Artichokes are a nutritious and delicious vegetable that popular for home cooking. This vegetable is versatile and perfect for dips, casseroles, salads, and soups. However, artichoke is a seasonal vegetable grown and harvested only during the summer months so they can’t be enjoyed all year long. If you want to eat them during the winter, can you freeze artichokes?
Can you freeze artichoke? Yes, you can freeze artichoke. While this vegetable is best used as fresh, freezing is an option if you’re looking to store the vegetable for a long period of time. To make sure it stays fresh in the freezer for up to 8 months, prepping them and proper storage is required. If not, the artichoke shelf life in the freezer will be less than 3 months.
Do Artichoke Freeze Well?
Artichokes can be frozen, but they are best used as fresh. How well they freeze will depend on you prepare them and what they’ll be used for later.
Artichokes that have been marinated will freeze better and the flavor of it will taste better too.
Canned or water-packed artichokes, on the other hand, will have a blander flavor and the texture will be softer.
Artichokes that are frozen will be mushier and softer than fresh ones. Therefore, it’s best to use freeze artichokes in puree form. This will make them great for using the vegetables as dips and recipes that require the ingredients to be mixed.
Due to their long shelf life in the freezer, artichoke is an excellent vegetable to store during the winter months. This means you can enjoy eating artichokes throughout the year.
How to Freeze Artichoke
There are a couple of things to know before freezing artichokes. Like most other vegetables, freezing can either keep them fresh for a long time or cause damage to them right away.
The first thing is selecting the right artichokes. Artichokes will need to be fresh before it’s stored in the freezer. Using one that isn’t fresh will likely result in it losing its taste and firmness quickly. Choose artichokes that are green in color all around that to have tight leaves and taut shape.
The second thing is unlike other vegetables, artichokes cannot be frozen in their raw form. Doing so will cause it to lose its texture and flavor when it’s frozen.
Therefore, you’ll need to use the blanching method to prepare the artichokes for the freezer. Blanching the artichokes first will preserve the taste, nutrition, and texture while it’s frozen.
Below are the steps to prepping and freezing artichoke:
- If you’re not using canned artichokes, you’ll need to remove all the leaves from the vegetable first. Then you’ll need to scoop out the choke from the center of it.
- Then place the artichoke under cold running water for a few minutes.
- Leave them in a colander to let it drain of water.
- The next step is blanching, which is very important to preserve the texture, taste, and nutrition of the artichoke while it’s frozen.
- In a pot, heat the water until it starts to boil.
- Cut a lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the pot.
- Place the artichokes into the boiling water. For small artichokes, blanch them for about 3 minutes. For medium to large artichokes, blanch them for 5 minutes.
- Then remove the blanched artichokes and place them into an ice bath immediately. The cold water will stop the artichoke from being cooked any further.
- Leave them in the ice bath for about 5 minutes.
- Once it’s cooled down, place them in a colander for about 10 minutes to let them drip dry.
- Using a paper towel, press on the artichokes to remove any excess water.
- On a clean tray, place a sheet of baking or wax paper on it.
- Place the artichoke hearts onto the tray making sure they are spread out evenly.
- Place the tray of artichokes into the freezer for about 2-3 hours to flash freeze them.
- Once the artichokes are completely frozen, immediately transfer them to an airtight container or freezer bag.
- Label the bag or container with the freezing date and place them back into the freezer.
Blanched artichokes will last for up to 8 months in the freezer.
How Do You Defrost Artichoke?
Defrosting artichoke hearts will require some time. The simplest method is to remove the container of the vegetables from the freezer and place an aluminum foil over it. Then heat water until it begins to steam. Place the container over the steaming water for about 10-15 minutes. This will cause the artichoke hearts to thaw out for you to cook as you please.
Once you’re ready to cook the artichokes, it’s recommended to cook them for about 25 minutes for the best result.
How Long Can You Freeze Artichoke?
How long the artichoke hearts last in the freezer will depend on how you prepped them. If you’ve prepped and blanch the artichoke hearts, they will last for up to 8 months.
On the other hand, if you simply place the artichoke hearts into an airtight container or freezer bag without any prepping, expect them to last no longer than 3 months.
The date above is just an estimated time of how long the artichoke hearts will remain fresh. After that date, you’ll still be able to eat or use them, but the quality of it will deteriorate.
Therefore, you should try to use them within 8 months.
An exception would be if you’re planning to use the artichoke hearts to make a dipping sauce. If that’s the case, a couple of months will not make a difference since the vegetables will get mixed with other ingredients.
Can You Refreeze Artichoke Hearts?
Refreezing artichoke hearts isn’t recommended as it will change the texture and flavor of it.
If you’re planning to use the artichokes to make dips or other recipes that require the vegetables to be mixed, then refreezing them is fine.
Otherwise, refreezing the artichokes will result in soft, mushy, and flavorless vegetables.
Can Frozen Artichoke Go Bad?
Frozen artichoke hearts can go bad if it’s left in the freezer for a prolonged period of time or it’s left to thaw for too long. When the vegetable freezes, the texture will be altered a bit.
For best results, the artichoke heart should be stored in the freezer between 6-8 months. After that, the quality of it will start to deteriorate. However, the artichoke will still be safe to eat.
Can you freeze canned artichoke?
If the canned artichoke hasn’t been opened yet, there’s no need to freeze. Keep them in a cool and dry place like the pantry, and they will last for a very long time.
However, if you’ve opened the can already, you can freeze the artichoke. Simply remove them from the can and place them in an airtight container. Seal the lid on the container tight and label it with the freezing date.
Can you freeze artichoke dips?
Yes, artichoke dips can be frozen. Freezing the dip is recommended for long term storage.
When you’re ready to store the artichoke dips, simply place the dips into an airtight container. Leave about an inch of space at the top to allow room for expansion. Artichoke dips will expand a little when it freezes.