Burrr. Now that it’s cold outside, my mind jumps straight to the freezer. It’s terrible because I live in a place that will soon become colder than my freezer. sigh.
Anyways! The freezer is one of my favourite tools in the kitchen. I mean, any appliance that extends the life of food has a thumbs up from me! We keep our freezer PACKED full of all sorts of goodies and today we’re talking about my favourite things to keep in that small ice box above the fridge.
Chilli – I always freeze left over chilli for lunches. Sometimes I’ll freeze a chunk or portions right away or I’ll freeze it once we’ve eaten it a few times and we’re getting sick of it.
Soup – Same deal as chilli. Why eat the same soup for a week when you can freeze some of it and enjoy it weeks later?
Curries – You’re probably sensing a theme here.
Breads – When I lived alone I kept all my bread in the freezer because one loaf a week was WAY too long for me. This way I avoided mould growth but still got to have my bread. I would throw it in the toaster straight from the freezer or take it out to thaw for about 10 minutes before I used it.
Muffins – Freezing extra muffins is really helpful for packing lunches. Grab a muffin from the freezer, pop it into your lunch kit, and it’s thawed by lunch/snack time.
Veggie Burgers – I always keep these guys in the freezer for quick meals. Reheat in the toaster oven or microwave.
Fruits & Veggies:
Fruits – The freezer is awesome because it lets you keep a piece of summer all through the winter. I often freeze berries and rhubarb picked in its prime so I have it to use throughout the year.
Bananas – For banana bread of course! I like to pre-peel them and freeze in a freezer bag that way when I need them I just smoosh them in the bag.
Squash – I freeze squash when I have enough time to roast it, but not enough time to make it into soup/chilli/etc OR if I open a can of pumpkin and I don’t use it all. Types I freeze: pumpkin, butternut, spaghetti (for chilli because the texture is compromised after freezing).
Fresh herbs – Another way to keep summer with you all year long, or if you buy a whole bunch and you don’t use it. I often just freeze it in freezer bags however I usually stick with parsley, basil, and dill (all herbs my parents used to freeze!).
Stock – Homemade or partly used boxes. Once you open a box of stock you generally have 14 days to use it (I’m always worried it will go sour on me), so I usually freeze it unless I’m 100% sure I’ll use it right away. You can freeze it in an ice cube tray for smaller portions too.
Egg whites – At our grocery store the egg whites are cheaper if you purchase them 3 at a time so we buy three and store the extras in the freezer until we can use them. They take about a day to thaw in the fridge.
Coconut milk – Again, if I don’t use the whole can I’ll freeze some to be used later.
Butter – This stuff is SO expensive. but when it’s on sale I stock up the freezer. We freeze the butter in a freezer back with the wrapper on or cut into small portions to pull out when we need them.
Cooked beans – Super awesome for cooked dried beans. You can freeze them in 1 or 1/2 cup portions so you know exactly how much you need for a recipe.
Important things to remember:
- Time in the freezer: 6 months max for most things, but somethings go funky quicker (unsalted butter) and start to take on freezer tastes or develop freezer burn
- Try and rotate your stock: don’t freeze it and forget it, make sure to use what you’ve got!
- Keep an inventory: if it’s too hard to remember (or your freezer is as full as mine) it might be a good idea to have an inventory list so you know exactly what you have & don’t have.
Do you love your freezer as much as me? What do you like to freeze? Did’ja spot the cinnamon buns hiding in my FULL freezer?