freezing items is genious! it cuts down on throwing food in the trash, which in turn saves money! of course, it saves time when you pull meals and soups out of the freezer already prepared and ready to cook. another good thing about freezing, is you can freeze just about anything! as long as it is not in a tin can, you can probably freeze it!
below are some of my favorite foods you can freeze, with the techniques and ways to freeze them!
milk – who knew? my family goes through about 3 gallons of milk a week. yeah. that’s a lot of milk. we always have an extra gallon in the freezer, just in case we need it.
bread – the bakery at most grocery stores bake lots of bread. when the bread is getting close to the sale date, it goes on sale! stock up and freeze it.
fruit – i love freezing berries when they are in season. put the berries in a single layer on a sheet tray and place them in the freezer. once they are completely frozen, take them and put them in a ziploc freezer bag. that way, they don’t stick together and you do not have one hard brick of berries! bananas are great to freeze as well, especially when they are getting too ripe. excellent when you have banana nut bread on the brain!
nuts - i keep nuts in the freezer. they contain a lot of essential oils and can easily turn rancid on you if they are kept in the pantry too long. toss them in the freezer and extend their shelf life.
ginger – i LOVE ginger. but i hate the fact that you will more than likely only use a tablespoon of it and the rest of the funky shaped thing will wrinkle up and dry out in the refrigerator bin. when i come home from the store with ginger, i peel the skin off, cut it into large chunks, toss it in a freezer bag and drop it in the freezer. it will not go bad on you and you don’t have to worry about it being too fiberous when you grate it. when you grate frozen ginger, it looks like ginger snow, no strings anywhere in sight!
meat – i like to buy my meat in bulk when on sale in the grocery store. i put it in quart ziploc freezer bags, squeeze out an much air as possible and label the bag with the date and contents. i also love to season my meat or add a marinade to the meat before i freeze it. that way, it comes out of the freezer already seasoned. many times when i feel like making meatballs, i make extra to toss in a freezer bag. meatballs always take a lot of time to make, and it is great to have some already prepared in my freezer.
okay…we all have those nights, when it is time for dinner and you do not feel like cooking or did not take anything out of the freezer to thaw. given times are hard for most of us, we can not always call for take out! if you have a family the size of mine, it can cost up to $30 to order a meal. but, wait… didn’t i throw a frozen casserole in the freezer the other week when i doubled the recipe? yes! a great meal, with no preservatives or processed foods – custom designed by you!
casseroles - the freezer loves them! i would suggest doubling up on a casserole recipe if you have the time. another great way to make an extra recipe is preparing it in a slow cooker. those recipes are very easy to make since you toss it all in one pot. 6-8 hours later you have a great meal and extra to put in the freezer. when i am cooking an extra recipe, i use aluminum disposable baking dishes. after i have prepared my meal, i put it in the container and bring it to room temp. i either wrap it in aluminum foil or slide it into a large ziploc freezer bag, write the recipe name and date on it and put it in the freezer. when i am ready to cook the frozen meal, i usually thaw the casserole in the refrigerator before using. otherwise, it will take longer to cook in the oven, if still frozen.
soups, broths – ziploc freezer bags are an easy, economical way to freeze. they are great for freezing foods, especially freezing soups and other liquids. i put the freezer bag in some type of deep bowl and fold back the sides of the bag to avoid spillage! pour the liquids into the bag and make sure to bring to room temperature before putting in the freezer.
checkout a few freezer meals and soups from po’ man…