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No one likes running to the store for one little jalapeño pepper. Learn how to freeze jalapeño peppers to make your crockpot meals and last minute soups a breeze. I’m really proud of how far I’ve exercised my spicy food muscle over the past few years. Not too long ago, I thought it was difficult to eat Franks Hot buffalo sauce. (I know, pathetic) I loved it, but felt it was scorching hot at the same time. For each serving of Franks Hot buffalo sauce I would have three times the serving of water. (Which come to find out is the worst thing you can do if your mouth is on fire, go figure.) Fast forward to today. I no longer cringe when I’m tasked with spicing up a dish with a jalapeño pepper. I can handle it! Part of this is because once I learned the seeds of the pepper pack the majority of the heat, I avoided them like the plague and enjoyed the more mild heat from the outside of the pepper. The other part is because I know how to keep jalapeño peppers in the freezer. Having them on hand saves both money and time. Not to mention it makes my food taste delicious with little effort.
So why learn how to freeze jalapeño peppers? Maybe you are like me and you don’t need jalapeños every week. If I go to Whole Foods I can usually score just one, but my local corner mart sells jalapeño peppers in a bag of 10-12. I hate seeing good food go bad. And personally, I can’t sit around and eat a bag of jalapeno peppers. That’s a whole lot of heat for one crockpot beef recipe or bowl of soup. Usually one to two frozen jalapeño peppers does the trick. Now its a habit When I go to the store for jalapeño peppers, I buy in bulk and freeze leftover jalapeno peppers so I can use them in the future. I put them in my freezer amongst good friends and cooking companions: frozen adobo peppers and frozen herbs in olive oil. Practice jalapeno pepper safety. One thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want to touch your eyes or face when you’re cutting the jalapeño peppers.
Give the jalapeno peppers a good rinse. I like to spray some of my organic fruit and veggie scrub on them under running water since they grow in the ground.
You will need a cutting board and a knife Jalapeno peppers aren’t usually too difficult to cut but definitely use a knife sharp enough to do the job right. (i.e. not cut your fingers with spicy pepper juice – ouch!)
The knife I use is probably about 20 to 30 years old. My mom gave it to me in one of those boxes that you get when your parents are cleaning out their house. It is from Chicago cutlery. Looks really sturdy don’t you think? I think it’s a really good conversation piece.
Next, remove the little jalapeno pepper caps. Something about this is really cute to me because it looks like they’re wearing little hats. Like little pepper burettes. French jalapeño peppers if you will. (I digress)
Slice their little bodies lengthwise This surgical pepper procedure will open the pepper up and make it easier to get out those nasty spicy seeds.
You can remove all of the seeds and white membrane with your sharp knife. Then score your pepper in one direction and slice perpendicularly in the other direction to make teeny-weeny jalapeño pepper pieces. This is my favorite way to store frozen jalapeno peppers because you can easily toss a chunk of frozen jalapeno peppers into the crockpot, have them thaw quickly, and stir them into the mixture. When I’m making soup I prefer to have the jalapenos diced like this, ready to go.
Keep each diced jalapeno pepper separate. It’s easier to wrap each frozen jalapeño pepper separately so you can just pick up toss them into the crockpot or in a marinade. You never know when you’re going to need jalapeno pepper they might as well have them rationed out separately so it’s easier to count the quantity and so you’re not second-guessing yourself. I don’t find any need to mix in olive oil when I freeze jalapeño peppers (like I would for frozen herbs). I just wrap each jalapeno pepper and some plastic wrap put in a baggie that I label jalapeño (I wouldn’t want to think they were just regular old green peppers, which I also like to freeze!).
And call it a day.
You’re all set! Best of jalapeno pepper luck to you.