No doubt about it, your deep freeze is the unsung hero of your kitchen. Not only does freezing help reduce food waste, but it also saves money, helps retain flavor, and important nutrients in foods. So, with inflation rising across Canada, the time is now to stock up and save more.
To help you save more by reducing your food waste, and make life easier, we’ve pulled together a list of 15 freezer-friendly foods you can actually freeze without much effort.
Here are 15 surprising foods you can freeze
1. You can freeze nuts & nut flours
Because of their high oil content, nuts can go rancid very quickly. Especially when exposed to high heat! So, freeze both nuts and nut flours if you don’t plan on using them right away. It’s very easy to freeze peanuts, walnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, cashews, hazelnuts, and shelled or unshelled almonds. Simply wrap them well in plastic, then pop them into a resealable freezer bag.
2. You can freeze herbs:
If you have herbs growing wild in your garden, you might not know they’re actually foods you can freeze. Just chop up your fresh herbs (rosemary, sage, oregano, or thyme freezes especially well) put them in ice cube trays (about 1/2 full), pour extra-virgin olive oil over, wrap in saran wrap, and freeze overnight. Remove the cubes from trays and store them in the freezer in resealable plastic freezer bags. When you’re ready to use them, thaw in a pan on low heat, or throw them directly into stews or soups.
As a side note: Pesto also freezes well using the same process. Put in ice cube trays, freeze overnight, then store in resealable plastic freezer bags.
3. You can freeze ginger:
Cooking with frozen ginger is ridiculously easy. In fact, you can freeze whole pieces of unpeeled ginger by wrapping them tightly in saran wrap and placing them in a resealable freezer bag. When you’re ready to use some ginger, there’s no need to defrost: Just scrape with a spoon to peel the ginger (if you need to) and then grate with a Microplane. Alternatively, just Microplane. You can then toss the ginger into stir-fries and soups, use it to make tea or to bake with.
4. You can freeze bacon:
Who doesn’t need more bacon in their life? Freezing bacon is super easy and defrosts very quickly. Be sure to wrap individual portions (3-4 slices) of raw bacon side by side in parchment paper or wax paper, put them into a resealable freezer bag, and place them in the freezer. As a side note, if you need chopped bacon for your favorite recipe, it’s very easy to chop bacon when it’s frozen.)
5. You can freeze butter:
Big sale on butter? Buy a bunch and stash a few sticks in the freezer. Keep it in its original packaging, then just wrap it well in plastic to stave off nasty odors.
6. You can freeze bananas:
It’s easy to store ripe bananas in your freezer. Peel and chop them up into chunks and put them in a resealable freezer bag. A pro tip is to squeeze out as much air as possible to prevent your “nanas” from getting freezer burn. You can try to arrange them in a way that they won’t stick together. But, they are easy enough to break apart if you need to. Leave them out on the bench for 10-15 minutes to mash for banana bread.
For a delicious fat-free dessert: Blend frozen bananas by themselves or with yogurt and other produce for a super-creamy ice cream-like treat or mix with acai to create a mouth-watering smoothie bowl.
7. You can freeze berries
If you’re into fruit smoothies in the morning, you should be buying your berries in bulk and preparing your own berry blends. Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries all freeze very well. If you freeze them when they’re in peak condition, they’ll be loaded with nutrients and be a thoroughly delicious addition to your smoothies or holiday baking. Simply place berries in a single layer on a baking sheet, freeze them overnight, then store them in the freezer in resealable freezer bags. Toss them into smoothies, yogurt, or cereal, or thaw and use them for baking.
8. You can freeze grapes
Frozen grapes are pretty much the best snacks ever. Not to mention, they are super easy to freeze and make a great summer treat. To prepare grapes to freeze: Wash them, dry them, spread them on a baking sheet making sure they’re separated, and flash freeze for a few hours. Enjoy them immediately or store them in the freezer in resealable plastic bags.
9. You can freeze bread
Freezing bread is an excellent way to make sure you have bread for toast or lunchboxes. When freezing loaves of homemade bread, like French bread, be sure to let them cool first, then wrap whole loaves airtight in plastic wrap then place in resealable freezer bags. You can lightly toast your bread to restore its texture straight from the freezer and you won’t notice the difference. In the summertime, you can make sandwiches for lunchboxes ahead of time. In the morning, take them from the freezer and put them straight in your child’s lunchbox. They’ll be defrosted and ready to eat by lunchtime.
10. You can freeze coffee
If you’re an iced coffee lover and you haven’t yet made coffee ice cubes, you’re not living your best life. So, pour your leftover coffee into ice cube trays, freeze, then toss your little caffeinated cubes of coffee into your next iced coffee to give it an extra boost. Because… why not?
11. You can freeze lime & lemon juice
Again with the ice cube trays! Squeeze out 1 or 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon or lime juice and pour it into ice cubes. Freeze and transfer into resealable plastic freezer bags when done. Add the cubes to iced tea or lemonade to give your drink an extra kick, or use them in recipes that need lemon or lime juice.
12. You can freeze milk and buttermilk
When we see milk on sale, we buy a few bottles and freeze some for later. You might be surprised to learn you can freeze milk. But, if you buy your milk in glass containers, you’ll need to pour it into a freezer-safe container, making sure to leave some space at the top to allow for expansion. You’ll notice that frozen milk turns yellow. When it’s thawed (which is easy to do by putting the milk in your fridge), it will return to normal.
Buttermilk can change the texture a little and can become grainy, but as you’re likely using it for cooking it won’t matter. But, remember to freeze buttermilk in smaller portions to help you with your baking and minimize waste. Measure out 1-tablespoon portions, pour into your silicone ice cube trays, freeze overnight, then put buttermilk cubes into resealable freezer bags. When ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator.
13. You can freeze cooked pasta:
Yes, you can freeze cooked pasta. Be sure to boil your pasta until barely al dente so it won’t be mushy when you reheat it. You can then freeze your cooked pasta without sauce in individual freezer-ready containers. To serve, microwave, or just add to a hot sauce…. oh yeah!
14. Cooked rice, quinoa, and other hearty grains:
We all know that you can freeze uncooked rice to prevent bugs from getting into it. However, freezing rice and other cooked grains helps make your weekday cooking easier. Just cook, let cool, then store in resealable plastic freezer bags. When ready to serve, pour into a bowl and microwave for a minute. Alternatively, heat up the grains with a little liquid on the stovetop.
15. Homemade cookies:
Homemade cookies are delicious. There is nothing like having a cookie with your coffee for morning or afternoon tea. To freeze, let your cookies cool completely. Then wrap them tightly to prevent freezer burn and place them in a resealable freezer bag. Thaw cookies in the fridge.
Use your freezer to save food + money
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