A question was asked on the recipe exchange this morning about freezing onions. That got me thinking about all of the things I freeze.
I don’t like to waste. There are five mouths to feed in this house and food is expensive, so I freeze anything that won’t get used up in a timely manner.
Foods in the freezer (if frozen to zero or below) don’t go bad. The quality lessens over time, but they don’t ever spoil. In fact, you can extend the life of certain foods like flours, yeast, grains, etc. by storing them in the freezer. I keep my various
flours in the freezer and scoop out what I need for my bread. I let it sit out for a bit to come to room temperature and then proceed with the recipe.
I don’t want to open the deep freeze to photograph its contents, but if I did, here are some of the things you’d see:
Baby food- fresh veggies gently cooked, pureed, and frozen in ice cube trays that have been emptied into freezer bags to be removed and thawed as needed.
Wine- leftover wine can be frozen in ice cube trays and then stored in freezer bags. This is great for sauces.
Veggies- shredded carrots, zucchini, chopped onions, celery and bell peppers. Freezing changes the texture, so they won’t be crunchy when they thaw, but they will still be excellent for use in sauces, casseroles, soups, etc.
Fruits- all sorts of berries, mango, pineapple. Even bananas. When they’re getting too ripe, and I don’t feel like making banana bread, I toss ‘em in a freezer bag and squish them up. I then write the date and quantity on the outside of
the bag with a sharpie. Frozen fruits are great for smoothies- you don’t need to add ice when you use them in your smoothie.
Breads- Bagels and English muffins freeze very well, and are handy to pull out to make mini pizzas for the kids. I also always have quick breads in the freezer.
Dairy- I have margarine and various cheeses in my freezer, but you can also freeze things like yogurt and even milk.
Stock and stock ingredients- Save the ends, peels, etc. of your veggies when you’re chopping and store them in the freezer. When you’re ready to make stock, toss them in a pot and fill with water. Simmer for an hour or so. You can cool
this and then freeze it in bags- just remember to lay flat while freezing so they stack nicely.
You can freeze pretty much anything. It saves you money because it’s food that doesn’t go in the garbage. There are lots of other things that can be frozen that I haven’t mentioned: fresh herbs, meats, sauces, soups, jams- you name it.
I’ve already said this, but I’ll repeat it because it’s such a space saver: lay the contents of whatever you’re freezing flat in the freezer bag while they’re freezing so that they can be neatly stacked. It’s good to have your deep freeze organized so
that you can be quickly in and out with what you need. Also, label the date and contents so you can use up the oldest first.
Do you freeze anything I haven’t mentioned? Have any other tips to offer?