Nowadays, the freezer has become a savior. When it comes to food, we know that freezing food can help us enormously throughout the planning, preparation and cooking stages. Also, it is a fact that freezers prevent food waste, saving us both time and money. Frozen products are much fresher than canned products and contain more nutritional value. In this article, we’ll share with you everything you need to know about food freezing. If you want to know what can be frozen and what you should avoid freezing, and what you can do to keep your freezer tidy, you can continue reading How to Store Foods in the Freezer article.
Foods You Can Keep in the Freezer
There are foods that you can easily freeze without any problems, and never spoil because they do not undergo significant changes in taste and texture. First of all, let’s examine the foods you can easily store in the deep freezer.
Meat such as beef, lamb, poultry, ground beef, cooked meat and fish are ideal for deep freezing. It is a storage method that we all often prefer. While properly frozen and thawed food can actually be re-frozen without fear of bacteria, re-freezing pre-thawed food exponentially reduces their quality and can pose a food safety risk if meats are thawed at room temperature, i.e. outside the refrigerator.
Raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, currant, cranberry, etc. fruits and stone fruits such as banana, mango, pineapple, peach, nectarine, plum and cherry can be stored in the freezer. However, frozen fruits are great for blending in smoothies. Frozen fruit is better not only for your wallet, but also for your health. Some studies have found that the freezing process helps increase the amount of free radical-fighting antioxidants in the fruit by piercing the cell walls of ice crystals and releasing bioactive compounds. Most fruits are suitable for storage; However, you should avoid freezing watermelon, citrus fruits, apples and grapes (unless you like their frozen flavors of course).
Vegetables such as carrots, beans, spinach, mushrooms, peas, zucchini, corn, broccoli can be frozen. If they have a naturally high water content, it is best to mash, sauté, or cook before freezing.
Butter, Margarine and Hard Cheeses
Hard cheeses can be stored very well in the freezer if they are grated and stored in an airtight container. In addition, solid oils such as butter and margarine continue to last for a long time in the freezer.
Baked Pizzas and Homemade Pizzas
Pizza is probably one of the most popular frozen foods people buy. It is also a very good alternative to make yourself and then freeze. It will be enough to stretch it with ingredients or as a dough and cover it completely.
Bread (Baked or Dough) and Pastries
Whether it’s homemade banana bread, soda bread, or baked bread, you can slice a ready-made bread before freezing and store it in the freezer to keep it fresh. Frequently used puff pastry dough or a dough that you have prepared can also be easily kept in the freezer.
Nothing can spice up a meal like fresh herbs, but getting to the grocery store can be tiring and expensive whenever you need fresh basil. If you’ve already taken the step of growing your own plants, but winter frosts are slowly approaching, you should not let your plants go to waste. You can keep them fresh by freezing them and ready for use whenever you want. Fresh herbs can be stored in the freezer for up to 12 months with appropriate storage conditions. Both pesto and herbs can be poured into an ice cube tray to allow freezing. (After freezing, you can transfer it to a plastic bag.) This way, herbs can be easily removed and used according to the recipe you need.
Chicken Broth and Soup
Soups can be frozen in large quantities or in separate portions in containers or in sealed freezer bags. They heat up fast and are perfect for nights when you need a comforting food. Considering how enjoyable it would be to come home, turn on the freezer and cook a meal that only takes a few minutes to warm up, soups will sound like a great idea for the freezer. Chicken broth, which is frequently used in meals and is very useful, can also be practically stored in ice cubes for single use.
Legumes and Nuts
It is a very good idea to store nuts in the freezer. The reason for this is that storing in the freezer is a good solution because of the high fat content (healthy fats that can easily spoil without exposure to light and heat). The recommended storage period is 3 months.
Sauces and Pasta Sauces
You can make your own homemade sauces, add them as a sauce when preparing your meals as you would use in chicken broth, or use it easily as a pasta sauce. You can take these sauces that you poured into the ice cube tray and take them in as many quantities as you wish.
Desserts such as pancakes, cookies (baked or dough), cakes, pies, and cheesecake can be stored in the freezer. Cakes and cheesecakes can be pre-baked, cooled completely and stored for later. Cookies can be frozen at any stage, in the form of portion dough balls or stored baked. Pie dough can also be stored in the freezer.
Foods to Avoid Freezing
- High-Water Vegetables such as Lettuce, Tomato, Celery, Cucumber, Turnip and Raw Potatoes
- High Water Content Fruits such as Melon, Citrus (juice can be frozen), Apple and Pear
- Soft Cheeses such as Ricotta, Cottage Cheese and Cream Cheese
- Shelled Eggs or Boiled Eggs
- Fried Foods
- Meats and Sauces Thickened with Corn Starch or Flour
- Desserts such as Custard, Cream Pie, Pudding, and Milkshake
- Delicatessen Meats
How Can You Freeze Your Food Correctly and Get the Most Out of the Freezer?
First of all, you should make sure that the temperature inside your freezer is -0,4 Fahrenheit, as this will help you freeze your food as quickly as possible. When it comes to the tools you need, if you are going to freeze food for a short time, you can choose plastic bags-containers or packaging. For longer periods, we strongly recommend that you vacuum seal as it keeps your food airtight and prevents the freezer from burning. Also, if you put your food in a plastic bag, you should not freeze it while there is still a lot of air inside. If there is air, this may cause the freezer to burn. You can use ice cube trays to store broth, herbs (with a little water or oil), eggs, and greens like blended fruit or spinach.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when freezing food is to label all the food you put in the freezer by adding the name and date. This way everything will be more organized.
You should always freeze food to the highest quality so it will be in good condition when defrosted. This is especially important for fruits and vegetables as they start to lose their nutritional value after harvesting. Generally, when freezing food, we recommend targeting smaller portions so you can avoid waste and reduce defrosting time.
However, when you freeze liquids like soup or milk; you have to make sure that you leave enough space as they expand during the freezing process. Another important issue is to make sure that the freezer is not overfilled. If it is too full, there will be no air circulation, which may damage the freezer. Also, to maintain food quality, you should avoid freezing food again after defrosting. Finally, we know this task is easy to forget;but you should make sure you defrost and clean your freezer at least once or twice a year.