Sometimes it may happen that you are hungry and you find nothing to eat in the afternoon period. For this time, a trusted freezer comes to the rescue and serves a pre-prepped meal quickly.
Some one-pot dishes can be cooked without thawing and some are single ingredients those can be mixed with whatever stuff is available for a weeknight meal. Just like a cooked chicken can be thawed to make burritos, a chicken salad, paleo quesadillas, soup, etc.
Maybe you can be the different one, so probably, there are two reasons to freeze pre-prepped meals and ingredients are:
Reason 1: It is a money saver when buying a stock on a sale item
Sometimes, farmers market and grocery store offer the best deals. It was an experience that fresh ripped, juicy and organic tomatoes cost just $1 per pound. At that time, it is the best idea to stock a freeze food item. When freezers are full, they consume less energy, so it is more economical to stock.
Reason 2: It is a time saver when it is stocked in bulk and you wash fewer dishes
The main advantage is that you cook, clean once and eat twice or thrice. Once all the ingredients are pulled out, it is just a matter of sometimes that you need to measure a next batch and same in terms of cleaning it as well. In the case, when you are full, you can surely keep the remaining stuff in a freezer and can have later on.
Tips to freeze the food properly:
- Spreading of berries, muffins and meatballs should be done in a single layer, to prevent them from sticking on a baking sheet and then freeze and then transferring in a bag must be done.
- Foods which contain higher water content will have some different texture on thawing, like fruits and vegetables, berries for example. They taste delicious, little softer and work best in the recipes those are cooked as compared to raw. Like, berries can be used to make freezer jam or smoothies, but using them raw is an exception.
- While freezing items like bread, I do not prefer to flash freeze it, instead a thin strip of parchment is placed between slices to prevent sticking.
*It is preferred that certain foods must be stored in a parchment freezer bags, which helps to keep plastic away and bags remain clean which can be reused.
*You can also follow some instructions to set the perfect cooling temperature of your freezer.
Food that can be frozen well:
- Vegetables: Blanching is important to store certain vegetables. It helps to stop enzymes which help vegetables from ripening which helps to take away vegetables from dirt and bacteria. Brightens color, slows down vitamin and mineral loss, and softens those vegetables so they can be easily packed.
- Blanching vegetables: First bring a big pot of water to boil and vegetables for boiling. Once boiling is done, cooking of vegetables is done for 1 to 2 minutes. Once done, remove vegetables from the water and immediately transfer it to cold water until it gets completely chilled. Drain those vegetables, if you want more time for certain veggies. Veggies that need blanching before freezing are:
- Brussels sprouts
- Lima beans
- Green beans
- Sweet potatoes
Veggies that do not require blanching are:
- Tomatoes(roughly chopped)
- Beets(peeled and chopped)
- Garlic(whole and chopped)
These veggies do not freeze well:
*Tip: you can add veggies scrap to a broth. It is added to the bag in a freezer and then us them in future.
Dairy: Definitely yes
- Butter: Tossing is done. Easy peas.
- Hard/medium cheese: Grating is done before freezing and then adds to cooked dishes.
- Milk: Raw milk is separated when it is frozen as it is not homogenized. Milk gathering is done in chunks, which is not that good. You can make it run through the blender after thawing in order to restore its consistency. Once frozen milk expands, so, pouring a cup is needed before you place it in a freezer in order to prevent bursting. Here you can learn some methods to keep your food fresh.
- Cream cheese: It becomes lumpy, but it does not make so, while baking.
- Cottage Cheese: It works fine if the water is poured; otherwise the texture becomes watery and can be used in veggie lasagna or something which is baked.
- Sour Cream
- Homemade mayo
For the raw meat, you must keep batches of meat those can be thawed easily. Examples of using them:
- Cooked and shredded chicken: chicken salad, soup, quick chicken soup.
- Ground Beef: Tacos, paleo nachos.
Muffins, bread, baked foods:
Baked items can be frozen. On the busy nights, you can easily thawed breads and warm them in microwaves. You can use some cooked meat or fried eggs, avocado, etc. Things which can be added on hand:
- Paleo Bread
- Pancakes and waffles
Herbs (on one condition)
Normally herbs turn brown on frozen. But if you mix them with olive oil and freeze them with ice cubes, fat keeps them fresh.
Fruits (on one condition)
You can flash freeze to prevent fruits from freezing.
- Bananas (Peel before freezing)
- Freezer Jams
- Grapes (if want to eat, turn them to mush to allowed thaw)
Surely May be:
They cannot be frozen in shells as they can be stored in ice cubes trays and then transfer them into bags after frozen, and then can be used when needed for baking or scrambled eggs.
Soups, stews, chilies, and broths:
Everything in this category can freeze nicely.
- Marinara Sauce
- Tomato paste