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How to Freeze Pretty Much Anything

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Anyone else cooking all of the time? If there is one positive by product of Covid-19 it is that it has us back in the kitchen…if there is one negative by product of Covid-19 it is that it has us back in the kitchen ALL DAY LONG!! 

In order to cut down on the amount of time we spend making meals, as well as to preserve the fresh ingredients we do have to cut down on trips to the grocery store, it is important to become friends with your freezer.  Here are some tips on how to freeze pretty much anything!

Fruit

How to Freeze – spread out on cookie sheet and put in the freezer for 2 hours to freeze.  This will keep them from clumping together.  Then put in an airtight freezer bag and return them to the freezer. 

How long will it last – 2-3 months

How to defrost – defrost by leaving them on the counter

Surprise tip – avocado can be frozen by removing the skin and seed, dicing and using the freezing method above.  When thawed it is best used mixed in with other ingredients such as a hearty guacamole or a smoothie.  Another surprise – avocado is a fruit!

Vegetables

How to Freeze – ideally chop them to the size that you will use them.  Frozen veggies tend to lose their crispiness so they will be hard to chop.  They will be ideal for soups or stir-fries because of the texture when you defrost them. 

How long will it last – 2-3 months

How to defrost–  they can be defrosted as you cook them.

Surprise tip – if you like fresh green smoothies, I love combining all of the “fresh” ingredients (i.e. leafy greens, fruit, etc.) into individual freezer bags.  Then when I want to make a smoothie I just empty the bag into the blender and add the liquid and protein of my choice.

Animal protein

How to Freeze – if it is cooked, wait until it is room temperature before freezing.  They will be the most susceptible to freezer burn so make sure to push out the air completely. 

How long will it last – 3-4 months

How to defrost– thaw in the refrigerator the day before use.  In a pinch you can also place them in cool water to speed up the thawing process.

Surprise tip – you can also freeze eggs! You will need to remove them from the shell so you can crack individual eggs either into a muffin tin or ice cube tray.  Flash freeze the eggs (at least 30-40 minutes) and then empty them into an airtight freezer bag for storage.  You might need to run the bottom of the tin or ice cube tray under warm water to loosen them before they will empty into the freezer bag.  Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and use as normal!

Soup or Stew

How to Freeze – wait until they are at room temperature to freeze.  I recommend freezing them individual servings, so you don’t have to thaw the whole thing.

How long will it last – 3-4 months but the best flavor is typically around 1 month.

How to defrost– thaw in the refrigerator the day before use.  In a pinch you can also place them in cool water to speed up the thawing process.

Surprise tip – another version of this idea is to freeze the uncooked ingredients into a single large freezer bag.  Then you can empty the freezer bag into a crockpot for a quick, easy and fresh meal. For more ideas check out the google or start here for some inspiration: https://ifoodreal.com/healthy-freezer-meals/

Casseroles or One Pan Meals

How to Freeze – I know it’s tempting, but I would not recommend freezing in a glass container.  Changing temperatures quickly can cause even the sturdiest container to shatter.  Instead you can use an aluminum tray or wait for the dish to cool and pre-portion into individual servings. 

How long will it last – 2-3 months.

How to defrost– thaw in the refrigerator the day before use for individual portions and 2 days for larger casseroles.

Surprise tip – if you know that you are going to be storing a large portion or entire casserole, consider lining the pan with tinfoil.  After the dish has cooled you can use the foil to lift the dish out of the pan in one piece, wrap and store. 

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