Jalapenos are small hot peppers from the chili pepper family. Their sizes range from 5 to 10cm. They usually come in red or green colors. These small, moderately spicy peppers are used majorly in Mexican cuisines but have managed to go International and be used in recipes and dishes all over the world.
Jalapenos get ready to be harvested during the summer. In winter, you’ve got nothing. These peppers have a special spicy flavor and taste that is unique to your palates. Jalapenos can be made into syrup but if you want to preserve that hot and spicy fresh feel of Jalapenos for yourself, how do you do it?
Can you freeze jalapenos? Yes, you can. Freezing can help you preserve Jalapenos all year round. Jalapenos can be frozen with no damage to their texture, taste, or color. Although, if you freeze them for too long, you would begin to notice a change in color or taste. Jalapenos are prone to freezer burn because of the amount of moisture that they have.
Jalapenos are high in nutrients, they contain a lot of vitamins, a fair amount of calories, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Apart from that, Jalapenos can be made into stuffed peppers, which could increase the amount of nutrient intake when you stuff them with the right filling.
How to Freeze Jalapenos
Jalapenos can be frozen in different forms, depending on how you want to use them after freezing. But, the greatest enemy to your frozen jalapeno is oxygen. If not taken care of, you could have all the jalapenos freezer burnt in a few months.
Freezing Jalapenos Whole
This is the easiest route you could take when freezing jalapenos. It is as easy as it sounds. You don’t need to carry out any preparation or measures before you freeze.
Just get your fresh Jalapenos, remove any pepper that seems to be limp or too soft, and wash them thoroughly in cold water. Remove the stems and discard them, then dry them with a paper towel.
Because Jalapenos are small peppers, they can be frozen whole conveniently. If you have a lot of freezer space, this method would work best for you. Freezing Jalapenos whole gives you limitless options. You can use the frozen peppers in whichever way you like.
Get a Ziploc freezer bag and place the pepper into the bags, press the bags flat to expel as much as you can before you seal them.
To reduce the amount of air that gets to your pepper, you can use reusable Silicone bags instead. Now, label the bags with the date of the freeze before you put them in the freezer.
Freezing Pre-Sliced Jalapenos
Pre-sliced jalapenos are a great idea if you fancy diced jalapenos or stuffed peppers or if you are just short on freezer space. This saves you the stress of having to slice the peppers after they have been frozen. It also helps you to get a measure of your frozen pepper correctly.
Step 1: Preparation
Gloves!! You need gloves before you handle jalapenos. Jalapenos are hot and they contain a compound, capsaicin that makes them a potential skin irritant. After handling Jalapenos, you should wash your hand with hot water and soap and do the same for the kitchen equipment you used.
Wash the pepper in cold running water, pick out the overly soft and limp jalapenos so that they would not ruin your freezing experience. rinse them and drain them in a colander. Then leave the pepper out or air dry or use a paper towel to dry them.
Step 2: Slice the Jalapenos
Remove the stems from the Jalapenos and slice the pepper open without completely cutting it into half and scoop out the seeds. If you would not be using the Jalapenos as stuffed peppers, you can cut them into any shape or size that you desire.
Step 3: Flash Freeze
To keep your peppers from sticking together as they freeze, you need to flash freeze them. Get a cookie sheet and line it with a silicone baking mat.
Spread the pieces of Jalapeno on the sheet without one touching the other. Then, place the sheet into the freezer to freeze for about an hour.
Step 4: Storage and Freezing
After leaving the Jalapenos to flash freeze, bring them out of the freezer and pack them into reusable silicone bags. These bags do a good job of keeping the oxygen away from your frozen jalapenos. Press the bags flat before you seal them.
Before you freeze the bags, note that you have diced your peppers now, and they look like any other kind of pepper. So you have to label the bags so that you would not mistake them for another kind of pepper.
Label the bags stating the contents and the date of the freeze so that you can keep track of them if you lose them in the freezer.
How to Thaw Frozen Jalapenos
Frozen Jalapenos are easier to thaw. Just take the bag of frozen jalapenos, remove the amount you need out of their bags. Return the remaining into the freezer after making sure that you have minimized their contact with air.
Let your Jalapenos thaw on a paper towel. The towel helps you absorb the moisture and does a good job of keeping the jalapenos from being too moist. Once your peppers reach room temperature, you can use them as you like.
How to Recognize Spoiled Jalapenos
The first sign that jalapeno is going bad is the presence of brown or grey spots on the pepper. This doesn’t mean that the pepper is not suitable for eating, but the quality of taste and level of spiciness begins to reduce at this point.
Spoiled Jalapenos will have mold on them and would be super soft. If you notice this, then discard them.