5 Surprising Foods to Keep in the Freezer

You’ll save money and waste less with the freezer as your friend.  These five foods are handy to have on hand:

1. Tomatoes  When you find a great source for tasty tomatoes (your garden?), and you want to preserve the flavor of summer, it’s a simple matter to pack them clean and whole in a freezer bag.  When needed, simply rinse under warm water, and the skin peels right off.  Core and chop to the desired size while still semi-frozen.  When thawed they will be comparable to canned tomatoes.  Use in soups, stews, casseroles and sauces.

All that's left from last summer's garden.

All that’s left from last summer’s garden.

2.  Avocados  Simply wash, slice in half and peel.  Pop them into a freezer bag just like this.  Alternatively you could mash them up with a little lemon juice and freeze.  The texture of this fruit does change from its fresh state, but previously frozen avocado makes a great guacamole.  I like to use mashed avocado on my sandwich as a replacement for mayo.

Peel and freeze!

Peel and freeze!

3.  Grains  When you have time, make an extra-large batch of your favorite grain.  Let them cool thoroughly, spread out on a baking sheet before freezing.  Then divide grains into small portions in freezer safe bags.  Squeeze out all extra air in bag to avoid ice crystals and freezer burn.  Keeps in freezer for two to three months.  Use as the basis for a quick dinner, an addition to casseroles or soups, or as a breakfast cereal.

Cook then freeze your favorite grains: bulgur, quinoa, farro, rice and more.

Cook then freeze your favorite grains: bulgur, quinoa, farro, rice and more.

4.  Milk  When I started buying organic milk on a regular basis, it was a shock to the pocketbook.  But then I found out that I could buy it on sale and stick the extra jugs in the deep freeze.  Yes, the texture does change.  It may be slightly “grainier” and needs to be shaken before use to blend the fat back into the milk.  Not great for drinking a glass with cookies but fine for cooking/baking, and I happily use it on my cereal.

5.  Ginger  We love cooking with ginger.  Unfortunately, it always seemed that we didn’t use it up before it went bad.  Then I stumbled on a tip in my Cook’s Illustrated magazine that changed my despair to, well, if not joy, then satisfaction…  Peel and freeze.  Easy.  Frozen ginger makes grating simple.  Also, check out this page from Lunch In A Box for more ideas about freezing ginger.

What do you find that works well coming out of the freezer?

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9 thoughts on “5 Surprising Foods to Keep in the Freezer

    • Thanks Beckie. I definitely make a serious effort to keep waste to a minimum, but, in the end, there’s always something that escapes notice–and then it’s too late. I do love our freezer.

      • There are all sorts of recipes, but I make a veggie medley in the fall – onions, apples (ok, not a veggie), squash, whatever. Cook in a little butter, then at the last minute thicken with chestnut flour. It makes it taste rich, a little sweet and very satisfying.

      • That sounds great. I assume it’s like any nut flour–although “chestnutty”. A good alternative to wheat flour for thickening…

    • It’s certainly a great way to deal with a surplus of tomatoes from the garden. Those really do taste like summer. And I took a peek at your blog. I’m only an armchair traveler right now, but someday… Thanks for commenting.

      • I love gardening … and travelling and there’s the rub that the two don’t really go together. So my neighbours know whenever I am away and no one is tending to my plants. Well, someone is, but not the way I do. Here’s to the travel days ahead of you 🙂

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