take about 2 hours, you can place them in a freezer safe container of choice until you are ready to use them. 

Why a fast freeze for your roasted vegetables? As it turns out, your foods are still undergoing chemical changes as they cool off. For this reason, the carbohydrates in your carrots, Brussel sprouts, beets, and bell peppers turn sweeter as they cool while the starches in your potatoes turn this tuber into an even more delicious version of itself. 

A fast freeze of your roasted vegetables will also help ensure your veggies are free of large ice crystals, which can alter their texture in a way that is not pleasing to your taste buds.