11 surprising foods you can freeze – National

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Do you consider your freezer as an extension of your pantry? You must.

Sure, we all know the freezer is a wonderful holding pen for emergency frozen dinners, packaged frozen greens and ice cream. Nevertheless it can also retailer a variety of spare substances to have on the prepared. Many meals that aren’t apparent candidates for freezing may be saved there in wonderful situation. Freezing meals can also be an effective way to scale back meals waste, an enormous situation each in our nation and our kitchens.

First, some basic ideas for freezing meals

Use freezer-proof, plastic, zipper-top baggage, or glass or plastic containers, and simply proceed to recycle them. I’ve some containers I’ve been utilizing for thus lengthy they’re on the cusp of turning into classic.

The freezer-proof plastic baggage will likely be labeled “freezer,” and they’re thicker and sturdier than common storage baggage. When utilizing them, press out extra air. The extra air you take away, the higher the meals preservation. For those who occur to have a kind of vacuum-sealer machines, have at it; if not, press down on the bag to push out air earlier than you seal it up tightly.

READ MORE: How lengthy will that turkey final? Are you able to refreeze meals? Two consultants reply all of your vacation leftover questions

In case you are freezing gadgets in containers, depart about 1/2 an inch headroom on the prime as a result of some meals, particularly liquids, increase barely when frozen. This fashion, the meals will fill the container because it freezes, however not pop off the lid.

Label every bag or container with the identify of the meals and the date you place it within the freezer. Use everlasting marker, and in case you are utilizing a reusable container, make a label with masking tape so you may peel it off and put a brand new one on subsequent time. All of us assume we’ll bear in mind, however pureed raspberries can look rather a lot like tomato paste once they floor at the back of the freezer.

Some good and maybe shocking gadgets you may freeze

SHREDDED CHEESE: For those who purchase bulk baggage of cheese, divide them into smaller, freezer-safe baggage. Exhausting cheese may be frozen in chunks, however shredded freezes finest. You’ll be able to even use the cheese instantly from the freezer, because it defrosts in a short time.

HOMEMADE PANCAKES OR WAFFLES: Don’t throw out these breakfast leftovers. Freeze them first on a baking sheet in a single layer, then wrap them in plastic wrap with a layer of wax or parchment paper in between every; slip them into freezer-proof, zipper-top baggage; and freeze. You’ll be able to defrost and warmth these within the microwave.

FRESH HERBS: Roughly chop any contemporary herb and put about one tablespoon of it in every container of an ice dice tray. Then replenish the sections with somewhat broth, water or olive oil, and freeze. As soon as the herby ice cubes are frozen, switch them to a bag, seal nicely, label and pop them again into the freezer. Defrost earlier than utilizing, until you’re throwing one right into a soup or stew. They won’t be able for use as a garnish, as their texture will likely be affected, however they can be utilized in dressings, marinades and such.

READ MORE: Want extra space? make your personal kitchen pantry

TOMATO PASTE: That is one in all my favorites. When a recipe requires one tablespoon of tomato paste, don’t cowl the remainder of the can with foil and shove it into the again of the fridge. Scrape it right into a freezer-proof bag, press out the air and freeze. Snap off items as you want it; simply guesstimate what a tablespoon can be, and often you may simply add it frozen to a recipe. Most recipes calling for tomato paste contain heating it, and it’ll soften and mix in shortly.

COOKED GRAINS: Not solely is that this an effective way to avoid wasting leftover rice, quinoa, farro and so forth, it’s a sensible technique to meal plan. Make further grains while you make a batch for dinner, after which freeze them in small containers or baggage. When prepared to make use of them, defrost within the fridge, or in case you are including them to a dish, you may add them nonetheless frozen.

WHOLE FRUIT: Bananas freeze up superbly proper in their very own skins — no plastic required. Defrost, peel and use them in baked items like banana bread. Thawed or frozen, they’re nice in smoothies. You too can freeze complete tomatoes or peaches with their skins nonetheless on; wash, dry, and core or pit them, then freeze. If you thaw them, even partially, you may slip their skins proper off. The tomatoes can then be chopped and utilized in sauces and different cooked dishes, the peaches in baked items and smoothies. Some folks skip the coring and the luggage, and simply freeze the fruit free with skins intact.

BREAD: You’ll be able to double-wrap bread in foil after which slide it right into a freezer-proof bag. This can be a nice technique to save half a baguette or one other good bakery loaf. Thaw it on the counter for a number of hours, or within the oven — how lengthy will depend on the scale of the loaf. Packaged sliced bread can keep in its bag. Pull out slices as you want them; they may defrost shortly.

FRESH GINGER: You’ll be able to freeze complete knobs of ginger, peeled or unpeeled, in freezer-proof baggage. Then grate it instantly from the freezer; as soon as grated it’s going to soften shortly.

READ MORE: eight pantry staples that expire ahead of you assume

CITRUS RINDS/ZEST: Many recipes name for simply the juice of a lemon, lime or orange, however the rinds have pretty taste locked up of their oils. Earlier than you juice the fruit, both use a vegetable peeler to take away strips of the zest (the brightly colored outer a part of the peel) or grate the zest. Retailer it in tiny containers. You should use zest to brighten the flavour of stews, soups, marinades, dressings, sauces, and so forth. Take away greater items of rind earlier than serving.

WHIPPED CREAM: This can be a cute one. When you’ve got leftover whipped cream or a can that’s nearing its expiration date, scoop or spray fats dollops of whipped cream onto a small tray or plate. Place it within the freezer and, when stable, switch the whipped cream to a container or freezer-proof bag. Freeze, after which pull out as you want to float in a mug of scorching chocolate.

SCRAPS FOR STOCK: One other inexperienced and economical factor to do is to avoid wasting your vegetable, poultry or meat bones and scraps within the freezer. When the container or bag is full, it’s time to make do-it-yourself inventory.

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