Using your freezer to store bulk food is a great way to save on money and space, but be weary of what you freeze…some foods freeze beautifully while others can’t quite take the cold.
Not All Fruits and Veggies Are Equal
While most berries freeze wonderfully and have a much longer shelf life frozen than they do fresh, not all fruits and veggies are granted the same luxury. As a general rule of thumb, if a fruit or veggie has a high water content, it won’t freeze well. Foods like watermelon, cucumber, celery, and oranges just get mushy after freezing. Fresh cheeses and yogurt can also sour and become unusable if frozen for too long.
However, foods with higher fat content (butter, avocado), grains, and meats are great for storing in the freezer (great news for you bakers out there! You can keep all your baking materials fresh for months in the freezer!). Most freezer-friendly food should be consumed within 6 months if possible, but you could stretch the lives of some foods to last you up to a year if stored properly.
Here are some foods that can stand up to the chill, and some that should just be left out of the cold.
Freezing Ready-Made Meals
Prepping and freezing is also a great way to portion out meals and plan food in advance so you’re not scrambling last minute to come up with something for dinner. Casseroles and pasta dishes often freeze easily and don’t change in taste or consistency when defrosted. You can also bake and portion out cookie dough and bake cookies as needed for a warm, fresh cookie whenever you need one!
As always, check food labels before freezing anything…and make sure anything you store in the freezer is protected from frost by storing items in air-tight containers. I also suggest labeling and dating anything you store in the freezer to keep track of what you’re storing. If you find that you’re freezing a lot of food, it might be worth it to invest in a vacuum sealer to ensure freshness.
What foods do you keep in your freezer? I store my chocolate in the freezer to help with portion control!
Knowledge is power! Learn fun facts, hints and tips, and creative ways to use every day items with “The Buzz” posts on Thursday.