Have you ever found that you buy certain products and end up throwing half of them away because they’ve gone off? How about starting off by freezing them so you can use however much you like at your own pace? In this handy guide we’ve listed some great ideas for foods you may have never tried freezing before and are guaranteed to save you time and money in the future!
- Butter and margarine can be frozen for 3 months. That’s right, if you’re the type of person who only uses butter once every couple of months to make the odd cake here and there, how about freezing the rest of it and using it later?
- Eggs can be frozen for up to a year . Do not freeze them within its shell, always crack the egg into a small container (or ice cube trays) and you can leave them like that or mix the yolk and egg white together. If using ice cube trays make sure to cover them with a freezer bag to seal it
- Grated cheese can be frozen for up to 4 months and can be used straight from the freezer. We all buy frozen grated cheese from time to time but have you ever thought to make your own? It could save you a bit of cash
- Most bread, except crusty varieties such as French bread, will freeze well for up to 3 months. Sliced bread can be toasted from frozen. Next time there’s an offer for BOGOF packs of toast, you know where to put the second pack!
- Milk will freeze for 1 month. Defrost in the fridge and shake well before using.
- Raw pastry will freeze for for 6 months and takes just 1 hour to thaw.
- Vegetables such as onions, cabbage, chillis, mushrooms, turnips, peppers, sweetcorn etc can also be frozen and used within 3 months. It’s always handy to peel (if appropriate) and cut them up first prior to freezing to make it even easier to use them when needed. Simply keep them in sealed freezer bags
- Herbs such as parsley, mint or coriander can be chopped up and a great tip would be to place them into an ice cube tray with a little water in each compartment. That way when you’re ready to use them you can just take out an ‘ice cube’ and allow it to defrost without having to use the whole bunch!
- Fruit such as bananas, berries, melons can all be frozen and used within one to two months. This would be great for times you want to make a delicious smoothie for example
- Leaves such as banana leaves/currys leaves/basil leaves can all also be frozen and used whenever preparing a nice curry for example
- soups are always good and easy to freeze
- potatoes if par boiled, dipped in a little oil and then frozen would be great to use when defrosted for a roast dinner
- meat, fish, chicken can all be frozen, just make sure they weren’t kept at room temperature beforehand. Usually meats can be kept for up to a month but can be longer depending on the type you are using
What not to freeze:
- Raw eggs in the shells will expand and crack and hard-boiled eggs go rubbery.
- Vegetables with a high water content, such as lettuce, cucumber, radishes etc go limp and mushy so won’t be a good idea to freeze.
- Egg-based sauces, such as mayonnaise, will separate and curdle.
- Plain yogurt, low-fat cream cheese, single cream and cottage cheese go watery.
Always be mindful that freezing slows down bacterial growth, but doesn’t kill it. So start with good quality produce.
Always make sure to label the products your freezing with the date you’ve frozen them on and the date you expect them to go off so you can keep an eye and not lose track. It would also be good to label what it is as well in case it becomes confusing!
Make sure before you freeze anything that it is at a cool temperature to keep the freezer cool and avoid ruining other foods
You should avoid defrosting a frozen item and refreezing it as this can cause some nasty infections you could definitely do without!
Wrap everything you freeze appropriately with freezer sealed bags being the ideal option and try and keep the foods in quantities you would normally need when defrosting
Images taken from greensproduce.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/froozen-greenproduce.co_.uk_.jpg and wdy.h-cdn.co/assets/16/15/980×490/landscape-1460741695-freezerbags.jpg