30 Foods You Probably Didn’t Even Know You Could Freeze
Every savvy shopper knows you should buy in bulk when food items are on sale and find ways to preserve them until needed. While canning, pickling, and dehydrating foods all have their uses and merits, there is a much simpler way to preserve many foods, even prepared foods, for a rainy day. Simply put, pop them in the freezer!
While that seems like a no-brainer for some things, I had no idea until recently just how many foods could be frozen and refreshed. Following is a breakdown of 31 money and time-saving food storage solutions:
It can be a great time saver to make and freeze sandwiches in advance for lunches. Simply pull them out of the freezer in the morning and they should be perfectly thawed by lunch time. This works great with peanut butter & jelly or honey. Deli meat and a slice of cheese freeze well also. Condiments and fresh veggies like mayo and tomato should either be packed separately or added in the morning.
Breakfast sandwiches also freeze very well. The next time you cook scrambled eggs and bacon or sausage in bulk, just put the leftovers inside biscuits or English muffins and wrap and freeze individually. When you’d like a fresh breakfast sandwich in a pinch, just grab one out of the freezer, heat it up in the microwave and enjoy!
Potato Chips, Crackers and Pretzels
The next time your local market has a sale, feel free to stock up on chips, crackers, and pretzels. Believe it or not, frozen chips actually taste better! They are extra crispy and the flavors really come across.
Did you know the reason milk jugs have indents in the side is to allow expansion room for freezing? It’s true! To use frozen milk, let thaw slowly and then shake well before opening to remix any separated solids. Leftover portions of buttermilk can also be frozen and reused.
Similar to milk, the only concern about freezing juice is leaving room for expansion while freezing. A good guide is to leave about 8 ounces worth of space per half-gallon of juice. This is a great money saver if you stock up on fresh juice while on sale or from a discount store.
Bread, Baked Goods
The next time you’re in baking mode, feel free to make extras. For that matter, stock up on your favorite store bread the next time it is on sale. To defrost, just put the bread in the microwave overnight to preserve more moisture than thawing on the counter.
It should be a crime to waste good frosting, and it turns out, you don’t need to! The next time you have leftover frosting, save it in the freezer for future use or just for a quick treat. To defrost, let the frosting thaw in the fridge then just give it a quick whip to make it as good as fresh.
If you hate to waste, and too often come across recipes that only need a tablespoon of tomato paste, there is a super simple way to save the rest for next time. Just put the remainder in a sandwich bag, flatten it out in the freezer, and break off a piece the next time you need some.
You can dice fresh onions, bell peppers, and chili’s, and freeze them flat in gallon bags. As the bags begin to firm up, you can press score lines into the portions so when needed, you can easily break off your desired portion.
Homemade and Store-Bought Dough
You can freeze canned biscuits, crescent rolls, pizza dough, and more right in the tube, so stock up the next time they are on sale! You can also preserve homemade bread, dough, pie crust, etc. by rolling into a ball and wrapping in cling wrap before freezing.
Yes, you can actually freeze eggs to preserve them. Either crack into an ice cube tray and store in a bag after frozen for convenient use in baking. You can also crack eggs straight into a freezer bag and freeze. To use simply thaw in the refrigerator.
Shredded Chicken This is a great time saver for future use in casseroles or enchiladas. Just cook or buy rotisserie chicken in bulk, shred the leftovers, and freeze in portion bags.
Lemon/Lime Juice and Zest
Fresh lemon and lime juice can be frozen in ice cube trays and then stored in freezer bags. That way you can have “fresh” juice whenever you need it! The zest of lemon and lime peels also freezes and reuses very well.
Fresh herbs can be frozen in ice cube trays with either water, leftover stock, or olive oil. The resulting cubes can be put in a freezer bag and the next time you’re making fresh soups or stews, you’ve already got some of the hard work done before you begin!
The next time you are going to all the effort of making a large casserole or lasagna, just make an extra and freeze the extra for the next time you have a busy day or unexpected company. There are a few methods to freeze such dishes:
Bake the casserole. After allowing it to cool, cut into serving sizes and refreeze for easy heating in t microwave.
Line the base of a casserole dish with freezer paper and add the ingredients as you normally would. Freeze it in the dish, then remove from the dish and store in a bag. When you are ready to use the casserole, unwrap it, place it in the original baking dish, defrost, and cook!
No need to add the extra step of defrosting a pound of hamburger for your next batch of sloppy joes or tacos. Just precook hamburger and portion it out for meals. To use, just pull it out of the freezer, add your seasoning of choice, and microwave three minutes. For crock pot meals like chili, no need to microwave, just add the frozen cooked burger.
Fresh Fish Sticks
Store bought fish sticks are tasteless in comparison… the next time you can buy your favorite fish cheaply, cut some fillets crosswise into “fingers”. Dip those portions in egg, dredge in flour and bread crumbs, then freeze on a lined cookie sheet. When frozen, transfer the fish fingers into freezer bags, and I doubt you will ever want to buy the commercial type of fish sticks again!
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