Posted: August 13, 2012
Eggplant can be frozen but is not suitable for canning. It should be harvested before the seeds become mature and when the color is uniformly dark. To prevent oxidation, wash and peel only enough eggplant for one blanching at a time. Slice ⅓ inch thick. Blanch 4 minutes in one gallon of boiling water to which ½ cup lemon juice has been added. Cool, drain and package, leaving ½ inch headspace. Seal and freeze. Pack the drained slices with freezer wrap between the slices if you plan to use it for frying.
Kohlrabi is a member of the turnip family and tastes like a mild, sweet turnip. It can be steamed or added to soups, stews, and stir-fries. The thickened base of the kohlrabi stem is the edible portion that is used. Select stems when fully grown but tender—about 2 to 3 inches in diameter. Cut off tops and roots. Wash and peel off the tough bark. Leave whole or dice in ½ inch cubes. Water blanch whole kohlrabi 3 minutes and cubes 1 minute. Cool, drain, and package, leaving ½ inch headspace. Seal and freeze.
Okra: The smooth varieties of okra freeze as well or better than the ridged varieties because they do not split as easily. Wash and remove the stems at the end of the seed cells being careful not to expose the seed cell. Water blanch small pods 3 minutes and large pods 4 minutes. Cool promptly and drain. Leave whole or slice crosswise. Package, leaving ½ inch headspace. Seal and freeze. To freeze okra for frying—after blanching, slice crosswise and dredge with cornmeal or flour. Spread in a single layer on shallow trays, freeze just long enough to become firm, and package quickly, allowing ½ inch headspace. Seal and freeze.
Turnips can be pressure canned by hot packing sliced or dicedturnips that have been boiled 5 minutes. Allow 1 inch headspace. Process pints 30 minutes at 11 pounds pressure in a dial gauge canner and 10 pounds pressure in a weighted gauge canner. Process quarts 35 minutes. Turnips can be frozen by water blanching ½ inch cubes for 2 minutes. Don’t forget the turnip greens. They can be frozen by water blanching the young tender greens for 2 minutes.
Onions: Small onions that are 1 inch in diameter or less can be canned by hot packing and processing in a pressure canner. Wash and peel the onions before covering with boiling water. Bring to a boil and boil 5 minutes before filling jars allowing 1 inch headspace. Process pints or quarts for 40 minutes at 11 pounds pressure in a dial gauge canner or at 10 pounds in a weighted gauge canner. Remember to made adjustments in the pressure when canning at higher altitudes
Chopped onions can be frozen without blanching. Cut the fully mature onion into ½ inch pieces or smaller. Freeze in vapor proof bags or containers. Tightly sealed freezer jars work well in avoiding odor transfer to other foods in the freezer. Plastic wrap can be inserted between layers to make it easier to remove smaller amounts. Use in cooked products. For most dishes, frozen onions may be used with little or no thawing.
For more home food preservation recipes, visit the Penn State Food Preservation web site at http://extension.psu.edu/food-safety/food-preservation or call your local Penn State Cooperative Extension office.