Keeping a little stock of freezer essentials at home is a great idea. It can help you throw together recipes for meals is easy to do and is a great standby…but what about the foods we have never thought of freezing?
Personally, I batch cook and always cook at least an extra portion for the freezer … I love chilli but not every member of my household does so that is a given to freeze for me …We love soups and stews …not just because it gives me a chance to use my slow cooker(and) its cooler in hot climes, but also because leftovers are easy to freeze. ..don’t forget you’ll want to invest in a good set of small-to-medium-sized freezer-safe containers so you can portion out your meals…
Seeds and Nuts…
Seeds and nuts go hand-in-hand, so it’s no surprise that seeds are also freezable. And also like nuts, nearly every variety is included—from hemp, sunflower, and pumpkin to poppy and sesame seeds. Be sure to properly dry the seeds before freezing.
Nuts are healthy but can be soooo expensive! The last thing you’d want is for your pricey protein source to go to waste…which can happen easily, considering the oil content—so freeze them! Almonds, cashews, chestnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, and walnuts are all very freezable. Just wrap them in plastic prior to placing them in a freezer-safe bag.
To be honest, you should always freeze onions. Not only does it extend the life from two weeks to up to eight months, but chilled onions won’t make your eyes teary when you chop them…quite a bonus for those of you whose eyes stream when peeling and chopping onions.
My advice: put the whole onion in the freezer for 30 minutes, chop it all up, and freeze whatever you don’t use.
If you prefer to drink almond, soy, or another milk alternative, but still use cow’s milk for cooking and baking, freezing your milk is an excellent option. Instead of a week or two in the fridge, frozen milk can be safely stored in the freezer for three to six months. Milk will expand upon freezing and could break its original packaging, so it’s best to move it into a freezer-safe container. And for safety, thaw the milk in the fridge overnight.
Do you grow your own herbs? and are left with an abundance, your freezer can help. Cilantro, basil, oregano, dill, parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme are all freezer-friendly herbs. Be sure to dry them thoroughly after harvesting, or consider portioning and initially freezing them in ice cube trays filled with water or oil.
Although freezing cucumbers, lettuce, and watermelon aren’t recommended, grapes…which are also mostly water…freeze really well. In fact, they make a great snack while still frozen. Use the same approach as bananas: put them on a tray first before transferring them to a freezer-safe bag or container.
If you like to buy fresh ginger but only use it a little at a time, try freezing it. Not only will the shelf life go from one month to six months, but it’s much easier to grate frozen ginger! You can also mince or grate the ginger first.
I bake bread regularly so buying flour in bulk makes sense and saves money. It’s easy to extend the shelf life of flour…all kinds…by putting it in the freezer. In fact, freezing whole grain and alternate flours containing additional nutrients is the recommended form of storage. Remove the flour from its bag and use an airtight container with as little air in it as possible for freezing. Since there’s no moisture in flour, you don’t need to worry about it freezing in a big block, and thus there’s no need to portion it out…Bonus!
You can get a great deal on eggs by buying in bulk, or maybe you have your own chicks and cannot use the eggs fast enough but using 24-48 eggs prior to their expiration date can be a challenge. Add another 9-12 months to that date by storing them in the freezer. Crack them open, give ‘em a quick whisk, and add a sprinkle of salt or sugar before putting them all in an airtight container—or divide them up by initially freezing them in an ice cube tray or muffin tin for 4-6 hours before transferring to a larger container.
Standard ice cube trays hold 2 tbsps per cube which makes measuring the eggs for future recipes very easy…plus if you have leftover milk, cream or yoghurt then blend it up with some fruit and pour the mixture into ice cream moulds they are a perfect zero waste treat.
Bananas especially when they grow where you live only exist in two states: shockingly green or completely black. Okay, maybe they’re in the perfect spot of ripeness for a day, but what if you’re not in the mood for a banana that day? Freeze them!
To avoid mushiness or freezer burn, first slice the bananas, then place them in a single layer on a parchment paper-covered cookie sheet and put the whole thing in the freezer. After 30 minutes, you can throw all the slices into a freezer-safe bag. This is especially handy if you’ll be using the sliced bananas in oatmeal or a smoothie.
Avocados…If you’re not planning on serving your avocados diced or sliced, they’re fine in the freezer…just halve them first. In fact, they’ll get mushy in the freezer, so this is perfect for a future batch of guacamole. If you’ve already made the guacamole, that freezes well, too!
Thank you for joining me today as always I look forward to your comments..by now I should be home…xx