Your freezer is one of the most useful appliances you have in your home! We use it to freeze raw meat, ice cream, or ice cubes. But did you know there are several other food items you can freeze? Once you know what foods can be frozen, you can buy in bulk and also prevent food waste. It’s a great way to stock up and make use of bulk-buy specials!
Many recipes (like homemade ice cream) use egg yolks, which mean you end up with a lot of egg white that have no place to go! Perhaps you’re not sure what to make with it or you simply don’t have the time. Next time you have an overabundance of egg whites, store them in the freezer! Then you can use it when you make meringue or marshmallows. You can also freeze whisked eggs!
Butter is expensive, so when you get it on a good deal, you need to buy in bulk. But you also don’t want it to spoil, otherwise you’re not saving anyway. The solution? Freeze it! Wrap the butter (still in its original packaging) in a layer of aluminum foil before you freeze it. Take it out the night before to thaw, or you can grate it into your flour when baking.
The fats in flour can deteriorate when exposed to light or air, which results in a rancid taste. When you store flour in the freezer, it prevents this deterioration and will keep for up to two years. You can also freeze newly-purchased flour to kill off any weevils living inside the flour. Freeze for at least 48 hours and store as normal.
Nuts are used in both savory and sweet dishes, but they can get expensive. And when you do get it on special in bulk quantities, you run the risk of the nuts going rancid. To prevent this, store them in a Ziploc bag in the freezer! Most nuts can be frozen for up to a year, but pecans freeze exceptionally well and will stay fresh for up to two years!
Dried, ground ginger is no match for the real thing. But how many times did you want to use your fresh ginger root only to see it’s shriveled and hardened. To make sure you always have fresh ginger on hand, save it in the freezer. Grate fresh ginger, mix with a little bit of olive oil, and save in an ice cube tray. Now it’s ready to pop out when you’re ready to use it.
It’s such a hassle to chop onions, and it’s really not something we want to shed tears over. To make your dinner prep easier, peel and chop onions beforehand and freeze them in Ziploc bags. You don’t need to thaw them first, and they will be ready to use – no tears in sight! You can also freeze celery in the same way.
Overripe bananas can be used to make banana bread, but you don’t always have time to bake before they go bad. Turns out you can freeze bananas too! If you plan on using bananas in a smoothie, peel and chop them, and store in a Ziploc bag in the freezer. If you want to freeze overripe bananas destined for banana bread, then you can freeze the whole banana, skin-on!
Who knew you could freeze avocado? Well, you can if you intend to use them in a guacamole. After washing and cutting you avocados, scoop out the flesh and mix with a bit of lemon or lime juice. Scoop into Ziploc bags, and their ready for the freezer! When you want to use it, take it out the day before and thaw in the refrigerator.
There’s no reason why you should let your lemons go old again. If you intend on using your lemons for baking, you can cut the lemons in half, wrap them in cling film and store them in the freezer. Only need the zest? You can freeze lemon zest in Ziploc bags! If you want lemon slices to garnish beverages, freeze the slices individually and take out as you need it.
Many folks don’t know that you can freeze milk. To freeze milk bottles or cartons, pour out a little bit of the milk to allow for expansion. Take it out the night before and let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight. In the same way, you can also freeze yoghurt, buttermilk and even freshly whipped cream!
There are two reasons why freezing rice is a good idea. Sometimes you want to cook ahead and save some time on prep work. Other times, you simply cooked too much rice and want to save it for later. You can freeze cooked rice in plastic containers, but make sure to cool the rice properly before storing it. Defrost the rice in the microwave, or leave it in the refrigerator overnight.
You don’t ever have to let your bread go moldy again! Freeze whole loaves or even better, sliced bread, in the freezer for 3 months. Take slices out as you need, and put them directly in the toaster. Or, if you want to eat them fresh, microwave them for about 10 seconds. Baked goods freeze well overall, so if you have pizza dough, cookie dough, cake, or bread rolls, you can stick them all in the freezer.
You can store both dried and cooked pasta in the freezer. Dried pasta can be stored in the freezer for a long time, so there’s no need to cook it first. However, if you want to shave some time off prep work, cook a few portions of pasta and save it in the freezer. Then, for a quick weeknight dinner, simply add your favorite sauce!
Make sure you never run out of cheese again, by storing it in the freezer. Frozen and thawed cheese does not grate well as it tends to crumble. So if you plan on freezing cheeses like Cheddar or Gouda, grate it beforehand and store it in the freezer in a Ziploc bag. Softer cheeses like goat’s cheese or cream cheese can be frozen if you plan on using it for cooking or baking. Wrap the cheese in aluminum foil to prevent it from absorbing odors from other foods.
If your mushrooms are starting to get soggy and sad-looking, then you can freeze them before they go bad. To freeze raw mushrooms, spread them in a single layer on a baking tray and place in the freezer. Freeze for about 30 minutes and transfer them to a freezer-safe Ziploc bag. You can also freeze sautéed and cooled mushrooms in the same way.