Saturday, 10 November 2012

The Freezer Queen

I am the Freezer Queen. One because I am ALWAYS freezing (hello Africa next semester) and Two because I freeze everything! Living alone makes it hard to get through entire packages of certain food items before they go wrong.
 Not only does spoiled food mean wasted money, it also puts you at risk for food poisoning if you constantly consuming foods that are well past their best before date. My housemates in university used to laugh at me because I always had little tid bits of everything frozen in the freezer, however it saved me money an I always had meals or food around during crazy exam time. While this list is not exhaustive, below I have compiled foods that do and don’t freeze well. If you buy something and are uncertain of how long it will last for, a great website is, I use it all the time and find their information to be highly accurate.

On a side note, a HUGE pet peeve of mine is that people don’t realize the best before date ONLY, I mean ONLY applies to unopened items. For instance, you buy a container of sour cream, says its best before December 1st 2012, but you opened it in September, it will probably only last a few weeks once opened. You cannot use the best before date to determine is food is still good once the seal it broken, that’s where comes to the rescue!

Fruits and vegetables:-
Generally produce that has a lower water content freezes better than high water containing fruits and veggies. This explains why things like cucumbers and iceberg lettuce don’t fare so well in your freezer.
Bananas are awesome, and make great vegan “ice cream” blended frozen in your food processor, make sure you cut before freezing
I have also frozen sliced peaches, nectarines, berries, pineapple, pear and grapes. When freezing things like strawberries, cut up and freeze on a cookie sheet before placing in a bag so all the pieces don’t stick together
I’ve also frozen vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, green beans and carrots in the past. Best to blanch them first to remove excess water before freezing
I also love all types of squash (spaghetti, acorn, butternut) but again, very difficult for me to consume an entire squash before it goes bad! Best to cook, cube and then freeze

Sauces and condiments-
Whenever I make a big pot of stew, spaghetti sauce or soup, I always freeze at least two portions in the freezer for quick meals down the road.
I know my mom has also frozen ketchup in the past, however most condiments are so cheap that is you’re concerned about food safety, chuck them and buy a new bottle
That being said, whenever I buy Nuts to you Nut Butter Tahini to make hummus, I can never get through the entire jar before it goes rancid, now I’ve learned to use half and then freeze the rest.

Dairy and dairy alternatives-
Hard cheese like cheddar and mozzarella freeze well, softer cheese like brie, goat and feta are okay, however the texture will change when unfrozen so better to use them grated and heated in a recipe like a pizza or casserole dish
Milk freezes extremely well, just be sure to lay the bag flat and careful when defrosting as it expands and sometimes will crack the plastic bag and cause huge spills
Almond milk and soy milk can also be frozen, you will just need to shake them well before serving once defrosted
I believe you can also freeze tofu, but it will change the texture significantly so when defrosted consider using in a stir-fry where the texture could be masked
Sour cream apparently does not freeze well (although I’ve never tried), however cream cheese in the block form does, and I’ve never frozen yogurt for long periods of time so I don’t know what it would be like
Another thing that freezes great is butter, if it’s on sale, buy two and freeze one for a baking session down the road, I never buy it hard margarine (because it contains hydrogenated oils) but I’m assuming it would also freeze well
I’ve never frozen eggs because I eat them all the time and they last a long time. I did some research on the internet and people suggest cracking them first, whisking together a big bowl and then freezing the mixture in an ice cube tray or poured into a big container.

whole chickens are cheap, hard to eat as one person. I will often buy and roast and entire chicken, de-bone and freeze half the meat, same can be said for big portions of cooked ribs, pork, beef or fish for that matter, I would freeze in small portions so that you have a serving size ready to take out and defrost in the fridge (NOT kitchen counter) when needed.
FYI most meats and fish need to be taken out the night before you want to eat them for dinner in order to fully defrost

Bread and bread like items-
Generally any baked good will freeze excellent, great way to prevent your bread loaf from growing moldy on the shelf, same things goes for muffins, cookies, banana bread etc. I make a huge batch of muffins, keep a few in the fridge and then freeze the rest immediately. I will take it one out the night before when I pack my lunch in the fridge, and by the time I go to eat the muffin the next day, it only needs a couple seconds in the microwave.

Canned goods-
You’re making a pot of spaghetti and the recipe calls for 1 tbsp. tomato paste, what the heck do you do with the rest of the can? I have frozen leftover cans of tomato paste, 100% pure pumpkin, tetra packs of vegetable stock, coconut milk, and diced tomatoes. Make sure you take the item out of the can and put in a new Tupperware before freezing 

Things like nuts and dried fruits are best stored in the freezer, where they will last much longer than at room temperature.

Got a big batch of basil leaves or cilantro growing in your garden? Trim the leaves from the stem, freeze on a cookie sheet, transfer to a bag, and voila fresh herbs in the middle of winter

Apparently you can also freeze pasta but I’ve never tried, and for people on a gluten-free/paleo diet, I’ve heard that almond flour freezes well!

Happy money saving and safe tummy 

p.s. love this movie!!!!!

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