Having an extra freezer has been great for our household. Discover the top 10 food freezing tips for the home, how to freeze your food the right way, reducing food waste, the best containers and saving yourself time and money.
HOW TO FREEZE VEGETABLES
We grow more than enough courgettes so I like to freeze these.
Slice them about 1 cm in thickness, halve them, then quarters and place in a freezer bag. Make sure you buy good quality freezer bags so that when you want to take them out of the freezer and give them a bash with a rolling pin of the produce is stuck together then the bag doesn’t split open. I recommend you buy these freezer bags.
One option so they don't stick together is to lay them out on a baking tray (one that fits your freezer), place them in your freezer until frozen, then place them in a freezer bag.
Cut the Broccoli into florets and chop the stem into little chunks then tip then into a freezer bag.
Onions and Leeks
Chop or slice and use the single-layer method to freeze or place straight into a freezer bag if they are in small batches.
Raw potatoes don’t freeze that well. Chop and slice and cook until al dente, dry or toss them in oil then freeze in portions.
Carrots don’t freeze great either but use the same method as with the potatoes.
FREEZING COOKED FOOD FOR FUTURE MEALS
Sometimes when making meals there is so much leftover. I don’t like to waste anything so freezing dinners is a great way to reduce your food waste.
STEP 1: Make sure the cooked food is completely cool before freezing,
STEP 2: Place your cooked food in a foil tray and seal with a lid. I use these >> FOIL TRAYS WITH LIDS. The best part of using foil trays is that you can put them straight into the oven from frozen. Make sure you remove the lid before putting it in the oven.
Or you can use strong FREEZER BAGS. If you are microwaving make sure you check to see if the freezer bags are microwavable.
Make sure you flatten out the freezer bag before freezing to save on space and speed the freezing process.
STEP 3: Label and date your trays or bags.
STEP 4: If you need to thaw your food, make sure you plan ahead and thaw in the refrigerator. Thawing at room temperature and left too long, bacteria may grow and produce heat-resistant toxins that can cause food-borne illness. Cooking may not be able to destroy these toxins.
TOP 10 FOOD FREEZING TIPS
OTHER FOODS TO FREEZE
Butter and margarine can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Stock can be frozen in portions. Use ice cube trays or freezer bags.
Raw pastry will freeze for up to 6 months. I always make too much pastry so freezing pastry is great for not wasting anything. It will take about an hour to defrost.
Bread freezes well. Sliced bread can be toasted from frozen.
Milk in a carton, unopened and if there is a gap between the lid and milk only!
CAN YOU FREEZE FLOUR?
Yes! I buy my flour straight from the flour mill and they always recommend freezing your flour if you buy a lot (which I do!) to keep it fresh. You can use your flour straight from the freezer – how cool is that?
WHAT DO YOU WRAP FOOD IN TO FREEZE IT?
As mentioned previously, my favourite freezer containers are:
FOIL TRAYS WITH LIDS – I use these a lot for things like lasagne and cottage pie.
FREEZER BAGS – These are good for vegetables. I buy the ones with the zip lock.
FREEZER BAGS FOR LIQUIDS – Great for leftover soup!
VACUUM PACK SEALER – This removes all the air from the packaging and creates a really clean seal. Food that is vacuum-sealed can stay frozen for years with almost no degradation.
RE-USABLE GLASS CONTAINERS – These are more environmentally friendly. If you have a large chest freezer, then I definitely recommend these.
FREEZER LABELS – Make sure your food is labelled with these freezer labels. And don’t forget to date them!
WATERPROOF PEN – Last but not least a pen to use for your labels.
WHAT NOT TO FREEZE
Egg-based sauces such as mayonnaise will separate and curdle.
Lettuce, Cucumber, Bean Sprouts and Radishes have high water content so they go all mushy.
Hard-boiled eggs go rubbery.
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