Food Preservation – Onions

Freezing Onions Using the Food Processor

We trimmed all of our cured small and medium sized onions on Friday morning.  We grow sweet onions (not known for their long storage capabilities) and experienced a fair amount of loss of last year’s harvest after a few months due to rotting, as well as having the centers start to sprout.  So we decided that we would preserve some of this year’s harvest via freezing to use into the winter (and beyond).

Cured and trimmed onions

Cured and trimmed onions

After researching this a bit on the internet, she decided that dicing the onions and being able to break off whatever you need from the freezer bag was going to work best for us.  She decided to use the small and medium sized onions for this endeavor but when faced with having to dice this many onions at one time (and the accompanying attack of the onions;  aka, eye irritation) eyed the food processor for help (did a brief internet search for any insight) and decided to experiment with the different blades.

First batch rinsed and peeled

First batch rinsed and peeled

First up was the shredding blade.

Shredding Blade

Shredding Blade

One round (about 12 small onions) showed that this blade resulted in more of a mince than a dice.  Too small but, since we don’t waste for reasons such as this, these were frozen along with the others.

Next up was the slicing blade.  Still not the type of result she was looking for.

Shredded on left, Sliced on Right

Shredded on left, Sliced on Right

So she decided to go with using the regular blade set up and pulsing several times to achieve more of a dice.

Regular Blade Setup

Regular Blade Setup

The result was acceptable but not as great as dicing by hand.  The dice in the food processor was finer than we normally cook with.  However, given the number of onions involved and the time it took just to cut off the ends and peel them, it was “good enough”.

Diced pile on left, Shredding blade upper right, Slicing lower right

Diced pile on left, Shredding blade upper right, Slicing lower right

The onions were then spread fairly thinly on a cookie sheet and put in the freezer for about 30 minutes or so.  This amount of time doesn’t freeze them solid but gets them individually frozen enough to put in a freezer bag in a manner that will allow you to break off the amount you need instead of having a solid clump of diced onions.  If you have time to freeze them solid, by all means do so.  But we had three batches to do and were trying to dirty only one cookie sheet…

Cookie Sheet for Individual Freezing

Cookie Sheet for Individual Freezing

All in all, we ended up with two gallon sized freezer bags.  Not bad for “small and medium” onions!  They accumulate volume quickly!

Diced and Frozen and Bagged

Diced and Frozen and Bagged

This is our first year preserving onions by freezing but our internet research shows other people do it this way with acceptable results.  We preserve blanched celery in the same way and have been pleased with the results so we have hopes for the onions as well.

 

 

 

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3 Responses to “Food Preservation – Onions”

  1. Robin Says:

    This year I planted some sweet onions along with the storage onions. We are planning on freezing them too. I’ve frozen onions in the past when they were at the end of their storage time. It was very successful and they sure are handy for cooking!

  2. GrafixMuse Says:

    I think you will be pleased with the results of freezing your onions. I do so all the time with great success. Most times I cut them into wedges, layer them on a cookie sheet, then add them to a zipper bag once they are frozen. It makes it easy to grab a handful at a time. Onions are easy to chop into smaller pieces when frozen too.

  3. 7 July Weekly Update | Food Garden Kitchen Says:

    […] Gardening and Cooking in North Carolina « Food Preservation – Onions […]

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