Know Your Freezer-Friendly Foods
I found a great article in Whole Living magazine this month on freezer-friendly foods. I think this list can be helpful in deciding what things we can buy in bulk and freeze. Anything with little or no water will freeze beautifully. Proteins, carbohydrates, and fats withstand low temperatures with very little change. Here is a list of some foods you can freeze and how to thaw them.
Berries ~ Wash and dry berries. Spread the berries in one layer on a cookie sheet, leaving space between them. When frozen put into a container or bag to freeze. To thaw place the frozen berries right into the blender or thaw at room temperature. Berries taste great after being frozen they just don’t look so great.
Raw Vegetables ~ Saute or blanch vegetables before freezing to lock in nutrients. To freeze spread on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Once frozen transfer to bag or container. To thaw drop right into soups or stews or let defrost slightly and saute in olive oil. If you don’t cook the vegetables before freezing their cellular structure breaks down during thawing making them mushy.
Hard Cheese ~ Wrap chunks tightly in freezer paper and seal the package with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. If you buy big wheels of cheese cut into smaller chunks before freezing.
Prepackaged Cheese ~ Freezing the cheese right in the original package works fine with prepacked cheese.
Cooked Grains and Legumes ~ Place grains in zip top bags filled to the top. To thaw microwave in a glass bowl, or warm in a pot with a tablespoon of water. Long cooking brown rice thaws in minutes making this long cooking rice a quick and easy staple.
Lean Proteins ~ Freeze raw meats, grilled chicken or cooked meatballs in freezer paper with foil or plastic wrapped around them. Or freeze in a zip lock bag. Thaw in refrigerator or microwave oven. Cut protein into smaller pieces before freezing so they defrost fast.
Breads ~ Wrap a double layer of freezer paper around bread or place in a zip lock bag remove air. Thaw by letting it sit out or toast the bread. Pre slice breads before freezing and take out slices as needed.
Tomato and Other Sauces ~ Cool sauce in refrigerator then place into zip lock bags and lay flat to freeze. To thaw place bag under cool water and heat in pan. After frozen, store bags upright like books in the freezer.
Casseroles and Lasagnas ~ Prepare recipe like usual cover with aluminum foil and freeze. To thaw allow it to sit in the refrigerator over night then follow cooking directions the next day. No time to thaw just add 15 minutes to original recipe time.
Soups and Stocks ~ Pour into portioned containers or zip lock bags. To thaw run under warm water until the soup loosens then heat on the stove top. Freeze stock in 2 pints containers so you’ll know just how much you have.
Shared on: Learning the Frugal Life