Freezing is one of the most effective techniques to save food for later use. You might have bought a few items at you will be thinking of eating, but maybe due to your busy schedule, you forgot about them, and they end up in a sad corner of your fridge. Putting them in the freezer means they do not go to waste.
At the end of the day, you end up throwing them, wasting your money, and a good portion of food also. Some people cook the food in advance and let them sit in the fridge to avoid moulding, but how long will you be able to keep the food?
Your freezer is the perfect solution to this problem, but which of the ingredients you can store in your freezer? How should you freeze them? Don’t worry, I have devised a perfect guide for all of your concerns and confusion.
Food that you can freeze
First, let us talk about what you can freeze:
- Eggs (Without shells)
- Fresh Herbs
- Bananas (Skinned)
- Fully cooked rice
- Meat (Cooked or raw)
- Fully cooked pasta
- Milk – as long as you thoroughly defrost and shake it well as it separates
Food that you should not freeze
- Vegetables and fruits with high water content because once they defrost, they will become mushy.
- Fried food items because when they defrost, the breading will become soggy.
Tip: I recommend freezing food that can be fried, or eaten raw. You don’t have to get them to room temperature to fry them. Start to fry or bake them on low heat when only partially thawed.
How to freeze
Putting foods in freezer-proof bags and containers is much better than freezing them in the packs you get them from at the supermarket. If you do this you reduce the chance of freezer burn.
Tip: Make sure to bring all the food items to room temperature before freezing.
I recommend you freeze the individual portions of meat in a zip-lock bag. Try to take out all of the air from the pack to avoid freeze burns.
Tip: Place a straw at the edge of the bag. Zip the bag to where the straw is and press out the air, then zip it completely. OR You can dip the bag in ice-cold water keeping the opening end outside the water. The cold water will help the air out, and you can zip it.
Tip: Once the meat is thawed, don’t refreeze it. Cook it, and then freeze it in a zip-lock bag.
Eggs (Without shells)
You can freeze the whole eggs after they are removed from the shells in a large ice cube tray or whisked, into a zip lock bag. This is a great way to ensure you don’t waste any reduced eggs you buy.
Stock can be stored in an ice cube tray or a plastic bottle. A perfect way to avoid losing any fresh stock you make and can not use.
You can freeze it as it is in the packet or cube it into smaller portions and freeze it.
I recommend you grate the cheese or cut it into cubes before freezing it in a zip-lock bag. If you freeze it in one large block be sure you would be able to defrost and use it in one go as once defrosted it does not keep for long.
Freeze fresh herbs in an ice cube tray with olive oil or a little water.
Tip: Don’t thaw the herb cubes. Use them directly in the pan.
Freeze leftover wine easily in an ice cube tray. Though how anyone has leftover wine is beyond me!
Tip: Use the wine cubes in your glass wine instead of ice cubes. It will chill it down without diluting. Alternatively, it is an easy way to add wine to food.
Cut them into pieces and freeze them in a zip-lock bag. Don’t forget to squeeze out the air from the bag before freezing.
Fully cooked rice
Portion it and freeze it in an air-tight container. If you find it easier to microwave some frozen rice for a couple of minutes to go with a meal, particularly a slow cooker one when you get home after a busy day then this is the perfect way to enjoy rice too.
Slice the bread and freeze it in an air-tight container. Alternatively, freeze them in a bag however you would have to be sure to not squash them under something in the freezer!
Tip: Don’t thaw the bread slices. Bake them or toast them to avoid soggy slices.
Fully cooked pasta
Portion it and freeze it in an air-tight container. A great way to freeze extra to easily add to bulk up a soup or make a quick pasta salad.
Par-boil the peas with salt and freeze them in a zip-lock bag.
Slice and portion them, then freeze them in a zip-lock bag. When you defrost them they will likely be soggier than usual but when you cook them they will be fine.
Sweetcorn and Nuts
Portion it and freeze it in an air-tight container.
Tip: You can thaw them by baking them. It will give them a sweet toasted flavour.
So, the next time you want to freeze something, make sure you follow these easy rules!
Other articles you may find helpful
A recipe for onion gravy that freezes well
How to reduce food waste in 15 easy steps
90 ways to save money on your food shop
Food storage tips to reduce waste