My family has an inside joke about how I freeze everything. Well, every edible thing that is!!
I seriously need a bigger freezer and would be unable to function in case of a power outage!!
Jokes apart I have found freezing to be the best way to decrease food spoilage and wastage and it is also the healthiest form of preserving food (no loss of nutrients!). Preserving food in ice dates centuries back to the days of ice harvesting. Farmers have been known to store grains in sheds during winters to preserve them. There’s also some data on “ice pits” used to store food in America before refrigerators came to be!
To date, I have frozen almost everything except rice, but given the number of rice dishes in the frozen food section of supermarkets I am willing to give that a try too 😉
So here is how a freezer can make your life easy and healthier too!
- Marinated meats – I bulk marinate meats and store them in ziplock bags. I can pull out perfect portions and grill, bake, fry or steam them to suit my need!
- Prepared kebabs, meatballs, and burgers – Nothing fancy. Just make whatever kebab you like right to the last step (yes cook them!) and then freeze them separated by parchment paper or foil. For the meatballs and burgers, season mincemeat with your preferred spices and shape them as balls and patties and freeze them!
- Cooked salans – I have a small family so leftover salans are very very common. I freeze them in ziplock bags and this way I have a meal for days I was too busy to cook! I have frozen nihari, haleem, korma, qeema, chicken salans and even most vegetable ones (the ones you don’t mind turning mushy once heated)
- Bananas – When those bananas start ripening up and I don’t see anyone finishing them in the near future, I stick them as is in the freezer. I can then use them for baking any recipe that calls for bananas, or pancakes, milkshakes, and even a soft serve!
- Tomatoes – Everyone knows that tomatoes go bad real quick even in the fridge. I store mine in the freezer (yup!). When I’m cooking I just take them out and run them under some water (the peel comes off right away!!) and they cut up easily.
- Bread – I bulk buy bread and buns from BJs, but since my family is small, they cannot last in the fridge. I freeze them as soon as I buy them. Depending on their type I stick them in the fridge (slice bread which is used every day) when I will begin using them, or take them out directly from the freezer and use (burger buns because if I take out the whole packet the unused ones won’t be used for a long time).
- Baby food – If you give your baby purees, it can be a hassle to make them fresh everytime only to throw half of it away if not used. You can plan and make purees in bulk and freeze them in ice cube containers. One cube is equal to one portion for a baby and you can defrost as many or as little as you like without any wastage!
- Breast milk – If you are pumping milk for your baby freezing it whenever you pump is better if it is not going to be consumed in the next 2-3 days.
- Yeast – I don’t do a lot of baking that uses yeast, so when I store it in the freezer to extend it’s shelf life!
- Deli Meats – Deli meats have to be consumed as quickly as possible because they go bad pretty quick even in the fridge. I freeze them and defrost them in the fridge and never had a problem with the taste of salami, sausages, and mortadellas once heated properly.
I could go on and on about what foods I have frozen to date and the merits of freezing as well. It is such a simple technique and yet one of the healthiest ones. And used since the beginning of time too!
So here is my experience of using an old food preservation technique to save my sanity!! What is the wackiest thing you have ever frozen?? let me know in the comments!