“Chances are you are eating and cooking more than ever before during the big lock-down period.”
Whether you are ordering your meals in (yes, you can still do that), are batch cooking, or have an insanely hungry family – knowing what freezes well and what doesn’t is useful.
Bear in mind that not everything freezes equally. Here are some ideas on what to freeze and what not to.
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Did you know that you can freeze hardy herbs for one to two months and condiments can be frozen up to four months? Dairy products such as cream cheese, yogurt and custard don’t freeze well. Get smart, don’t waste, and freeze as much as you can, and when mom’s cooking becomes tired or mom gets tired, it is time to order your meals in for that much-deserved treat and well-deserved break.
Freezer Smarts for Successful Freezing
The texture of cheese changes somewhat when frozen and often crumbles when you bring it back to room temperature. Freezing cheddar, mozzarella cheese, and parmesan in their original packaging should not make too much of a change to the texture. It is smart to buy cheese in bulk and grate it, freezing it in smaller containers to take out and use as and when needed. Grated cheese is fantastic for pizzas, toasted sandwiches, and other oven–baked dishes.
Freezing Soups and Stock
Cook large batches of soup using all those bits of leftover ingredients such as chicken, veg, and meat then decant the cooked soup in manageable batches; simply take and use as and when needed. If you are short on freezer space, freeze your liquids (soups and stock) in freezer bags and freeze them flat. Freeze your stock in ice trays and take these out and use as and when you need them.
Mangoes, bananas, and berries freeze particularly well. Freeze these separately to make it easy to separate and use. Place your bananas, slices of fruit, and individual berries separately on a baking sheet then open freeze them. Once they are frozen transfer them to airtight containers or freezer bags; this way they won’t stick together. You can peel bananas before freezing, but they will be soft when they thaw which will make them a fantastic addition to banana muffins, smoothies or banana loaf. Frozen fruit thaws fast because it has high sugar content – it is best to defrost your frozen fruits in the fridge.
Freeze sliced bread and take out what you need as you need it. You can freeze bread for a couple of months. Portion biscuits and scones on trays. Once they have frozen, simply slip a freezer bag over the frozen trays and bake from frozen when required.
Eggs cannot be frozen whole, although egg whites can. Use your egg whites for delicious cakes and meringues or add these to omelettes to make them light and fluffy.
Freezing Meat and Fish
Transfer meat and fish to freezer bags as air will get into the polystyrene and cling-wrapped packaged meat and fish which could cause freezer burn.
Freezing Pasta and Rice
Portion your rice and pasta dishes into meal portion sizes or freeze cooked pasta and rice in freezer bags. You can also freeze cooked grains and fresh pasta.
Chop and blanche vegetables for freezing. Freeze chopped herbs in ice trays and cover with water. Veg with a high-water saturation content will not freeze. Examples are lettuce or cucumber, apples, celery, and grapes.
Never defrost your meat in hot water as the texture will change, and don’t freeze your food in glass containers if they are not freezer safe. Always ensure food reaches room temperature before freezing.
Never freeze thawed food to avoid it being contaminated with bacterial growth. Freeze wherever you can to save money and avoid wasted food.
Freeze your food whenever you have a surplus and make your meals in advance for hungry mouths to save time and money; your freezer will soon become your new best friend.
Take the stress out of mealtime, skip the shopping, the planning, and the fuss. Contact Urban Direct and choose your meal plan. We have the following on the menu, the Classic Box, Low G.I Box, Veggie Box, and the Mix Box.