Perfect Freezer Foods: Out with the Old, In with the New.

Whether you are the only cook in the house or sharing the responsibility, everyone needs a break.

I put on my thinking cap and my freezer has become a lifesaver. It has been great having fresh food on hand.

I am ordering less take out, enjoying cooking more and eating healthier.

To start…
A magnetic grocery pad is kept on the fridge, easy to see and update. My new mind set includes food in larger quantities, taking advantage of fruit and veggies in season, and weekly sales.

Example of preparing to freeze a food item…
a) Purchase one or more containers of fresh berries (raspberries, blueberries, black berries, huckleberries).
b) Place berries into a colander.
c) Rinsed quickly and completely with cold water.
d) Shake the colander firmly until water has drained out.
e) Pour berries into a gallon size or smaller size zip bags (clearly dated and labeled).
f) Shake the bag slightly to rearrange the berries as evenly as possible, laying flat on the counter.
g) Set bag of berries carefully in the freezer until completely frozen.
h) Once frozen, the bag can be stored casually.

Other foods that freeze well…
1. Raw chicken breasts or beef steaks(first cut into four oz. to five oz. portion sizes).
3. Raw cookie dough rolled into balls or long rolls.
4. Loaves of bread or baguettes. Cut into thin slices.
5. Roasted chilis-(roast, blanch, cool, and lay in bags evenly).
6. Raw fish steaks -(first cut into four oz. to five oz. portion sizes).
7. Roasts-keep whole or cut in half.
8. Canned tomatoes.
9. Refried beans or other cooked beans.
10.Brown rice or wild rice or white rice. (Cooked and cooled).
11. Tomato or meat spaghetti sauce. (Cook noodles at the meal for fresh tasting).
12. Meat or vegetarian chili with beans.
13. Broth based soups or stews. (Chicken noodle soup, stews, beef soup, bean soups).
14. Prepared cakes (once cooled, best cut into serving sizes before freezing).

Food that I find do not freeze as well….
1.Fresh whole or sliced tomatoes.
2. Potato (mashed or baked).
3. All types of pasta not mixed with other foods.
4. Any type of lettuce and other green leafy vegetables.
5. Cream soups.
6. Fruits other than berries: (melon, apple, oranges, banana).

Final words:
a. I generally use all my frozen food items within four to six months for best flavor.
b. When I plan to use a portion of a frozen item, I drop bag gently on hard surface to allow frozen items to loosen from each other.
c. I generally thaw in refrigerator or in microwave. (Do not recommend thawing anything at room temperature).
Start taking advantage of your freezer now!

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Cook for Today

Cook for Today

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Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist with a culinary arts degree. Food and nutrition freelance writer "back to the basics!”