Freezer Fantastic – How to Get the Most from Your Freezer
It’s a staple part of almost every household’s kitchen but it’s easy to find that your freezer is not being used to its full potential. If your freezer is full of half filled ice-cube trays, out of date ice-cream and several unidentifiable tubs of food it might be time to have a clear out and put your freezer to better use.
Getting the most from your freezer can make feeding your family easier, more cost effective and healthier. Here are some ideas:
Think Outside the (Freezer) Box
Lots of different foods can be frozen – not just those commonly found in the supermarket freezer isle. Things that you might not expect such as grated cheese and milk can be frozen. And if you find that your family doesn’t get through a whole loaf of bread before it starts to go mouldy, split the loaf into smaller sections and freeze – individual slices can then be defrosted quickly in a toaster whenever you need them.
Double it Up
Whenever you cook a dish, double up the quantities and freeze individual portions so that you always have some of your favourite recipes ready to cook at a moment’s notice. Making your own pasta sauce and freezing several portions is ideal as you can use the sauce as the basis of many dishes – not just pasta but chillies and shepherd’s pie too.
Waste Not, Want Not
Often a problem with large shop-bought desserts, big pizzas, and ingredients such as frozen pastry is that you might not want to eat all of it in one go but once it’s defrosted you cannot refreeze what is left. The solution is to cut the items into portions before you freeze them so that you can just take out what you need.
Ice Ice Baby
Think your ice cube tray is just for freezing water? Think again! You can make tasty fruity ice cubes from fruit juice – ideal when you need something cool and refreshing on a hot day. Or try putting sprigs of fresh herbs into your ice cube tray and then cover with water. This is an easy way to freeze fresh herbs ready to defrost when you need them. And if you have a baby, you can even use your ice cube tray to freeze tiny portions of homemade purees – perfect when weaning.
When freezing home cooked meals, one problem is remembering what everything is and when you made it. This means we often end up throwing things away because they are unidentifiable. The solution is simple – keep a box of labels and a pen next to your freezer so that you can label things as soon as you freeze them.
Collect Your Odds and Ends
When you have just a few vegetables leftover you might think they are not worth freezing. But if you create a separate vegetable box in your freezer just for those little bits and pieces they will soon accumulate into enough to make a delicious vegetable soup or stew.
To find recipes that are suitable for freezing, visit: www.bbcgoodfood.com
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