Get Organised Guide to Freezing Food - Healthful Wellness

Get Organised Guide to Freezing Food

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Freezing food is a great way to ‘get ahead’ and be prepared for the days or weeks when the overload is big!

Freezing ‘in season’ produce is also a great way to store surplus supply and also ensure you have your favourites at hand all year around.

Freezing fresh produce is also a great way to use up (and not waste) fresh fruit and vegetables. Freeze purees, and home made stocks in ice cube trays so you don’t have to thaw the whole lot when only smaller quantities are needed.

Did you know you can freeze fresh berries, ginger, lemon juice, avocado flesh, bananas, spinach, grated zucchini, broccoli, pineapple, melons, mango, strawberries, stone fruit and even coconut milk. You can even store nuts in the freezer, place in airtight containers or sealable plastic bags and store in the freezer. Nuts contain a lot of oil and can become rancid if stored in the pantry.

Even better, you can group your favorite combos together in single serve portions and freeze in snap lock bags. These are perfect for smoothies. Just grab, dump, blitz and sip!

If you love a stir-fry or ‘one and done’ slow cook dish then group your vegetables pre prepared in a snap lock bag too, great if you are watching portion sizes and the budget but also if you are time poor.

You can blanche, chop, dice, grate or puree your fruit and vegetables for vegetables depending on what you will be using them for. Just remember to wash, de-hull, remove stems, seeds and cores.

Just remember to always defrost in the fridge and not on the bench, frozen fruits are great tossed straight in the blender to add thickness.

What you need

  • cling wrap  for wrapping frozen foods such as sliced cakes, muffins, quiches and tarts.
  • Resealable sandwich bags or freezer bags are perfect for freezing muffins, fritters, pancakes and vegetables.
  • Use plastic airtight, freezerproof containers or silicone resealable pouches for freezing liquid-based dishes, such as soups and casseroles.
  • Freezer sheets are handy for placing between pancakes, fritters and raw meat portions.
  • Make sure all dishes are freezer safe and lids have good seals.
  • Labels make everything clearly identifiable.
  • Permanent freezer markers for labelling foods with the food name and use-by date.

Dates and times matter

So how long can your meals freeze for? For yummy taste and quality we suggest…

  • Fresh fruit & vegetables 6-9 MONTHS
  • Cooked pasta2 MONTHS
  • Cooked rice2 MONTHS
  • Cooked poultry 6 MONTHS
  • Meat dishes 4-6 MONTHS
  • Soup 3 MONTHS

What not to freeze

Some foods just don’t freeze well, avoid freezing the following...

  • Vegetables with a high water content (such as cucumber, celery and lettuce) should not be frozen because the water expands during freezing and damages the structure of the cells leaving them mushy when thawed.
  • Egg-based sauces will seperate. Raw egg whites can be frozen in sealable airtight containers and thawed for later use in recipes.
  • Jam freezing jam causes the sugars to break down and it will become runny and watery when thawed.
  • Dairy products should not be frozen because they curdle when thawed.
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